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Obama Owes His Presidency to Black Americans: Now It’s time to Have Our Backs As Well

by Freeway Ricky Ross

I watched the election from California, a Democratic state, and while I am unable to vote as a felon on parole my support went behind President Barack Obama. This election marked an important decision between poor and rich in a way we had not seen in prior elections. In one article I read it compared the two candidates by saying Obama looked to strengthen the social safety net, while Romney looked to overhaul the program. While I don’t agree with every decision Obama has made in his first term, I do believe he has the interest of the working family at heart. My call to Obama and his administration focuses more specifically on African Americans who turned out in higher number than in 2008 in many areas, and carried him into the White House as part of larger coalitions. There are around 43 million African Americans and we accounted for a large block of the votes that got Obama a second term in office. According to ABC polls, 96 percent of African American voters were predicted to vote for Obama. Obama has energized the streets to take part in politics, leading gang members, drug dealers and hip hop stars to turnout to the polls in hopes of something better to come in the future in ways we had not seen prior.

 But this comes despite a statement by ABC News that, “On Election Day, nearly 1.4 million voting-age black men — more than one in eight — will be ineligible to cast ballots because of state laws that strip felons of the right to vote.”

The policies that create these inequities should be addressed by President Obama in this second term. While I recognize his struggle as clearly stated by the Washington Post in their recent piece, “Obama struggles to balance African Americans’ hopes with country’s as a whole.” The support shown by African Americans should be reciprocated with focused efforts toward their needs in the new term.

2012-11-07-AAO.jpg

According to Gary Young of the Guardian,

Obama should do more for black people – not because he is black but because black people are the citizens suffering most. Black people have every right to make demands on Obama – not because they’re black but because they gave him a greater percentage of their votes than any other group, and he owes his presidency to them. Like any president, he should be constantly pressured to put the issue of racial injustice front and centre and if black people aren’t going to apply that pressure then nobody else will.

I missed the ’08 election in federal prison and watching this election I see the difference in the belief in the political process by African American’s when compared to the 1980s. There is a new energy and excitement that was lost in Reagonmics, particularly amongst the youth.

While this has been great to see, my call would be for there to be more action by President Obama for all African Americans in his second term. As a group our forefathers built the United States through free labor, and we now as a result of longstanding policy and disadvantage see little of the fruits of that labor as descendants. According to most reviews, the black wealth inequity has not changed in the last four years “. . . the ascent of America’s first black president has coincided with the one of the steepest descents of the economic fortunes of black Americans since the second world war both in real terms and relative to whites.” The growth of African Americans on welfare lines does not fulfill the hope that led black America to the polls this election. Black America deserves to be a primary focus in this term with targeted social and economic programs in their communities. This does not say President Obama should only pay attention to the needs of African Americans, but it does focus in and say many core issues of Black America should be addressed in 2013.

A few being:

§ Building economic development centers in inner-city areas that have high minority populations
§ More attention & visits by President Barack Obama to African American groups such as the NAACP, Urban League and others during his second term
§ Focused government efforts on unemployment of black youth, particularly in high crime urban centers
§ College loan and grant assistance for those in college, in addition loan forgiveness or aid for those that complete college
§ A highly focused look at the War on Drugs, and the unfair application of crack cocaine sentencing disparities

Congratulations Mr President on winning your second term!

2012-11-07-0519090618085745_president_barack_obama_has_a_moment_alone_on_air_force_with_presidential_seal_in_background_m.jpg

Pete Souza / Official White House photos
I believe Barack Obama represents the hope of our nation to be better today than its own written history. Lets work together to fufill that hope through action!

Freeway Rick Ross

Follow Freeway Rick Ross on Twitter: www.twitter.com/FreewayRicky      

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10 Responses to Obama Owes His Presidency to Black Americans: Now It’s time to Have Our Backs As Well

