We've Only Just Begun
6 months ago
Getting Barack Obama re-elected is only the beginning of the work that African Americans must do
One of my favorite gospel songs of late is by Israel Houghton, featuring James Fortune and Jason Nelson. The song is called “It’s Not Over” and the lyrics say,
“It’s not over, it’s not finished. It’s not ending, it’s only the beginning. When God is in it, all things are new.”
It’s how I feel after Tuesday’s re-election of Barack Obama. As National Action Network traveled across the country on our Voter Engagement Tour, the enthusiasm for President Barack Obama was palpable.
Despite the media saying that there was an enthusiasm gap among black voters, polls have revealed that black voters turned out at the levels of 2008 or greater in some states.
Last presidential election, the black community was so enthralled that a black man had been elected president of the United States, despite continuing racism and the feeling that bias would never allow for one of us to ascend to those heights. We were so excited that we thought the election meant we could relax, we could sit back and see our agenda, however undefined, come to a place of realization. We thought America had come to a place where black people could achieve anything they wanted and some people came to believe that we were living in a post-racial society. We partied harder than ever during the inauguration. Some people never stopped partying. But while we were celebrating, even amid the recession and joblessness hitting the black community harder, other people were planning. They were creating laws that restricted people’s right to vote, and the people being disenfranchised were mostly black and brown. They were creating Stand Your Ground Laws that allowed George Zimmerman to shoot an innocent Trayvon Martin without being arrested, but did not allow an innocent Marissa Alexander to fire a warning shot at an abusive husband without being arrested.