CBC Chair Says the President Got a Pass ‘Because He’s Black’

Congressional Black Caucus Chair Emanuel Cleaver admits that the CBC has given the president a pass.


The president has been consistently criticized for one reason or another.  In some instances, his service has been weighed against his blackness.  He has had Tavis Smiley and Cornel West on his back since he took the seat in the Oval Office.  “You’re not doing enough for the black community.”

Well, the president on one occasion had to remind folks tha the’s the President of the United States not the black community of the United States.  Everyone needs jobs, everyone needs healthcare, people simply want to be treated fairly.  The Democratic party and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) have backed the president in his efforts, but now the CBC’s Chair Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, has went as far as to admit that the CBC has been lenient on the president.

According to the Washington Post, Cleaver told The Root:

“Well, I’m supposed to say he doesn’t get a pass, but I’m not going to say that,” Cleaver said in an interview with The Root published Monday. “Look, as the chair of the Black Caucus I’ve got to tell you, we are always hesitant to criticize the president. With 14 percent [black] unemployment if we had a white president we’d be marching around the White House. However, I [also] don’t think the Irish would do that to the first Irish president or Jews would do that to the first Jewish president; but we’re human and we have a sense of pride about the president.”

Cleaver supported Hillary Clinton’s run for nomination against Obama in 2008.  He said things would’ve been much different with her:

“Well, we wouldn’t have had a lot of racial stuff, and as much as I love Sen. Clinton I would have been all over her on 14 percent unemployment for African Americans. I would have said, ‘My sister, I love you, but this has got to go,’” he said.

The Black Blue Dog–a politically conservative African American site–pounced on Cleaver’s remarks and used Paul Butler, a law professor at Georgetown University, to express their conservative stance on the president:

The president knows we are going to act in deference to him in way we wouldn’t to someone white.” Paul Butler, law professor at Georgetown University and author of Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice, wrote a column in response to Cleaver’s remarks. “This is black solidarity at its most self-defeating,” he said. “It’s why, as the President hands out goodies to other core groups in the Democratic base, African-Americans get squat…African-Americans, on the other hand, are like Charlie Brown on Halloween,” Butler said. “While everyone else gets candy, they get a rock. Obama’s most emphatic statement on black unemployment was back in 2009, when he said, ‘I can’t pass laws that say I’m just helping black folks. I’m president of the entire United States.’ ”

The funny thing is that Cleaver makes these statements just weeks after the EUR reported his praise of the president at the Democratic National Convention September 5. But now it looks like he was just doing his job as a Democrat and the leader of the CBC.  What do you think?

Read more here.

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