NAACP president Ben Jealous, president of the National Urban League and former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, and National Action Network head Al Sharpton headed to a snowed-over White House to discuss the disappointing job situation for black Americans. In advance of the meeting, Jealous told The Root that he planned "to talk about jobs and the crisis in our community and how to make sure we don’t see another month where national unemployment goes down and black unemployment goes up.”
When the trio left their meeting, they had lots to say. From NBC's First Read:
"We stressed and we continue to press the idea that any jobs initiative, jobs bill, that goes to the Congress has to be inclusive," said Morial. "We talked about summer jobs; we talked about job training for the chronically unemployed; we talked about our strong support for the measures that the president has already proposed to expand small business lending, which is something that we think can have a great and powerful, positive impact on jobs in this nation."
An interesting moment came when Jealous compared what he called the obstructionist practices of Senate Republicans — who have held up various pieces of legislation — with the "Dixiecrats" who stood in the way of civil rights.
"If the Senate Republicans want to kind of keep on using tactics, quite frankly, from the last century that were used against black people in this century against working people, then we're going to hold them to account and we're gonna push them even harder to come up with ideas, because it's not enough to say 'No, no no' when people are suffering, suffering, suffering across this country."
Indeed, many Republicans are starving states and local governments out of "political principle." Are they wrong?