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Published On: Mon, Jul 29th, 2013

President Obama says income inequality worsening will cause increased racial tensions

In an interview with the New York Times, President Obama warned that racial tensions in America might “get worse” if the divide in income between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of the country comes to grow.

Sen. Barack Obama announces his candidacy for President of the United States at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill. on Feb. 10, 2007.  (photo by Pete Souza)

Sen. Barack Obama announces his candidacy for President of the United States at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill. on Feb. 10, 2007.
(photo by Pete Souza)

“People are frustrated. That’s what they talk to me about and that’s what they write to me about. (They say) ‘I’m doing okay right now, but what I’ve seen over the last 20 years and what I learned profoundly during this crisis is that the ground under my feet just isn’t as secure, and that the work I’m doing may not be rewarded.’  . . . And if that’s not what Washington’s talking about, then we will be missing the boat,” Obama said in a 40-minute with the paper.”

He added, “And racial tensions won’t get better; they may get worse, because people will feel as if they’ve got to compete with some other group to get scraps from a shrinking pot.”

The President was discussing his broader economic agenda, which he highlighted in a series of speeches last week. But Obama was also asked about this year’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, when Martin Luther King gave his iconic “I Have a Dream Speech,” and used that question to speak broadly about race and class in America. (The president also noted he would “absolutely” be part of the anniversary celebration.)

“It’s obviously a historic, seminal event in the country. It’s part of my generation’s formative memory and it’s a good time for us to do some reflection. Obviously, after the Trayvon Martin case, a lot of people have been thinking about race, but I always remind people — and, in fact, I have a copy of the original program in my office, framed — that that was a march for jobs and justice; that there was a massive economic component to that,” Obama said.

He continued, “When you think about the coalition that brought about civil rights, it wasn’t just folks who believed in racial equality; it was people who believed in working folks having a fair shot. It was Walter Reuther and the UAW coming down here because they understood that if there are some workers who are not getting a fair deal then ultimately that’s going to undercut their ability to get a fair deal.”

 

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says:

    ARTICLES LIKE THIS MAKE ME ANGRY.

    RECENTLY, AM1070-WDIA IN MEMPHIS – WHICH CLAIMS TO BE THE NATION’S FIRST black radio station – HAD A TALK SHOW IN WHICH A black caller WAS UPSET BECAUSE THE KENYAN USES “Ebonics” WHEN TALKING TO blacks AND CORRECT ENGLISH WHEN TALKING TO CAUCASIANS. OH, MAN! THE OTHER black callers “WENT-OFF, LIKE AN EIGHT-DAY CLOCK!” [I immediately thought about the Kenyan’s Morehouse speech].

    MY POINT IS, THE KENYAN HAS THE BAD HABIT OF ENGAGING IN LOVEFESTS WITH blacks WHEN HE IS IN TROUBLE. IT IS NO COINCIDENCE THIS ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED ON 29 JULY – AFTER, THE KENYAN’S red line fiasco. SO, HOW CAN THE KENYAN TALK ABOUT INCOME INEQUALITY WHEN HIS BABY [Obamacare] WILL PLACE blacks “IN THE COLD?” FURTHERMORE, THE KENYAN SHOWED A “RUN FROM blackness” BY, ON ONE HAND, VACATIONING IN AFRICA – AND, ON THE OTHER, BEING NON-PROACTIVE IN REFERENCE TO THE NAIROBI MALL-MASSACRE. [I thought Kenya was the home of the Kenyan’s “biological” father …..].

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

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