The Wish List: Black America's Dreams For Obama’s 2nd Term
Dare African Americans hope for more targeted aid?
Congratulations, Mr. President! We did it! We got you another term in that old White House built by enslaved Africans. Now that you’ll be with us for four more years, we can’t accept any more excuses on why you don’t directly address concerns and issues facing African Americans.
Not that you’d been giving us many excuses in your first term. You told us flatly that you weren’t the president of Black America. You didn’t show up to last summer’s NAACP convention. You didn’t do much about the spike in black gun violence in your hometown of Chicago and elsewhere around the country. You almost completely ignored how poverty has worsened in black enclaves.
We had a hunch you were just saying those things and avoiding our problems so as not to scare off the chunk of white voters you needed to help you get re-elected. You’ll note, Mr. President, that we turned out in force for you in 2012, especially in places like Ohio and Florida. By the way, you’re welcome.
But as you declared in your acceptance speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, “Enough!”
Black America has indeed had enough. At 14.3 percent, our unemployment rate is still the highest in the nation. Our children are still enrolled in the poorest schools and school districts. Our young men are still disproportionately funneled from school yards to prison yards. You get where we’re going here.
We’d be remiss in not pointing out some of the things that you have done for us. We certainly appreciate the Affordable Care Act. Should it be implemented as planned, a lot of us will have affordable healthcare coverage by 2014. That’s certain to close the 8-percentage-point black-white gap in the rate of Americans who are uninsured. And, oh yeah, you were at the groundbreaking ceremony for the National Museum of African American History and Culture earlier this year.
But as Occupy the Hood tweeted:
We’ll need you to do a little more to live up to the title of being the first African American president. We may not get another chance at this, at least not for a long while.
We know you have a hard job. In the next couple of months, you’ll have to fight with Congress over the fiscal cliff and find replacement heads for the State Department, the CIA and possibly the Department of Justice.
To lighten your load, we’ve provided you with a wish list, almost a fantasy roster if you will, of things we’d like to see you prioritize in the first 100 days of your second term. (See the photo gallery up top.)
We still love you. We’ll be there at your inauguration in January. And we wish you nothing but luck in being the president of all people. But please don’t ignore us for another four years.