Under Barack Obama, blacks in America have lost ground economically. That is the assessment of PBS host Tavis Smiley.
In a recent appearance on FNC in which the government shutdown was the primary topic of conversation, Sean Hannity asked Smiley if African-Americans are now better off five years into the Obama presidency. See embed above.
Smiley responded as follows:
Let me answer your question very forthrightly. No, they are not. The data is going to indicate sadly that when the Obama administration is over, black people will have lost ground in every single leading economic indicator category. On that regard, the president ought to be held responsible.
Added Smiley: “But here’s the other side. I respect the president. I will protect the president. And I will correct the president. He’s right on this government shutdown. Republicans are thwarting the rule of law with the Constitution. If they let this debt go into default, they’re trampling again on the Constitution.”
Smiley has been critical of the some of President Obama policies in the past. For example, he faulted the administration for giving only lip service to bringing federal charges against George Zimmerman, and claimed the president’s remarks about the controversial not-guilty verdict were “as weak as pre-sweetened Kool-Aid.”
He and colleague Cornel West, the Princeton University professor, have also opposed the president’s overseas deployment of lethal drones. In 2012, Smiley and West joined forces in a “Poverty Tour” which they said was a way to highlight the plight of the poor in America, who were being ignored by all of the presidential candidates.
Criticism of the GOP notwithstanding, other vocal political opponents of the current administration have argued with NSA surveillance, selectively enforcing some provisions of Obamacare and not others, or bypassing Congress with executive orders relating to immigration enforcement and on other issues, the president is also operating outside the Constitution.
Do you think Tavis Smiley’s appraisal of the Obama economic record holds water?