Black Activists in Chicago React to Obamaâs State of the Union Speech â and It Isnât Pretty
A group of black grassroots activists in Chicago sat and listened to President Barack Obamaâs State of the Union speech on Tuesday, hoping to hear a new and uplifting message. Instead, they say they heard much of the same empty rhetoric that they have grown accustomed to hearing from politicians in Washington.
The activists gave their reactions to Obamaâs big speech in a number of eye-opening interviews with the conservative blog Rebel Pundit. Given the presidentâs strong support within the black community, many of their comments will come as a surprise to some.
J.R. Fleming, a member of Chicagoâs Anti-Eviction Campaign, said Obamaâs speech was âthe same olâ, same olâ.â He summed up the address as a âbunch of talk and rhetoric to give favor to a dying economy in America.â
âAnd the reason why our economy is dying is the presidentâs approach is always to place blame,â he added. âItâs not the 1 percent problem, itâs not the 99 percent problem, itâs an American problem. And the problem is patronage, nepotism and cronyism.â
Joe Watkins, the founder of V.O.T.E. (Voices of the Ex-Offender), said Obama has been âmore hurtful to the black race than he has been helpful.â He claimed some people will accept his failures due to âsymbolicâ reasons relating to the color of his skin.
âBut those of us at the bottom of the ladder donât accept that,â he added.
Watkins also criticized the president for focusing so much on raising the minimum wage when too many people donât have jobs at all. How will raising the minimum wage âgoing to help people who donât have any jobs right now?â he asked.
Another activist with V.O.T.E. actually addressed Obama personally, telling him the black community would probably better off if he ended his presidency right now.
âJust quit,â Mark Carter said. âBecause if this is what you call helping us, then just stop helping us.â
Watch the video via Rebel Pundit, which already has more than 112,000 views:
It should be noted that just because this particular group of activists are openly critical of the president, that doesnât automatically mean that they are conservative. In fact, it is possible that the activists are disappointed that Obama hasnât been far-left enough during his time in office. The video doesnât provide any insight into the activistsâ personal political views.