Obama speaks to black leaders (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Barack Obama, under fire from African-Americans for what they see as his inattention to their needs — fired back at the annual awards dinner of the Congressional Black Caucus Saturday night, telling blacks to stop whining and get to work helping him win a second term.

“Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes,” Obama told the audience. “Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’ Stop cryin’. We are going to press on. We have work to do.”

The crowd cheered and applauded the President’s rallying cry.

Obama admitted times are tough — especially on the black community where unemployment is double the national average.

So many people are still hurting, So many people are barely hanging on and so many people in this city are fighting us every step of the way.  It gets folks discouraged. I know. I listen to some of y’all. I need your help. The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.

While Congressional black leaders continue to support the nation’s first African-American president, they are still vocal about what they see as his failure to step up and deal with their problems.

“If Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this problem, we probably wold be marching on the White House, ” black caucus chairman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri said in a recent interview.

Cleaver had harsh words for Obama’s debt-limit deal with Republicans, an agreement he called “a sugar-coated Satan sandwich.”


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