Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Florida) has never been a shrinking violet. He was, in fact, in full bloom at the National Newspaper Publishers Association's mid-winter convention, where he accused President Obama of disrespecting all things Black: congressional lawmakers, media and HBCU graduates, the Sacramento Observer reports.
In Hastings' opinion, Obama is biting the very hands that feed him, or rather pulled the levers in the voting booths that helped him win re-election. He's not alone. Others have accused the president of not building a diverse enough cabinet in his second term, including veteran New York lawmaker Rep. Charles Rangel.
The Florida lawmaker noted in his remarks that the Congressional Black Caucus sent to Obama a list of 61 potential candidates the group had vetted for positions in the president's second term.
"Time went by. Not one of that 61 was selected – not one," he said.
Hastings also said the president's re-election campaign spent about $1 million in advertising with African-American newspapers, and that it had been pressured to increase its initial budget of $650,000.
"If I was president of the United States, there is no way in hell that I would raise a billion dollars and don't spend but a million dollars with people who probably had as much to do with my becoming president as anybody," Hastings said.
According to Hastings, Obama hasn't invested enough in funding in Black colleges and universities and has also not appointed any HBCU graduates to serve in his administration.
For the most part, CBC members have been reluctant to publically air some of the criticisms they may privately share. But now that the threat of harming Obama's re-election prospects no longer exists, only time will tell whether they will be more outspoken during his second term.
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(Photo: REUTERS/Joe Skipper)