For the first three and a half years of his administration, Black constituents (mainly the Congressional Black Caucus) have practically begged President Obama for special attention to address staggeringly poor numbers in Black student achievement, economic performance and youth violence rates.
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And for those three and a half years, Obama has resisted that call – saying that programs targeted for any specific segment of the population was the wrong way to go.
Obama said a better strategy was to target programs to the masses, regardless of color or ethnicity, and everyone would benefit. But with a close re-election race looming in November, Obama has changed his tune to some degree, creating the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.
Black performance in schools is a national disgrace – and no single remedy will fix it.
But it was just as bad three and a half years ago. So why the creation of the office now?
We have been hearing a lot about how Obama needs to fire up his base for the upcoming election. It’s true. Four years ago, the Obama campaign had the feel of an unstoppable crusade – and it was led by the black vote.
Does anyone feel that same spirit in the air today?
Maybe that’s why Obama has seen the light and decided to throw the CBC a much needed bone in the form of the office Educational Excellence for African Americans.