Rep. West: US ‘not an Imperial Empire,’ blacks have a right to complain

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The chairman of the CBC, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), and member Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), suggested Obama veered off track in his remarks. Waters said the comments were “not appropriate” but she thought Obama “got carried away” as he was speaking and didn’t mean to insult anybody.

“I think the president stepped away from his prepared text,” Cleaver said earlier this week on MSNBC. “In the passion of the moment, he talked about the complaining he’s hearing around the country inside the party.”

However, CBC members have also expressed growing concern about rising unemployment in the black community and a lack of action on the part of the president. The caucus sponsored job fairs during the August recess.

“When you look at a community that is truly suffering — 16.7 percent [black] unemployment, 20 percent adult black unemployment and 45 [percent] to 46 percent black teenage unemployment, [a] 41 percent increase in food stamp recipients, poverty at the highest in 50 years, it is not about you coming up and telling people they have to stop complaining,” West said.