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Black lawmakers say Obama isn't doing enough on racial tensions

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While Democratic lawmakers place the lion’s share of the blame on Republicans for the state of affairs, they betray disappointment that more progress has not been made since the civil rights movement won its biggest victories.

Asked whether the overall trajectory of race relations has been positive or negative in recent years, the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), paused for a moment.

“Right after the election of the president, I would have thought it was going in a positive direction, but I am not so sure anymore,” she said.

“I think we have lost ground as it relates to our tolerance of people who are different or people who we believe have not worked hard enough. You hear the language all the time on talk radio — the buzzwords, often primarily directed at low-income people and communities of color.”

Fudge’s party colleague and fellow CBC member Rep. Barbara Lee (Calif.) suggested that the presence of the first black president has sparked more open conversation about racial issues. This, she suggested, could be seen as a positive development overall, yet one that has also led to bruised feelings.

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