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BLACK LEADERS turn up the heat on President Obama – POLITICO.com

August 30, 2011

Obama suddenly finds himself the target of criticism from the black cultural elite. | AP Photo Close

Black leaders turn up the heat on President Obama

By GLENN THRUSH & JOSEPH WILLIAMS | 8/30/11 4:35 AM EDT Updated: 8/30/11 12:24 PM EDT

If there’s anything close to a political certainty in 2012, it’s that Barack Obama will get more than 90 percent of the African-American vote.

But that doesn’t mean every black Obama supporter will vote for him happily — nor does it guarantee that turnout will approach the stratospheric levels of 2008, even though Obama needs a huge showing from his base to offset the expected loss of swing voters in states like North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

With that in mind, prominent black leaders — fearing Obama is not only taking them for granted but avoiding them in public — have turned up the heat on the nation’s first African-American president, transforming all-in-the-family concerns into open criticism of the president at a time when they had hoped the completion of a monument to Martin Luther King Jr. near the National Mall would bring a moment of unity.

The leaders are tired, they say, of Obama dog-whistling his support for a broad black agenda rather than explicitly embracing the kind of war on racism, poverty and economic segregation embodied by King.

“You can spend a lot of time trying to win over white independents, but if you don’t pay attention to your base, African-Americans, if you have not locked up your base yet, you’ve got a serious problem,” said CNN contributor Roland Martin.

via Black leaders turn up the heat on President Obama – Glenn Thrush and Joseph Williams – POLITICO.com.

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