Archives for July 2011
President Obama is surrounding himself with priceless pieces of art depicting some glimpses of U.S. history. Since President Obama took office there are a lot more pieces depicting African American history in and surrounding the Oval Office. Inside the Oval Office is a bust of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King’s quotes also trim the Oval Office rug. Above Dr. King’s bust is the original framed document to free enslaved Africans in America, The Emancipation Proclamation. Also, a Portrait of President Lincoln hangs on the Oval Office wall as well as a portrait of the nations first President George Washington. Another glimpse of African American history now hangs in the hallway outside the Presidents Office until October 31, 2011. The priceless 1963 Norman Rockwell painting is of six year old black girl, Ruby Bridges. The picture depicts her walk to first grade escorted by Federal Marshall’s after the school board mandated desegregation of two New Orleans schools in 1960. The Rockwell painting also spells out the N-word on the wall behind Bridges. Meanwhile, the school boards historic action signaled the beginning of integration of that system. Bridges, now 56, told ABC News: “Driving up I could see the crowd, but living in New Orleans, I actually thought it was Mardi Gras. There was a large crowd of people outside of the school. They were throwing things and shouting, and that sort of goes on in New Orleans at Mardi Gras.” The only way to see the painting up close, if you are fortunate to get a West Wing tour or if you are in the West Wing on business and happen to walk by.
President Obama’s address to the nation on the debt crisis.
No deal yet on reducing the debt! President Obama held a host of meetings Thursday on working out a deal by the August 2nd deadline. Earlier in the process the White House said 80 percent of the deal had to be done by July 22nd. Now Obama administration officials are backing away from that statement.
Intensive meeting are on going. One of the meetings President Obama hosted Thursday was with Civil Rights heads of the NAACP and the National Urban League on matters affecting minority communities during times of budget cuts. The meeting was termed “positive” by all sides. Marc Morial, Urban League head says the President was asked to pull back the budget ax on communities that are already in pain. Both leaders contend the President understands and plans to follow up with the leaders along with his cabinet on job creation for the black and brown communities. Currently the over all unemployment rate stands at 9.2 percent while the black unemployment rates is at 16.2 percent and the Hispanic rate is in the 12 percentile range. The black unemployment numbers even prompted the Obama Administration to commission a study THE BLACK WORK FORCE IN THE RECOVERY. Morial believes President Obama is so committed to the idea that we have to address our debts and deficits in a balanced way.
After the extended meeting, reporters asked Ben Jealous, President of the NAACP, should minorities brace for the worst. “We’re in the worst. I mean, Let’s be clear where we are right now! We are in the worst! And, If folks are not bracing for what we are already in then they are not fulfilling their responsibility to their family,” passionately stated by Jealous. His solution to handling the cuts is that “we should be increasing our savings rates and decreasing our consumption rates.”
Some items on the debt reduction chopping block expected to hurt minorities are Medicare, and Medicade, and Social Security. Hillary Shelton of the NAACP was in the meeting and said this about those areas of anticipated pain.
Marc Morial head of the National Urban League believes efforts to find jobs in this time of budget cuts is critical.
The President’s meeting with the rights leaders occurred on the eve of the NAACP’s 102nd national convention. The National Urban League hosts its national convention next month. President Obama is not slated to address either convention.