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Bob Johnson Implies that the Obama Camp Has Not Been Responsive to Black Unemployment

Billioniare Bob Johnson is pushing President Obama to encourage corporations to interview at least two qualified African American candidates.

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BET founder Bob Johnson is encouraging President Obama to get serious about black unemployment. The billionaire businessman met with the President last winter — along with a dozen other black business leaders — to discuss a plan to increase employment within the black community, but after arranging follow-up meetings with White House staff, he said the effort eventually “fizzled out.”

The plan Johnson presented to the president was to encourage U.S. corporations to voluntarily embrace a plan to interview at least two qualified minority candidates for every job at the vice president level or above. He added that companies should also interview two minority-owned firms for vendor supply and other contracts. “We are never going to close this gap unless there is a conscious commitment to do so,” Johnson said of the unemployment disparity. When the idea was presented to President Obama last year, Johnson says the president said he liked the idea and would pursue it with his jobs council — a panel of corporate leaders that advises the president on job creation. Johnson said the idea follows the Rooney Rule model used in the NFL that requires teams to interview minority candidates seeking head-coaching or general manager jobs before making hiring decisions. .

Johnson’s plan has been endorsed by the National Urban League, the Congressional Black Caucus, the U.S. Black Chamber Inc., and leading civil rights leaders. He said he decided to issue a public statement pushing the idea after reading an article in the Washington Post about the racial unemployment gap. White House spokesman, Kevin S. Lewis, responded to Johnson’s remarks in  a statement saying: “President Obama is deeply committed to growing our economy from the middle out by ensuring a strong, secure, and thriving middle-class and ensuring that everyone has a fair s**t, a fair shake and plays by the same set of rules.”

Johnson said the president seems to believe that an improvement in the economy would address the problem, but black joblessness needs to be tackled head-on. Although the nation funded billions of dollars towards education, which resulted in the number of black college graduates tripling over the past 25 years, Johnson said “it is not moving the needle” on unemployment.

Do you agree with Bob Johnson?

 

41 Responses to Bob Johnson Implies that the Obama Camp Has Not Been Responsive to Black Unemployment

  1. Pingback: Bob Johnson Encourages Business Leaders to Hire African-Americans | Black Blue Dog

  2. JayTru Reply

    January 6, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    What do “Jet” and “Ebony” have to do with Bob Johnson being a billionaire? Get yor facts straight! Wrong Johnson Satchel!

  3. Ishmar Muhammad Reply

    December 27, 2012 at 10:47 am

    We have no Community we only have Neighborhoods with all that Savage Behavior f**s BullDaggers Dopefiends We have an element of our people that need to be Reformed or Removed off the Planet! We lost our sense of Community along time ago! Johnson I would just take advice from Jarule or some Rap Dummies it’s all the same ignorance!

  4. Ishmar Muhammad Reply

    December 27, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I see America doing Dirty Work Starting Wars & Stealing these Arabs Oil & Some Dumb Negroes who go across Seas for these Devils to use they ignorant a*s! These Corporations are giving Blacks an inferior Education so Crackers can hold on to power! Obama might be a trick by placing a Blackface on White Oppression! Keep your Eyes on the Prize my Real Black Brothers & Sisters! He ain’t did nothing for us, Hispanics voted for Obama because he promised them something! Negroes will get nothing because they made no demands Smiling in Whitefolks faces next gone and Shine they shoes too! He better do something for my people or this might be another White Trick! Show me something O’Drama! Pardon a Negro or Sumthin’ d**n I’m glad I left the Country tired of these Demons!

  5. Keesha Smalls Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    My People My People! Please focus on the bigger picture! Its not about Bob Johnson and TV programming! Its about a self made billionare who is a black american male giving his professional advice to the president of the united states to help find jobs for people of color, who btw have the highest unemployment rates among other americans! Bob Johnson sold BET to viacom, yes this is true. But remember under his leadership there were shows like Teen Summit, BET NEWS, Video Soul and BET tonight just to name a few! These shows dealt with issues that affected people of color of all ages! Yes He sold it to Viacom but remember BET was about to be cancelled all together. What would you do? Let them take away the network and walk away with nothing but debt? HE IS A Business Man FIRST! So I think he is living by the old saying of teach a man to fish….and you know the rest. The President has a responsibility of a Nation and I dont mean the USA. He acknowledged that himself in his first term. Yet all we here are generalizations and crickets when it comes to the African American Community…Peace..

