December 11th, 2009
05:01 PM ET
7 months ago

Black Caucus sends strong economic message to Obama

Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Barbara Lee and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver wrote Obama to plead for help for minorities..
Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Barbara Lee and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver wrote Obama to plead for help for minorities..

Washington (CNN) – Members of the Congressional Black Caucus called on President Obama Friday to address the skyrocketing unemployment rate facing minorities - especially African-Americans and Latinos - and greater economic conditions plaguing low-income communities.

"Our job is to make sure the legislation that gets to the president's desk responds to the degradation and the crisis in our community," said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, at a Friday news conference. "Our community is bleeding. And we are the worst hit."

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in November 2009 for blacks is at 15.6 percent - and 12.7 percent for Hispanics. In comparison, the rate for whites is 9.3 percent.

The latest job numbers show that a drop in the U.S. unemployment rate dropped from 10.2 percent to 10 percent in November.

"Our Nation has suffered substantial unemployment and underemployment over a prolonged period, which has imposed significant economic and social costs, particularly in communities of color," the December 9 letter, from Chairwoman Barbara Lee and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver to Obama, stated. "We appreciate your attention to these prescriptive measures and look forward to working with you."

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soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Hammerer

    Nothing new. The Dems have always promised the African Americans the moon to get their votes and then forget about them until the next election. Seems to work for them.

    December 11, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  2. Rosa Birmingham, AL

    No can do. Then he would look like he was playing favorites. Any bill has to address unemployment for all groups regardless of any other labels they may have.

    December 11, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  3. Thanks!

    Thanks congresspeople - about time someone said it. Surely this is one thing we can all agree on. This problem affects everyone, not just minorities. And contrary to far-right-wing-wingnut-kook propaganda, it helped a lot during the last Depression.

    December 11, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  4. David

    @Gail Do you REALLY need me to tell you that whites out-number blacks in this country? It's what's called a "minority"... google it :)

    December 11, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  5. Jane/Seattle

    It is high time America comes to value all of our cultures, peoples and ethnic groups! What kind of place prides itself on EQUALITY as it warehouses "Black and Brown" people disproportionately? What kind of culture rewards CEO's with billions as children are starving, homeless and suffering? I do not care about this Con Logic of blaming the parents! Parents have also come up in this society of ignore-ance and misery! In fact, this culture IS BREEDING the sicknesses it punishes in it's for-profit prison system. Systemic Racism is so veryalive and flourishing here. The "Cons" and others can whitewash it anyway they like, but many of us see the reality for so many! Where was true Correction for a young black man (the cop killer) when his soul screamed out for help? Now they are all dead and this society for profits and harsh blame/punishment is the real responsible party! When are we gonna look into the depth of our colllective hearts and find enough Compassion to correct and change our MIND/S? Thanks for considering these ideas. This caucas is correct. Black folks have been severely injured as are we all when we fail to love one another. Peace

    December 11, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  6. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    Yeah, who cares about the WHITE poor? White hunger isn't as bad as black hunger. The cold isn't as uncomfortable and unhealthy for white children as it is for black children. (And we wonder why there is racial resentment in America.)

    December 11, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Don't worry ma'am, the GOPers are making sure that poor inner city communities full of minorities who will be on the public option can't exercise their constitutional right to have an abortion so they'll be saddled with the additional economic strain of another mouth to feed if they get pregnant but can't afford it. Ummm, oh wait...that's not what you wanted to hear....

    December 11, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  8. No More Handouts

    Kevin in Ohio December 11th, 2009 5:47 pm ET

    Its time to stop listening to the black caucus.... they want what they always want...more and more handouts... free "Obama Money". Time to start listening to the biggest caucus of them all...that of the American people. Less spending, less taxation, and a chance for us to GROW our economy.

    Kevin – VERY well stated. You should run for office. You would definitely have my vote. Merry Christmas, sir.

    December 11, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  9. Arlene, Illinois

    With a black President why do we still the CBC?

