The piece is called “How African-Americans Shaped the Reelection of Barack Obama and What Happens Next.”
Here’s an excerpt:
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.
These African American votes came at very low political and marketing cost, with no direct promises to Black America. The black votes were based on our faith for something more in the second term. This allowed Obama to focus on other votes that did require promises, and not be spread thin. 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.
Read/learn more at The Huffington Post.