  6. AJ Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    American mainstream businesses do not have to interview or hire black folks at any level. Affirmative Action policies began addressing such issues and yet was only an incentive for fairness. As it was dismantled effectively, many black folks lost their positions. The mainstream does not want to hire or pay black folks above a certain wage. The wave of at-will and rite-to-work laws keep wages low and produce a high turn-over of employees. The unemployment of African Americans is as much a reflection of high crime rates, an inadequate education system and a corrupt prison and criminal justice system as anything else related to race and poverty in our nation. Fix education and deconstruct corporate greed in the justice system and thereby tackle a whole host of social ills inside and outside of black American communities.

  7. Dannyboy Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    The people who are most affected by unemployment in the African American community are those who are least educated, least trained and least willing to take advantage of the few training programs offered!! People at the level Bob Johnson is talking about are usually able to find a good job because they bring something to the table.

    Programs like the Job Corps program which is supposed to help young disadvantaged youth, is a joke and is just another way for mostly white controlled companies to rip the government off!! Most of the staff employed by these companies are mostly just there for a pay check and have no desire to really work with and teach kids. Many of these same companies are in the correctional business and run PRISONS too!! This billion dollar training program needs to be reviewed and overhauled, but Washington politicians protect the companies that oerate these Centers because of the money they bring into their states and districts.

    If the President is really serious, he would review all the current training programs, eliminate those that are not working and keep or overhaul those that are working instead of wasting big bucks on companies that are only interested in PROFITS!!

  8. Dannyboy Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    The people who are most affected by unemployment in the African American community are those who are least educated, least trained and least willing to take advantage of the few training programs offered!! People at the level Bob Johnson is talking about are usually able to find a good job because they bring something to the table.

    Programs like the Job Corps program which is supposed to help young disadvantaged youth, is a joke and is just another way for mostly white controlled companies to rip the government off!! Most of the staff employed by these companies are mostly just there for a pay check and have no desire to really work with and teach kids. Many of these same companies are in the correctional business and run PRISONS too!! This billion dollar training program needs to be reviewed and overhauled, but Washington politicians protect the companies that oerate these Centers because of the money they bring into their states and districts.

    If the President is really serious, he would review all the current training programs, eliminate those that are not working and keep or overhaul those that are working instead of wasting big bucks on companies that are only interested in PROFITS!!

  9. Dannyboy Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    The people who are most affected by unemployment in the African American community are those who are least educated, least trained and least willing to take advantage of the few training programs offered!! People at the level Bob Johnson is talking about are usually able to find a good job because they bring something to the table.

    Programs like the Job Corps program which is supposed to help young disadvantaged youth, is a joke and is just another way for mostly white controlled companies to rip the government off!! Most of the staff employed by these companies are mostly just there for a pay check and have no desire to really work with and teach kids. Many of these same companies are in the correctional business and run PRISONS too!! This billion dollar training program needs to be reviewed and overhauled, but Washington politicians protect the companies that oerate these Centers because of the money they bring into their states and districts.

    If the President is really serious, he would review all the current training programs, eliminate those that are not working and keep or overhaul those that are working instead of wasting big bucks on companies that are only interested in PROFITS!!

  10. Pingback: Black Leaders Share Agenda with President Obama | Debate and Switch's Blog

  11. Sista42 Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Yes & No coming from a role of an HR Recruiter his statement has it’s merits. The president may very well be onboard with the plan and take necessary steps to initiate the idea which is at best all he can do. At the end of the day even the president does not have the power to enforce this idea and force their hand in the hiring decisions these companies choose to make. I think more black business owners starting from the bottom up should practice this same principle in these urban areas. I have gone to several fast food chains for example where I see african american managers or above and most of the staff do not look like them. On the other hand I have seen Hispanic and/or other minority groups in these same situations and most if not all their staff look like them?? Why is that is my questions? I have not followed or heard much about Mr Johnson since leaving BET so I will not criticize his agenda but I would like to know more about where he’s investing his billions into the urban communities to overturn the unemployment record. I know many who have made a way and have started without give to some degree but I have yet to see many duplicates of Magic Johnson who walks the walk just has he talks the talk. IJS

  12. rosemary davis Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    It’s people like Mr. Johnson that frankly get on my last nerves what does he expect for the President to do get a job for every black person who does not have one? It’s people like him Boyce Watkins and all his croonies that have all of these ideas but do nothing themselves to implement their ideas they just sit back and talk talk talk like a quacking duck all he has are plans well Mr.Johnson don’t wait for others too act put things in motion yourself you are the founder of BET so I am sure you have the financial means to do so

    • Satchel Reply

      December 28, 2012 at 6:10 pm

      Once the Johnson media empire was the chief media outlet for Black people in the USA. Jet, Ebony and BET made Bob Johnson a Billionaire. Since, John has sold out to people who can care less for the welfare of black people. BET now does more to promote buffoonery and ignorance in our community, then the lack of jobs.

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