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Obama, the Black agenda and reality

THE REV. AL SHARPTON | 5/25/2011, 5:37 p.m.

Early last year, leaders from the National Urban League, the NAACP and National Action Network (represented by myself) met with the president. Some weeks later, members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) did the same, and this year, our commander-in-chief addressed National Action Network's 20th anniversary gala awards dinner in New York. A few weeks following our convention, the president met again with the CBC. The message has been unanimous: We need more jobs, more opportunities and equality across the board.

Throughout my years in the civil rights struggle, I have had my conflicts and will continue to have them, but at the end of the day, I take solace in the fact that we have diligently fought to end police misconduct and discrimination in all facets of society, while pushing for an increase in diversity in the corporate and business world. And it's a fight we will continue regardless of who is in the White House. But as we call attention to inequities, we must be careful in ensuring we are not impractical in our demands. And we must be equally as weary of those who will attack the president on anything and everything for their own self-gain.

It's interesting that both the CBC and civil rights groups agreed on many of the same principles and much of the same agenda. Perhaps it's because we were all in the trenches trying to resolve the problem, and not sell a book.