  1. Pingback: Mr. President: We Had Your Back Last Night, So Now It's Time to Have Ours | Your Black World

  2. Imhotep Reply

    November 7, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Freeway, you said it best. My brother was working for a contractor at Eli Lilly and company for 4 of the last five years. They finally decide to hire him on full time regular and he was thrilled. Now the skinny is that my brother has a conviction for an eight-ball of cocaine in 1989. He did his time,went to college(like Judge Mathis) and got his degree. They sent him his welcome letter( I read it) and told him his start date. Now mind you, on his company application, he divulged his previous conviction and that was no problem to the contractor or to Lilly all while he was working there. The man has done all he was suppose to do to rebuild himself, kept a job, and never got back into trouble. Two days before he starts, they inform him that they were not going to hire him because of a 23 year old conviction, yet he had been working there for two years through the contractor. He was crushed. He’s fighting depression now. 23 year old conviction and his college, work references and present work record meant nothing. They even cut the contract with the contractor. Now according to our research of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII of the act has numerous provisions on when, how and why an employer can exclude you for employment because of an arrest or conviction. They must be related to the job and interfere with business. In fact, the EEOC ask employers not to use the criminal check solely because it can contain incorrect data. His job function has no connection to his previous conviction. Black folks, take the time to read the statute and see how we are being fucked out here because these companies are not being fair according to the statute when it comes to hiring some of our folks with criminal records. The President must address this with the Justice Dept, because my brother voted for him, and he should be able to work hard like he always have and be totally forgiven,and others like him, on record for a 23 year old, non-violent crime…. Hotep

  3. marcus davis Reply

    November 8, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Maybe he should,nt have divulged his information of his previous conviction to begin with ,if you,re working for white employers they,re going to look for any little thing to get you out does,nt matter what it is.Some folks need to help themselves first.Unless its required to divulge that info on any application they should,nt disclose it.

    • DAD Reply

      November 11, 2012 at 1:37 am

      Marcus–

      No, you are absolutely wrong about it. I know someone in my
      family that left the information off of his application
      and when the company found out via a security clearance check they fired long after he had been working they fired him. His situation
      was very similar to Imhotep’s brother with the only exception
      being that my relative had never been imprisoned but had a
      misdemeanor of a nature that the job contractor said
      prevented them from keeping him on. And, Imhotep is right.
      White employers are using credit checks, facebook checks,
      and anything else they can under the sun to eliminate
      African American job applicants from consideration and hiring.
      They are again overwhelmingly hiring Whites, Asians, Latinos,
      and people from India, Ethiopia, and the Middle East. The
      handwriting is on the wall big time. It really is bloody war
      on and against African Americans. That’s why way more prisons
      are being built right now in America and many I understand are
      going to be privately owned and managed. The prison industry is
      one of America’s biggest businesses and its prime product
      for intake versus release is black men also followed by
      significant increases in black women too. White Jews not only
      make big money off of black entertainers and drug dealers, but
      also make huge bank in businesses supplying prisons with
      uniforms, toilet, paper, food, sheets, you name it.

  4. erika Reply

    November 8, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Please my people stop looking for President Obama to save
    our race. We all know that congress had made up their minds
    to knock down every bill that the President presented to
    them to assist the 47% Now the majority of America know
    that voting is power. We must now take that energy from
    11/06/12 and continue to vote in every election that
    comes across the table. We need to vote in the local
    elections, state elections and national elections.
    We need to research every candidate that runs for
    office who have our best interest. Once we do that then
    we will have our own backs. Let President Obama be the
    President of all people including his critics not just
    African Americans. Education and voting are our keys to
    success and gainful employment.

    • DAD Reply

      November 11, 2012 at 1:52 am

      Erica–

      African American unemployment right now in America is
      reportedly 14.3 percent. African Americans comprise 12.5 percent of the
      U.S. population. Need I say more? If you think for one minute
      that there is not a huge number of black people with college
      degrees and also years of great professional training and skills
      among the 14.3 percent of blacks unemployed you are utterly
      delusional. Also, the overwhelming vast majority of employers in
      America are white. The highest level of unemployed in America
      black. Again, need I say more?

  5. moonhead Reply

    November 8, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    More than 60 million people of all races, voted for President Obama, so can you please tell me how he owes just black people for his success? Do you mean their votes didn’t mean anything? Nobody owes you a damn thing. You owe it to yourself, to get an education, a job, and to become successful. That is what is wrong with some of our people, they want to sit on their asses, and wait for someone to give them something. Every other damn race comes to this country, and succeed, while we languish at the bottom. Stop trying to steal, and cheat your way to success. Do what every other nationality, that comes to this country does, and then you won’t have to do crimes that sends you to jail. President Obama, owes us the same things, that he owes every citizen. No less, and no more.

