Congressional Black Caucus vows to keep pushing Obama on jobs
Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D) MO speaks to reporters outside the White House after his caucus met with President Obama Thursday.
May 12th, 2011
07:29 PM ET

Congressional Black Caucus vows to keep pushing Obama on jobs

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Despite what in the past has been a cool if not contentious relationship, members of the Congressional Black Caucus today met with one of its highest profile former members, President Obama.

The focus was jobs and the rising unemployment rate especially in the communities represented by CBC members.  CBC chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D) MO said his members told the president of the "pain that is taking place in the urban poor and in many of the districts we represent."   The unemployment rate among African Americans is nearly twice that of the general population.

Cleaver said the talks focused on how to address the jobs issue and also focused on the lack of jobs for minority teens as summer approaches.  The CBC chairman said the president told his members that he was working on "healing" the economy and that as that happens it would address the concerns of caucus members.  In the past, some CBC members have been critical of the Obama administration for not being "responsive" to African American concerns. Thursday members left with no promises from the president but a commitment he would "examine" some of their suggestions including incorporating job creation into disaster declarations.  Rep. Cleaver was asked what is next for his caucus. "[We're] going to keep pushing. We came over here to push and when we leave we're still going to push."

Topics: Economy • President Obama • The News

soundoff (26 Responses)

    green jobs.....shovel ready jobs.....high tech jobs.......or just government jobs that cost TAXPAYERS more?????

    May 12, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
  2. Jay in NC

    The 'Congressional Black Caucus' is a trow back organization. Josephine Hearn said that white members of Congress were not welcome to join the CBC. Think of this, they create a group based on race then complain about racism. Now that is hypocrisy. How are we ever to start working together if we continue to view people only by the color of their skin? It is time to end this racist organization.

    May 13, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
  3. Liz Carter in Georgia

    The CBC is not a racist organization! Like all black organizations it was established, even in the US CONGRESS, because of the insensitivity to BLACK AMERICAN issues and concerns when bills and resolutions are being drawn up i.e. health, education, welfare, community enhancement, better jobs, etc. We're taxpayers too, and many times our group wasn't recieving the benefits of the programs being released through; many times we didn't even know they were out there! If we knew it, we thought it was white folks.

    May 14, 2011 at 10:55 am |
  4. Jay in NC

    As required by Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution, Members of Congress shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support the Constitution. Federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis on race or color. Therefor the 'Congressional Black Caucus' is in violation.

    If this is not true then please show me the federal law that allows for these 'black' only organizations to exist.

    May 14, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  5. Liz Carter in Georgia

    That is true! The federal law does require that there be no discrimination based on race. But until that law is fully, totally, and completely enforced and respected in every organization, every venue, every town, city and state of every region in this nation, we will continue to use 'black' organizational advocacy. It's not been that long ago the law was even amended to the Constitution! Black Leaders and Black Organizations are MOST of the reason it's there! So don't even think we will toss them now!

    May 14, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  6. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Furthermore, how is the Congressional Black Caucus in violation of the law simply for just existing? We can name our organizations what we want to! So Janice Hearn says WHITE Congressmen weren't welcome to join; AND?!? Why is that so strange? Are blacks, even BLACK Congressmen welcomed to join the White Supremasts, KKK, Aryans, Skinheads, Sons and Daughters of The South? By the way, what WHITE member of CONGRESS do you REALLY think would actually want to join the Congressional BLACK Caucus? Be nosey? Yes!

    May 14, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      You ask what white congressman would really want to join the black caucus?
      Freshman Representative Steve Cohen, D-TN., who is white, pledged to apply for membership during his election campaign to represent his constituency, which is 60% African American. He was denied entry. There are many reasons that someone of another color may want to participate in the caucus. It is a shame that he was denied entry only because of the color of his skin.

      I would like to point out that you just compared the CBC with the KKK, Aryans and Skinheads. I think that is the very reason many of us think that it is wrong.

      May 14, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
  7. Liz Carter in Georgia

    The CBC is no comparison to those groups whatsoever, and you know it. However, it takes a person like you to twist my examples of white organizations that don't allow blacks to enter them, into that same race-based view. You know those groups are racists and why would they want black Americans in them, when we and the others are their 'targets'? White Supremasts, Sons and Daughters of the South, KKK, Aryans, Skinheads, are groups that were founded for reasons of disenfranchisement and hurt to non-whites!

    May 15, 2011 at 12:06 am |
  8. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Furthermore, until you and the rest of you 'non-racial' people can get those groups to shut-down and their members prove to us and the world, that they've been renewed in spirit, heart and mindset, we will continue on with our black organizations! I haven't seen anyone black or white ask White Supremasts Groups to shut down! Fmr Pres Johnson was actually the last person I heard asking people who were members to get out of it before it was too late. BTW, blacks weren't and aren't begging to get in anyway!

    May 15, 2011 at 12:25 am |
  9. Jay in NC

    You asked sarcastically who would want to join, I gave you an answer. You say that they will continue to be separatist until other are not. That is a poor way to set an example for the world. Hypocrite, that you are and the CBC.

    It's just like the Negro College Fund. No one else on the planet can use the word negro or they are called a racist. No one can use the 'N' word for the same reason. However Toni Morisson, Harpo and The First Date are praised for it's use. Hypocrite.

    May 15, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • Jay in NC

      Should have added National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to the list. Oh boy, I said colored people, now I will probably be banned from CNN.

