African-American support for President Barack Obama appeared to be declining due to the rocky economy that has hit blacks in the U.S. especially hard, and the perceived notion that the president has ignored their problems.
Democratic Representative of Maryland Elijah Cummings said that African-Americans want to see Obama “fight, and fight harder” in response to the high unemployment rates amongst the black community.
“We are totally frustrated, and people need to know that the president feels their pain,” Cummings said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday.
A Gallup poll surveyed last week a decrease in Obama’s approval rating in the African-American community. Earlier in his term President Obama had 95 percent approval, but now he is rated 81 percent – tying his worst ever showing from earlier in the year.
According to Cummings, he is a big supporter of the president but he believes Obama needs to know that there are a lot of people suffering, and in Baltimore, just 40 miles from the White House – around 40 percent of black males are unemployed.
“He needs to go back to the horse that brought him in. In other words, when he came in he talked about hope, he talked about jobs, he has talked about fairness, he has talked about addressing Wall Street effectively and efficiently, and trying to make a difference,” said Cummings.
He added, “He [Obama] has got to go back to those basic points. That's what got him in.”
The frustration with President Obama could have hit new highs partly because of the debt ceiling debate last month, during which critics believed Obama made too many compromises with Republicans.
AFP reported that many blacks who voted Democratic want to see more “push-back” from the president in future dealings with the conservative Tea Party.
Last week, California congresswoman Maxine Waters criticized Obama’s bus tour for not stopping in African-American communities.
"We don't know why on this trip that he's in the United States now, he's not in any black community," Waters said.
"We want to give him every opportunity, but our people are hurting. The unemployment is unconscionable. We don't know what the strategy is," she continued. “We’re supportive of the president, but we getting tired, y’all, getting tired."
According to Cummings, the black community has seen Obama “as their son, as their brother, and they see us and they are very proud of him.”
However he added, "Almost every African-American I have talked to said they want him to fight, and fight harder.”