Tavis Smiley and Cornel West: “Poverty Tour” Criticizes Obama

Broadcaster Tavis Smiley and Princeton professor Cornel West\’s 18-city “Poverty Tour: A Call to Conscience,” is nearing an end, but the controversy is far from over. The tour  was implemented to focus President Barack Obama’s attention on the plight of America’s poor people—particularly African Americans, whose jobless rate exceeds 15 percent.

Recent figures show that the overall national unemployment rate hovers at 9.1 percent and at 15.9 percent for African Americans, almost double the 8.1 percent for whites, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In an interview on ABC\’s Nightline, Smiley stated, “I know what the president is up against. But I think too often he compromises, too often he capitulates. I think the Republicans know that. I think they laugh when he’s not around.”

West, noting that the president has a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr., in the Oval Office, said King “weeps when he sees poor and working people suffering and no fundamental focus. It is very clear that President Obama caves in over and over again. He punts on first down. If you\’re in a foxhole with him, you\’re in trouble because he wants to compromise. He doesn\’t have the kind of backbone he ought to have.”

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What are your thoughts?

Is there a blanket “acceptance” of President Obama by African Americans? Have we missed the boat of Obama\’s weaknesses? Do you think PRESIDENT OBAMA IS IGNORING POVERTY? Blog about it here!