      May 15, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  10. Liz Carter in Georgia

    I never used the term 'separatist' in my commentary. Don't try to doctor my comments with your hateful spin. You're the greatest example of a hypocrite! The gall, you scream for us to shut down our organized institutions as you continue with your own! I only communicated that as long as those racists groups existed in this society, expect that 'black advocacy organizations' will also remain; and BTW, even after; we never know when we'll need them again. Hate, and racism don't shut down as fast! Been proven!

    May 15, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      "as you continue with your own" Liz, I am not a member of the KKK, White Supremeness, or any group you named. Lumping me in with them because you think my skin is white is very very racist of you. White advocacy, black advocacy what is the difference? it is all race based.

      Look, we can go around and around all day, week, I do not think we want to do that. I wish you could see it from my point of view. I do not like any organization that advocate one race over another.

      May 15, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      The original subject was about the CBC. They do not allow white members, therefor they are separatist.

      May 15, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
  11. Liz Carter in Georgia

    BTW, what planet do you live on that the word NEGRO can't be used by people? UNITED NEGRO COLLEGE FUND is the full name. Do you have any idea why that organization was founded? It was founded because there were many 'negroes' back then who were studied enough and ambitiously eligible to go to college and higher scholastical institutions, but were unable to get government loans or even personal loans to get into school. Earlier, we united privately through our churches, later drawing attention of sponsors.

    May 15, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
  12. Liz Carter in Georgia

    You say no one else on the planet can use the N-word or Negro without being called a racist. No one else-who?, Jay? Racists? The dominating race of people in this stolen nation has always been the CAUCASIAN RACE. They're the ones responsible for conjuring up those words as names for 'our kind' anyway! The context, connotation or definition of those words coming out of their mouths meant and still does mean less than; subordinate to, lower race, separatism, to discriminate against, not worthy; JUST A N--R!

    May 15, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
  13. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Many 'Negroes'/N-words decided that this was who we were, being lost from our own heritage and history, accepted that same title in AMERICAS SYSTEM, with some knowing that was not our race. Most of us hailed originally from AFRICA. We were BLACK PEOPLE from AFRICA. AFRICANS! However, we took those same terms or words and started referring to one another by them. When we came into the true realization of who we were, we mocked them as terms of endearment, i.e. 'my n--r'!; n--r please'! conversationally.

    May 15, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      So let me understand this. In Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison, The First Dates favorite first book. You know the same book that she so enthusiastically told the small children about. When Porter and the prostitutes have an exchange of words, Macon calls Porter a ni**er. Is this a term of endearment?

      "[Porter] was very specific about whom he wanted to kill - himself. However, he did have a precondition which he shouted down, loud and clear, from the attic."
      'I want to f___! Send me up somebody to f___! Hear me? Send me up somebody, I tell ya, or I'ma blow my brains out!'"
      "As Macon and Freddie approached the yard, the women from the rooming house were hollering answers to Porter's plea."
      "What kinda bargain is that?"
      "Kill yourself first and then we'll send you somebody."
      "Do it have to be a woman?" [Note: implies homosexuality]
      "Do it have to be human?" [Note: implies bestiality]
      "Do it got to be alive?" [Note: implies necrophilia]
      "Can it be a piece of liver?"

      'Put that thing down and throw me my god**am money!' Macon's voice cut through the women's fun. 'Float those dollars down here, ni**er, then blow yourself up!'

      May 16, 2011 at 8:20 am |
  14. Liz Carter in Georgia

    We took what the evil spirit meant for bad and turned it into something that could be percieved as fairly acceptable, humorous and good in the right situations. Especially when in situations and events where everyone understands that the 'context' or original definition has been changed! It no longer means to us what it meant to them. In other words, some of us took the slanderous words and made a mockery of them! We made light of them and turned them oftentimes, into punchlines for hilarious jokes! Get it?

    May 15, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
  15. Liz Carter in Georgia

    The NAACP was set up during the time when the AMERICAN SYSTEM had started calling us 'coloreds', OK? So it would stand to reason, since we were so accepting back then and especially since we couldn't do anything about it, that we would call that organization the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. What else could we call it? BTW, it was named properly because it has handled cases for native Americans, Latinos, Orientals and many other non-white races. I'm told even a few white cases!

    May 15, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  16. Liz Carter in Georgia

    From what I can see, especially in these last 3-4 years, we still need everyone of our historically founded AFRICAN AMERICAN/NEGRO/COLORED advocacy organizations. We haven't totally overcome! The movement is still on. It's still a work in process. ALL OF THESE ARE MY HONEST OPINIONS!

    May 15, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
  17. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Jay, honestly and I've said before, I haven't read the book! I suppose I should read it before I try to make assumptions, because I don't know what the whole storyline is. However, the excerpts you just gave do sound gritty. The 'N' word is used by some of us oftentimes, in anger or disgusted emotional outbursts. It's then meant to be sort of a social put-down. It's simply ONE act of contempt by which some African Americans want to present their agendas or opinions vs those of disagreement from 'N****RS'.

    May 16, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  18. Glenn

    is it possible for President Obama to use The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 to help rebuild communities that is suffering from the bad economy?

    August 22, 2011 at 2:55 am |
  19. Glenn

    chronic and pervasive unemployment in the Black community is the reason why the crime rate is so high. If some of the money from President Barack Obama's $787 billion stimulus plan could be sent to the Black Communities you could take care of two problems unemployment and crime. rebuilding some of those dilapidated structures in are communities
    would increase the value of the property and employ people

    August 22, 2011 at 3:09 am |