Obama Can't Win With Some Black Critics

Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart says that what's missing from most African-American critiques of President Obama is an appreciation for Republican resistance to his agenda.

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President Barack Obama at Morehouse College's commencement cermony (Mandel Ngan/Getty Images)

Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart says that what's missing from most African-American critiques of President Obama is an appreciation for Republican resistance to his agenda.

Here we go again. President Obama's critics in the African American community are hammering him for doing nothing for black people. Drawing my attention this time is "How the Obama Administration Talks to Black America" by Ta-Nehisi Coates of the Atlantic and "A President for Everyone, except Black People" by the Rev. Kevin Johnson that appeared last month in the Philadelphia Tribune.

While I understand where they are coming from, this thinking drives me crazy because the president's detractors fail to take a 360-degree view of what they are demanding from him and ignore what he's actually done.

Obama inspires deeply conflicted emotions in the African American community. We are beyond thrilled to have "one of us" in the White House. To see that man and his family represent us (all Americans, in this case) on the world stage never fails to stoke our pride. Yet, that pride is tempered by a simmering discontent. Many accuse Obama not only of ignoring the concerns of black people, but also of talking down to them. Let me take issue with the latter first.

Coates's criticism emanates from Obama's commencement address at Morehouse College in Atlanta ...

Read Jonathan Capehart's entire piece at the Washington Post.

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Sept. 19 2014 8:34 AM