President Obama hosted African-American leaders from across the country at the White House today to tout his administration’s achievements in the community and to urge his black supporters to be “persistent” through these tough economic times.
“We know tough times. And what we also know, though, is that if we are persistent, if we are unified, and we remain hopeful, then we’ll get through these tough times and better days lie ahead,” Obama said in a surprise appearance at the African-American Policy in Action Leadership Conference at the White House.
“If you maintain that spirit, then I’m confident that not only will the American, the African-American community emerge from these difficult economic times stronger than we were before, but this entire nation is going to come out more unified, better equipped to deal with the challenges of the 21st century than we were before.”
The president stressed that the 15.1 percent unemployment rate among African-Americans is “way too high,” adding that some of the challenges facing the black community before the economic crisis have worsened. “We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Obama said.
To coincide with the conference, the White House today released a report outlining how the president’s policies have impacted the African-American community.
“The report … is a compilation of everything we’ve done over the last three years that has not only lessened the severity of the crisis for millions of people, kept millions of folks out of poverty, made sure that millions of folks still had unemployment benefits, health care, et cetera, but also talks about the foundations that we are laying so that as the economy recovers, the African-American community and communities all across the country of every stripe are going to have an opportunity to finally begin to rebuild,” the president said.