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Obama seeks support from African Americans


15:57, November 10, 2011

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Saying the jobless rate in the African American community "way too high," U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday called on African Americans to be persistent and unified to get through tough times.

"The unemployment rate in the African American community has always historically been higher than the norm. And since the unemployment rate generally is high right now, it is way too high when it comes to the African American community," Obama said during an appearance at the African American Policy in Action Leadership Conference being held at the White House.

The president said that some of the measures the administration has so far taken to address the challenges the nation is facing are "longer term" and "will not bear full fruit for some years to come," like those in education and healthcare.

"If we are persistent, if we are unified, and we remain hopeful, then we'll get through these tough times and better days lie ahead, " he said.

The remarks came as a vast majority of Americans are dissatisfied with the direction of the country and disapprove of Obama's handling of economic issues, as many opinion polls showed. It's unclear whether the increasingly impatient voters are willing to give Obama another four years to get the economy back on track.

African Americans played an important role in sending Obama to the White House in 2008. While the president's approval ratings among African Americans have somewhat declined during his presidency, they are still much higher than those among other ethnic groups and the nation's average.

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