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Text ‘I can’t pass laws that say I’m just helping black folks. I’m the president of the entire United States,’ President Obama said.
In a series of interviews this week with media outlets aimed at African-Americans, Obama said he understands pent-up frustrations about foreclosures, bank bailouts, and festering social issues, while he also challenged assertions that he has given short shrift to cities.
“This notion somehow that, because there wasn’t a transformation overnight, that we’ve been neglectful is simply factually not accurate,’’ Obama said in an interview with the American Urban Radio Networks on Monday.
“I can’t pass laws that say I’m just helping black folks. I’m the president of the entire United States,’’ he said. “What I can do is make sure that I am passing laws that help all people, particularly those who are most vulnerable and most in need.’’
particularly those who are most vulnerable and most in need.’’[
Observers and political analysts say Obama’s courting of black media, including an interview with Oprah Winfrey recorded during the White House Christmas party and broadcast during prime time last week, is meant to repair the complex relationship between the first black president and some of his African-American critics - including members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
“I’m optimistic about the long-term future of the African-American community, but it’s going to take work,’’ the president said in the Urban Radio Networks interview. “It was never going to be done just because we elected me.’’
“I would hate to see Obama get hit harder than any other president because he hasn’t been able to do more than other presidents,’’ Ellison said. “But we go to our districts, people are calling us, people are saying they can’t find work. We can’t sit by and say nothing because of who he is. So we are in the position of raising the issue without holding him to a double standard. It [isn’t] easy.’’