Does He Believe in Magic?

By Samuels, Allison | Newsweek, February 1, 2010 | Go to article overview

Does He Believe in Magic?


Samuels, Allison, Newsweek


Byline: Allison Samuels

Could African-Americans be the next constituency to turn away from Barack Obama? Polls show that the president still enjoys high approval ratings from black voters. But with unemployment hitting inner-city communities nearly twice as hard as the rest of the country, low rumblings of discontent are growing louder.

Actor Danny Glover recently groused to The Daily Beast that "I don't see anything different" between Obama and George W. Bush on foreign policy. After Obama accepted Harry Reid's apology for his "Negro" remark, Georgetown scholar Michael Eric Dyson accused the president of running "from race like a black man runs from a cop." And last week, Princeton professor Cornel West blasted the president during a speech at Ebenezer Baptist Church. "Even with your foot on the brake, there are too many precious brothers and sisters under the bus," he said. "Where is the talk about poverty? We've got to protect him and respect him, but we've also got to correct him if the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. is going to stay alive."

Traditionally black leaders have been reluctant to criticize one of their own in public, but that reticence is wearing off. "Obviously some issues in the community are getting worse, and the African-American leaders of the country can't just give the current president a pass," says Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile. …

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