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But his acknowledgment of the burgeoning gap between the 1 percent and the rest of America does not go far enough. The revival of a nation in which more than 46 million people live below the poverty line and millions more belong to the working poor requires bold and imaginative legislative proposals.
For blacks, who are disproportionately poor, the most effective legislation would require a mix of universal (health care) and targeted (jobs, education) legislation that could provide not only equal opportunity but also equal outcomes, which, in the final analysis, will be the true measure of Obama’s impact on black America.
A half century after the March on Washington, America needs bold and imaginative legislation to jump-start the tepid growth of the American economy, including a much-needed jobs and reinvestment plan in urban cities that house some of the nation’s poorest, and largely black, neighborhoods.
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Peniel Joseph is founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy and a professor of history at Tufts University.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.