Donald Lambro

According to the BLS, "The official 'not seasonally adjusted' unemployment rate for all black workers in the United States increased from 13.3 percent to 14.8 percent between May and June 2012; while the 'not seasonally adjusted' jobless rate for all Latino workers increased from 10.4 to 11 percent," reported the website wherechangeobama.com this week.

Worse than that, the official "not seasonally adjusted" unemployment rate for black youths between 16 and 19 years of age increased from 35.2 to 44.2 percent between May and June, and total black unemployment soared from May to June by 342,000 -- from 2.438 million to 2.780 million.

It doesn't get reported in the mainstream news media, but there's growing black criticism of Obama's abysmal performance on jobs in the African-American community.

"I think we are going to hear more voices of opposition coming from all sectors of black leadership, and certainly from the most hard pressed sections of the black population," said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, professor of African American Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia.

And there are signs some black leaders are not buying Obama's excuses that President George W. Bush is responsible for all of our economy's ills, and that things have gotten better under his presidency.

"Black unemployment is in worse shape than when the recession 'ended,'" Black Agenda Radio reported earlier this year on its website.

Dr. Steven Pitts of the University of California's Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education said that black unemployment was 14.9 percent in June 2009, when the recession was officially declared over, but had risen to 15.8 percent heading into this year. Black leaders say unemployment rates in many inner cities across the country still remain around that level.

Yet despite the high unemployment rates and economic suffering that African-Americans are enduring, the NAACP audience Romney faced was sticking with Obama through thick and thin, no matter how bad things get.

But when Romney said, "I'm going to eliminate every non-essential, expensive program I can find, (and) that includes Obamacare," the boos erupted, forcing him to depart from his prepared text to return to the jobs issue after the booing stopped.

"You know, there was a survey of the Chamber of Commerce -- they carried out a survey of their members, about 1,500 surveyed, and uh, they asked them what effect Obamacare would have on their plans, and three-quarters of them said it made them less likely to hire people.

"So I say, again, that if our priority is jobs, and that's my priority, that's something I'd change and replace," he said.

It was a risky performance and could have ended badly for Romney, but he emerged from the speech as someone who was not afraid to carry his message to every group in the country, even those who may be hostile toward him.

And he proved he was not going to tailor his message to suit different audiences and that he held firm convictions that would not shift with the political tides.

The Obama campaign put out a statement saying that "African-Americans can't afford Romney economics."

Tell that to the 2.4 million black workers who cannot find a job in Obama's economy.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.

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