    • DAD Reply

      November 11, 2012 at 2:07 am

      Moonhead–

      Have you bumped your head on something extremely hard and lost
      consciousness? Obama during his first term overwhelmingly paid
      out and gave big time to White Jews and Hispanics. Again, I
      ask, have you bumped your head and lost your mind? African American unemployment right now in America is reportedly 14.3 percent.
      African Americans comprise 12.5 percent of the U.S. population.
      Need I say more? If you think for one minute that there is not a
      huge number of black people with college degrees and also years
      of great professional training and skills among the 14.3 percent
      of blacks unemployed you are utterly delusional. Also, the
      overwhelming vast majority of employers in America are white.
      The highest level of unemployed in America black. Again,
      need I say more? Yes, it seems I do for you. White employers are using credit checks, facebook checks, and anything else they can under the sun to eliminate
      African American job applicants from consideration and hiring.
      They are again overwhelmingly hiring Whites, Asians, Latinos,
      and people from India, Ethiopia, and the Middle East. The
      handwriting is on the wall big time. It really is bloody war
      on and against African Americans. That’s why way more prisons
      are being built right now in America and many I understand are
      going to be privately owned and managed. The prison industry is
      one of America’s biggest industries and its prime product
      for intake versus release is black men also followed by
      expected significant increases in black women too. White Jews
      not only make big money off of black entertainers and drug
      dealers, but also make huge bank in businesses supplying prisons with
      uniforms, toilet, paper, food, sheets, you name it. WTFU!!!

  6. DAD Reply

    November 10, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Memorandum to POTUS Re-Elect Barack H. Obama.

    TO: POTUS Barack H. Obama
    The White House – 1600 PA Avenue, N.W. – WDC

    FROM: Black Americans
    America Nationwide

    SUBJ: Black American Unemployment & Youth Violence

    Mr. Obama African American unemployment at 14.3% for black adults and over 40% for black youth is shameful, unacceptable, dangerous, and also undeniably the first major problem with the second being youth violence that Black America needs and expects you to urgently and effectively address.

    There is something else that must be mentioned to you in possible correlation to disproportionately high African American unemployment as a pertinent reminder and a fact that also can not and should not be ignored. The overwhelming vast majority of large employers and business owners in America are still White Americans.

    President Obama as you must or should well know already, extremely high and long term unemployment in the black community nationwide is not only devastating, but also fast breeds a host of other extremely serious and grave problems for many African American families, young adults, youth, and older citizens in every former income class across the board ranging from the formerly upper-income and middle-class to moderate and low-income. Herein we remind you of those problems.

    The serious and grave problems from extremely high and long term African American unemployment includes wiped out life savings and college tuition funds representative of rapid complete and irrevocable loss of years earned financial gains, home foreclosures, forced sale of other valuables to pay utility bills and purchase bare basic necessities, tremendous anger, depression, domestic violence, poverty, increased government spending for Food Stamp, Medicaid, and Homelessness social service programs, increases in divorce and broken families, alcohol and drug use, suicides, homicides, other crimes, re-occuring and first time jail and prison sentences, and absolutely quite full and unmitigated despair and hopelessness.

    President Obama with all due respect, Black America hereby trusts that you get the picture. We also know that a sincere congratulations to us and to you for your re-election is in order. Congratulations to you President Obama. Black America now for a second time again much hopes, looks forward to, and indeed very fully expects to see rapid emergency results of your new out-of-the-box-thinking to seriously address a powder keg of already 14.3% and steadily rising disproportionately high African American unemployment on both our and this nation’s behalf.

    Undeniably, African Americans nationwide faithfully, graciously, and overwhelmingly helped you to not only gain, but to also keep your job. Please do something bold to ensure that we are not repeatedly denied the same opportunity. Thank you.

    Sincerely,
    Black America

  7. Zenmaster Reply

    December 23, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Nobody Owes You A Damn Thing
    Richard Penney May 9, 2012
    You are born. You own your body. You own your life.
    Your body and your  life is your responsibility.
    Life is full of risks. You live in a world of unknowns. There are no guarantees.
     
    Your life will largely be determined by your thoughts, choices and actions.
    Sometimes life will kick you in the ass.
    Sometimes circumstances will get the best of you.
    Sometimes you run into bad luck.
    That’s life. You better get over it. You better deal with it.
     
    Life doesn’t sit around while you play victim.
    Time waits for nobody.
    Life has no time for pity parties.
     
    You are responsible for your life.
    You are responsible for feeding yourself.
    You are responsible for clothing yourself.
    You are responsible for your health.
    You are responsible for your money.
    You are responsible for your transportation.
    You are responsible for your home.
     
    Your life is determined by you.
    It’s up to you.
    Is that good news or bad news?
    That depends on your attitude.
    The strong see this as good.
    The weak see this as bad.
     
    Your life is for the living.
    Your life is yours.
    Nobody owes you a damn thing.
    Now get on with it.

    -Richard Penney

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