President Obama met exclusively with black leaders for the first time in a rare Oval Office meeting Wednesday. The group—including the Rev. Al Sharpton, NAACP President Benjamin T. Jealous, National Urban League Marc H. Morial—braved D.C.’s “snowpocalypse” to discuss black joblessness, and the president requested support for his economic proposals. "I think he was very clear that he was not going to engage in any race-based programs,” Sharpton said. “But at the same time, he was determined that going forward we can correct some of the structural inequalities that are currently in place." Jealous said the discussion was more about geography than race, focusing on hard-hit areas such as Detroit and the Carolinas. Some black leaders have expressed frustration with Obama, saying he has not addressed deep economic problems facing African-Americans, who have a higher unemployment rate than the national rate and who are disproportionately affected by the home foreclosure crisis.
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