Job seekers wait in long lines for entrance to a job fair organized by the… (Susan Tusa / Detroit Free…)
As far as Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) in concerned, it is time for President Obama to get tough with Republicans and put together proposals that help the poor and especially the hard-hit African American community.
Speaking at a job fair in Atlanta on Thursday, the fiery Waters said there was rising unhappiness in the African American community with the nation’s first black president.
“There is a growing frustration in this country and in minority communities because the unemployment rates are so high,” Waters said in televised remarks. She went on to cite home foreclosures and the increasing wealth gap between blacks and whites for “creating frustration and yes, some anger” in the black community, which wants to see Obama take on his opponents.
“The president is going to have to fight and he is going to have to fight hard,’ she said.
Referring to the recent battle with Republicans over raising the debt ceiling, a fight that many liberals see as having been won by the conservative GOP, Waters called on the president and her fellow Democrats not to be intimidated and “you cannot back down.”
“We were basically held up in raising the debt ceiling, until they got all of those budget cuts they demanded,” Waters said. “We didn’t raise any revenue and they didn’t close any tax loopholes. I believe the Democratic Party and the president of the United States should not have backed down. We should have made them walk the plank.”
Waters and the rest of the Congressional Black Caucus have organized a series of job fairs around the country, designed to bring attention to the difficulties faced by the African American community in these tough economic times. The group faces a special problem with Obama, who comes from their constituency.
“We do not put pressure on the president because y'all love the president,” Waters told a boisterous crowd at a fair in Detroit on Tuesday. “You are very proud to have a black man as president for the very first time in the history of the United States of America.
“The Congressional Black Caucus loves the president, too. We're supportive of the president, but we're getting tired. We're getting tired. The unemployment is unconscionable. We don't know what the strategy is. We don't know why on this trip that he's in the United States now, he's not in any black community,” she said in an excerpt also broadcast.
Rep. Allen West, a black Republican from Florida, also noted that Obama didn’t visit any African American communities during his recent three-day Midwest tour to highlight economic issues. In an appearance on the Fox News Channel program "The O'Reilly Factor," West castigated Waters and other African American Democratic leaders as “overseers of this 21st century plantation” and called on the GOP to push for votes among blacks.
“The laughable hypocrisy is that the big black bus is not going in the black community,” West said. “"[The] Democratic Party has taken the black vote for granted and you have established certain black leaders who are nothing more than the overseers of that plantation. And now the people on the plantation are upset because they have been disregarded, disrespected and their concerns are not cared about.” firstname.lastname@example.org