During his press conference last night, Barack Obama took a question from Andre Showell of BET.
Showell asked about African American Unemployment:
As the entire nation tries to climb out of this deep recession, in communities of color, the circumstances are far worse, the black unemployment rate, as you know, is in the double digits. And in New York City, for example, the black unemployment rate for men is near 50 percent. My question to you tonight is: given this unique and desperate circumstance, what specific policies can you point to that will target these communities and what’s the timetable for us to see tangible results?
Obama responded by saying that a number of his measures were targeted to help all Americans and that minorities would also benefit from these measures.
When we put in place additional dollars for community health centers to ensure that people are still getting the help that they need, or we expand health insurance to millions more children through the Children’s Health Insurance Program, again, those probably disproportionately impact African-American and Latino families simply because they’re the ones who are most vulnerable. They have got higher rates of uninsured in their communities.
So my general approach is that if the economy is strong, that will lift all boats as long as it is also supported by, for example, strategies around college affordability and job training, tax cuts for working families as opposed to the wealthiest that level the playing field and ensure bottom-up economic growth.
And I’m confident that that will help the African-American community live out the American dream at the same time that it’s helping communities all across the country.”