“The president is now in his second term. Because of the Voting Rights Act and the Trayvon Martin case” and the disproportionately greater impact on the black community from the recession, said National Urban League President Marc Morial, “I think that the table is set for the president to think about how he can address these issues not just in words, but renew some of the issues that he’s championed.”
For Morial, that means Obama, with the help of Congress, taking back up the JOBS Act and gun control legislation, and, in the wake of the Zimmerman verdict, doing so explicitly in the context of race.
Some older black leaders admit a sense of resignation after years of disappointment. Though Obama’s expected to be asked to elaborate in a series of interviews with Spanish language television stations scheduled for Tuesday, they haven’t heard much from the president since the Florida jury returned Saturday night, and they weren’t expecting to…
“This is an opportunity for us not to kick the can down the road again, and I think it’s a chance for the president to get larger than the regular politics and the racial riffs would dictate,” said Cornell Belcher, an African-American and a pollster who worked on both of Obama’s presidential campaigns. “It’s an opportunity to create an understanding. A lot of white America doesn’t seem to understand the hurt that’s in the African-American community today.”