But all that jazz from President Obama that “we have begun to reverse the devastating slide” should give black folks the blues:
As Americans, and as human beings, we seek not only the security, but the sense of dignity, the sense of community, that work confers. That is why it was heartening news that last month, for the first time in more than two years, our economy created a substantial number of jobs, instead of losing them. We have begun to reverse the devastating slide, but we have a long way to go to repair the damage from this recession, and that will continue to be my focus every single day.
Obama’s race problem just got a little deeper. As the rest of the country is starting to see light at the end of the economic tunnel, the African American community just walked into a deeper, darker crawl space than the one it was in before. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released unemployment data for the month of March, finding that unemployment for whites remained steady, while the jobs numbers for African Americans tanked, going from 15.8 percent unemployment to an astonishing 16.5 percent.
The labor reports don't look good for President Obama, who has been met with considerable pressure from members of the black community to improve the jobs situation for people of color. There are some who argue, with good reason, that the president is simply not working as hard for black folks as he is for everyone else. it can also be said that Obama's massive effort to fight the job shortage throughout the United States seems to have been working to a certain degree. The month of March was good for most Americans, who were spared further increases in the rate of unemployment. The bad news for the president and his economic advisors is that the rising tide is not raising all ships.
During a gallery lecture, Hendricks said he was inspired by the coolness associated with jazz musicians like Miles Davis, who “epitomized cool,” and the Modern Jazz Quartet, and some stylish subjects:
There is a message that each of us communicates to the world by our fashion choices.
Hendricks’ life-sized portraits include cool cats such as “Dr. Kool,” “Sir Charles, Alias Willie Harris” and “George Jules Taylor,” and hip chicks like “Ms. Johnson,” “Miss T” and “Lawdy Mama.” And since Hendricks is pretty cool and, ahem, “Brilliantly Endowed,” there are a number of self-portraits.
I've come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles -- principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.
Good luck with that.
A new Rasmussen poll found that only 28 percent of U.S. voters think America’s relationship with the Muslim world will be better this time next year. Twenty-one percent say the relationship will be worse.
Similarly, a Gallup poll found that 80 percent of Americans believe Muslims have an unfavorable view of the U.S.
Truth be told, the United States has been seeking a “new beginning” and “common ground” with Muslims for quite a while.
American diplomats embraced musical diplomacy because they were “eager to present a positive image of America abroad.”
It is said that “music has charms that soothe the savage breast.” Jazz didn’t change many hearts and minds in the Middle East. Time will tell whether Obama’s respectful tone will remake U.S.-Muslim relations.
Unlike most political junkies, I am not spending the day glued to my TV screen or computer monitor. Instead, I plan to visit various polling places, attend a panel discussion on illegal immigration, and enjoy the music of Duke Ellington at a Black History Month celebration.
By the time I get home, the polls will be closed except in California. I hope the TV bloviators are able to restrain themselves, let the democratic process run its course and not project a winner before the polls close in that state.
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