Among the outspoken African-American political and social figures that have criticized President Obama for not doing more for black Americans in these tough economic times, Al Sharpton has emerged as the voice of support for Obama’s presidential initiatives designed to help all Americans.
According to an article written for The Wall Street Journal, “President Barack Obama has turned to Mr. Sharpton in recent weeks to answer increasingly public criticism in the black community over his economic policy. Some black leaders are charging that the nation’s first African-American president has failed to help black communities hit hard by the downturn, leaving party strategists worried that black Democrats will become dispirited and skip November’s congressional elections.”
Sharpton used the platform of his national radio show to fire back stating that “The president does not need to get out there and do what we should be doing,” adding that if the President did just that, it would create just the right climate for conservatives and other Obama critics to defeat legislation that would actually assist blacks, rather than hurt them.
On one particular show, Al Sharpton and Tavis Smiley, prominent black talk show host, butted heads over this issue where Mr. Sharpton stated that “…it was a ‘double standard’ for Mr. Smiley and other critics to expect more from a black president than they would demand of a white Democratic president.”
Although during most of his campaign, President Obama steered clear of historically radical black civil rights leaders, Al Sharpton is now an unlikely ally in addressing the concerns of some black leaders and establishing solidarity for the president.
To read the entire article “Obama’s New Partner: Al Sharpton,” visit The Wall Street Journal online.
Listen to the big debate between Tavis Smiley and Al Sharpton: