First 100 Days: Obama earns ‘A’, with ‘incomplete’ for grassroots economics

WASHINGTON – Today marks the 100th day in office for America’s first Black president.

WASHINGTON – Today marks the 100th day in office for America’s first Black president.

How is Barack Obama doing on issues pertaining to African-Americans from a civil rights perspective? Pointing out that 100 days is simply not enough time to tell, some civil rights leaders give him an ‘A’ so far, most also noting an ‘incomplete’ on the grassroots economy.

“There are some ‘A’s and a couple of incompletes,” the Rev. Jesse Jackson said in a phone interview from Thailand.

He also listed Obama’s reaching out to Cuba, Venezuela and the overture toward Iran as all A’s along with his dealing with the student loan industry, which Jackson described as a “$95 billion a year rip off.”

“There’s an incomplete on the stimulus because it must be more targeted to get to the bottom. As the states get it, they’re using the term shovel-ready. But, shovel-ready for those who don’t have a shovel because of the lack of capital and lack of credit means they may not be ready. That could be seen as boot straps without the boots.”

To be fair, Jackson conceded that the president could only demand that the money gets out of Washington.

“But we must demand that the states get it down to where the people are,” he said. “We have to be certain that it gets down to the most unemployed, the most in need of training, the most in need of business development. That’s an ongoing struggle there.”


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In photo: President Barack Obama smiles after being introduced during a town hall meeting Wednesday, April 29, 2009, at Fox Senior High School in Arnold, Mo.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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