    December 11, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  10. jj

    to the people saying white people dont have a white congressional cacus thats a flat out lie its the republican party duh. SMH

    December 11, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  11. tarheel

    It's about time the CBC came out and dogged Obama for not living up to his promises to redistribute America's wealth to the Black community. Unless the President gets a little more generous with the free handouts, he may lose part of that 98% of the African -American vote the next time.

    December 11, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  12. ttbala

    @ Mesa,

    Your comment about Condeliza Rice's reason to become a republican is absurd you know, there are thousands of people who acheived whte Rice acheived, but being a republican was not and issue, accept in Rices circumstances, if you remember she became a bush pupet for eight years, if you call that a republican women be my guest.

    December 11, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  13. unemployed by Obama

    its not just blacks that are out of work, so the black caicus needs to quit pushing their racsit agenda and support all races.

    December 11, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  14. phoenix86

    Gimme money.

    That's the message of Jackson Lee.

    What a joke in Houston.

    December 11, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  15. W l Jones

    There are very few black skin people in this country why not help all American. Case close.

    December 11, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  16. mjm

    "MOST, if not ALL, of the business are run by Asians, Arabs, Chinese, etc. They WILL NOT hire African Americans."

    Classic.

    I hear the military is hiring.

    December 11, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  17. Democrats = party of hate!

    It's time to admit that urban communities are ADDICTED to Welfare and you can't get a job unless you ATLEAST graduate high school, which in the minority community is itself a minority!

    December 11, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  18. john

    how many republicans are part of the CBC...oh, that's right blacks and repubs go together like oil and water...the republican party consist of a bunch of bitter white men and one stupid white woman from alaska...now that's a caucus for ya!

    December 11, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  19. mjm

    Maybe they should spend more money creating ...or saving....jobs?

    That seems to work like a charm.

    December 11, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  20. Kevin St Pete FL

    Let's do some number-crunching, shall we.

    The U.S has a population of 300 million. Of that, 13% or 11,817,000 are African American( INCLUDING THIS BLOGGER.).

    Now let's break that number down.

    49% or 5,790,330 are infected with HIV/AIDS.
    30% or 3,545,100 are in the prison system.
    15.6% or 1,753,452 are unemployed.

    The numbers that you see right now, is the harbinger of death to African American EVERYWHERE.

    The Economy / Jobs, AND Health Care, are but a FEW things we need in order to SURVIVE!!!

    NOW YOU'RE GETTING THE PICTURE.

    December 11, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  21. Observant One

    Good Job!!! I hope he listens to you, as he certainly hasn't listened to us. We (black, white, Brown, red, & yellow middle and lower income Americans) gave him the vote and he is not doing anything for the people.

    I happen to be Black and degreed, and have been unemployed for over two years. If President Obama doesn't know how it works in America, he should ask Michelle.

    I do not live in the ghetto but probably will be his term expires. One thing for sure Blacks will not just give him the vote in 2010 or 2012.

    December 11, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  22. Keith in Austin

    The Black calling the Kettle black

    December 11, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  23. Ted

    Help the blacks? you got to be kidding. He won't even help his half brother in Kenya. He got what he wanted from you in the past election – your vote. Don't hold your breath if you expect anything from Obama.

    December 11, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  24. Observant

    First of all, Get off of Barbara's hair, she is a well educated Mills Woman.

    Secondly, I applaud the Black Caucus for standing up and bringing the issue unemployment for people of color to the front. And to all of you that are on here talking about handouts, just justifies why I haven't been able to get a job in 2 years. I am have a BS degree with years of experience, but we all know that when times are tough individuals like Dan, TX will hire based on the color of one's skin and not on experience and knowledge.

    Third, people of color, please remember his (Obama's) actions in 2012.

    December 11, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  25. Jokes aside

    Its a shame! even in the 21st century in America, minorities are still last- in first- out (LIFO) when it comes to the employment. This how the game is played! what we call "nepotism and tribalism" in other countries here in America we nickname it "connection" to ensure that only certain group of people have access to the better jobs. What we call bribes on other Nations! here in America we nick-name it expenditing money! or political donations after all expenditing and donations doesn't sound bad !!

    December 11, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
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