Name: Donnell Hicks
Title: The 2012 Presidential Election: What Does It Really Means for African-Americans?
Three and a half years ago on November 4, 2008, 95 % of African-Americans around the United States of America swept a young, exciting, energetic senator from Illinois named Barack Obama into the White House in exchange for hope and change to become the first African-American President of the United States. Myself and other African-Americans saw a man who would fight and help the poor and the middle class to rise against inequality and bigotry from the previous eight years. We were inspired to be someone who could definitely make a change in the world.
The 2008 presidential election was not only a heavy turnout for first time voters, it was a wave of excitement for seeing a black man on the verge of becoming president. The 2008 presidential election was about the significance of making history stemming from fifty years ago when people such as Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers, and Rosa Parks marched for equal rights and voting rights for all African-Americans throughout the United States. It was a historic election given all the battles African-Americans had to endure fifty years ago just to remain equal.
Following President Barack Obama’s historic election victory, he has done several things for African-Americans - starting with the college Pell Grant system for low income children. He extended the unemployment and food stamp program. President Obama protected Medicaid for low-income people and he also protected various programs aimed at helping out African-Americans, including Social Security. He worked on reforming the education system and has also reformed the health care system giving everyone including African-Americans a chance to gain affordable healthcare.
Although the unemployment rate for African-Americans remains at 16% (www.cbsnews.com), everybody has to understand President Barack Obama has been faced with difficult opposition from his political adversaries like the Republicans in Congress who have blocked every job initiative aimed at helping the low income and middle class families, particularly African-Americans. Another reason why the 2012 Presidential Election is so very important is because we have seen on the news Republican governors in different states changing up the voting system to disenfranchise African-Americans, ultimately preventing President Obama from getting re-elected again for the second term in the White House.
If the presidential election shifts to the Republicans taking control of Washington D.C., starting in January 2013, as African-Americans we’ll be faced with so many problems. For example, the unemployment and food stamp benefit program will be deleted; social security for beneficiaries and senior citizens will be privatized; education will be privatized; the head start program will be deleted; programs for women will be cut; Medicaid for the low-income people will be deleted; and most of all the Affordable Healthcare Act will be repealed. Everything that was a Democratic agenda will be cut forever if we as African-Americans don’t re-elect President Barack Obama.
He has an agenda to help jumpstart the economy by putting people back together. The only real reason why African-Americans haven’t seen change is because there is a Democratic Senate and a Republican House of Representative who are in disagreement with each other which makes it so much harder for the president to further his agenda. For African-Americans, this 2012 Presidential Election is all about choice to move forward or a choice to move backwards.