Have we been bamboozled?
The Obama Years
Is Obama to blame for a country that was desperate for change? In 2008, 95% of the black population decided to vote for Barack Obama (Crabtree, 2011). They believed that the then-senator, when seated as president, would prioritize the rights and welfare of the black people. www.sixtysearch.comThe black people demanded that Barack Obama should raise awareness and lobby for the rights ‘his’ people in exchange for black votes (ibid). They believed that Obama will give the black people their fair share in society, and finally abolish white supremacy.
Eight years have passed since Obama took the presidency and improvements on the condition of the black population are yet to be seen. Statistically speaking, unemployment rate of the black population is at an all-time high (“The Obameter”, n.d).
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In addition, since Obama’s term, Hispanic and LGBT communities have made a step forward to lobbying for the needs of their community and along with their corresponding rights. The black community’s rights, however, are still left stalled (Crabtree, 2011).
In the upcoming elections, candidates can secure black votes only if they sincerely vow to fight for the rights of the black people as true citizens of America; and give recognition to the racial divide existing in the America today.
The stark difference between the two parties in the upcoming elections is their perspectives about the black people and their true place in society. It is important for the black people to be considered as part of the society.
Now, the question is, will voting really help in solving the problems with black people? Will voting help improve the welfare of the black people, their rights and their corresponding needs? It may be a slow process; but black people are slowly getting recognition as people, and their achievements in society are making a big difference. Black people, most especially in sports, now dominate many areas of society. Racism still happens and that is a fact—but the newer generations are being inculcated with color neutral perspectives.
For decades, the black people were searching for a hero who will champion the needs of the neglected black population. They believed in Obama’s promises to lift the condition of the black community. Obama said, however, in a speech on racism: black people should stop feeling sorry for themselves and start working for their place in society—that it cannot be given and must therefore be earned rightfully (Crabtree, 2011).
Analysts believe that Barack Obama does not want to be referred to as the ‘racist’ president in prioritizing the needs of the black population and thus preferred to stay neutral on issue of racial differences. In short, Obama remained on the safer side of things when dealing with the issues of the black people—which have given them no chance to, at least, have a shot at a newer and more balanced society for both colors.
So, eight years after his term and the black people are still struggling to define their place in society—a struggle to even get the most basic rights and an equal and fair share in society. The racial divide has not been merged in the presidency of Barack Obama—his promises broken.
Throughout the presidency of Barack Obama, there were certain cases of police brutality against the black people that sparked an outrage in the whole world. The case of Trayvon Martin is one of the most iconic racial discrimination cases in the US (Crabtree, 2011). It gives us a glimpse of the situation of racial divide during the Obama administration. There are more cases like this that are poorly judged by the court—making people believe that racism is not gone; that maybe racism only took a more sinister form and it still plagues America up until today.
In fact, in the eight years of Obama’s administration, he focused mainly on strengthening America as a global power, and meddling in the countries outside of jurisdiction. Set for example: he wanted to end the war in Afghanistan by 2014, but instead he ended up deploying more troops by 2016. He also focused on granting citizenship to undocumented immigrants—providing access them with access to America (“The Obameter”, n.d).
The actions and facts leads people to believe that instead of focusing on the rights of the black people, who are actual citizens of the US, Obama put more time, effort and consideration in the affairs of foreign countries and those with checks ($) correlating to their plights. Unfortunately the quality of life declined for people of brown and black skin.
We do not have a check attached to our agenda. When we had one chance and one person to advocate for us at the highest level of authority we were failed by being put into a inclusive society that continues to hang, steal, abuse, cheat, disgrace, rape, impregnate, drug, castrate, and pillage all of the good in black and leaves the aftermath as a collateral damage that had a chance to be addressed and resolved by someone we thought was our own but instead was left with our concerns never to be looked at or addressed by someone of that authority ever again.
Crabtree, S. (2011). Obama promises ‘better days’ for African-Americans. Retrieved on October 1, 2016 from http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/nov/9/obama-promises-better-days-african-americans/.
“The Obameter: Tracking Obama’s Campaign Promises”. (n.d). Retrieved on October 1, 2016 from http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/