Rep. Emanuel Cleaver — the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus — told The Daily Caller that African Americans won’t “march on the White House” over the high unemployment rate in the black community because President Barack Obama is black.
Following his appearance at Republican Rep. Allen West’s Black Conservative Forum, Cleaver elaborated on his past comments about Obama’s image in the African American community, saying, “The point I was making is that black people hold the president in such high esteem, that they would not dare march on the White House even though unemployment is at 15 percent and higher and if there was a white president we would do that because we’ve had white presidents since George Washington.”
Cleaver continued, “The point was that if we had anybody else in the White House, with this level of unemployment, that you know, you would see a lot more African Americans, African American organizations and retro organizations speaking out against it. But because he is revered, you know, he gets I guess the benefit of, you know, understanding that the situation was terrible when he came in. So, we’re not doing that.”
The Missouri Democrat told TheDC that he personally resisted a proposed Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) “prayer” demonstration at the White House.
“I was resistant to a group of individuals who wanted to lock arms, surround the White House, with several thousand people during the ALC this past October and pray. I resisted it because I thought if we did that it would be interpreted as some kind of assault on the president, which I was not willing to launch,” he said.