Tavis Smiley: In The Era of Obama Blacks Have Lost Ground In Every Major Economic Category

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PBS host Tavis Smiley acknowledges that he, and others, got "so caught up in the symbolism of the Obama presidency," that they didn't press as hard as they should have on issues that are important to the black community.

"Sadly, and it pains me to say this, over the last decade black folk, in the era of Obama have lost ground in every major economic category," Smiley said Friday in an interview with Huffington Post. "Not one, two or three [categories], but every major economic category, black americans have lost ground"

"We've been so caught up in the symbolism of the Obama presidency, we haven't pressed as hard as we should on the substance of this presidency," Smiley said. "Black people and black leaders have been too deferential to this president."

TAVIS SMILEY: Sadly, and it pains me to say this, over the last decade black folk, in the era of Obama have lost ground in every major economic category. Not one, two or three [categories], but every major economic category, black americans have lost ground...

Although black folk have caught the most hell in the last 10 years, including being shot and killed in the streets by cops who keep getting away with that... black people are still the most optimistic people, they're still the most hopeful about their future. That has a lot to do with our faith, with our belief in each other, with our love for Barack Obama...

We've been so caught up in the symbolism of the Obama presidency, we haven't pressed as hard as we should on the substance of this presidency... Black people and black leaders have been too deferential to this president. They've been deferential because they know he was being piled on by the Republicans. They saw the obstructionism. They saw the name calling… They've heard about the death threats, they've seen people breaking into the white house and climbing the fence, stuff that never happened with white presidents. So there's a skepticism, if not a cynicism, about what's happened to this president on his watch.

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