- Faith & Family
In the 2012 presidential election, 93 percent of Blacks voted for President Obama and the Democratic Party. The leaders in the Black community must borrow the Hispanics’ talking points, and say to the president, “We helped you now you help us.” There is no other organized political demographic that supported and delivered votes by over 90 percent. During the election and throughout the president’s first term, there were limited meetings with the Congressional Black Caucus, and very few meetings specifically geared to Black businesses, the physical state of
Black America, the health of Black America, Blacks and the educational system and prisons and drugs in the Black community. It is my hope that in the President’s second term, he will develop a comprehensive program that is focused on the Black community. Urban communities have unique problems that must be addressed with resources and programs that are sustainable and relevant. Blacks need better jobs, better schools, safer communities and organizations that can communicate and enhance the lives of our children and youth.
In the 2012 presidential election, it appeared that the Black vote did not matter because that coalition was a given. Even though Blacks turned out in record numbers, they were given little attention. Blacks are the President’s most loyal constituency. As the great poet Gwendolyn Brooks said, “Respectfully, somebody has to remind the president day in and day out of the debt he owes Black America. After four years of being sidelined and silenced, it’s time to get loud. We have to be willing to engage even if we are the last of the loud.”
For four years under the Obama administration, Blacks have the highest unemployment percentages and our communities’ wealth is suffering the most in the economy. In many of the urban cities the male unemployment numbers are over 50 percent and there are more single women households living in poverty. It is critical in Obama’s second term that he develops programs that address the poverty, drugs and lack of education in the Black community.
The day after Obama won the election, Hispanic political and business leaders held a national media conference call to make it clear that they saved the president in some key battleground states. A survey of Hispanic voters by the firm Latino Decisions found that Hispanics pushed Obama over the top in Colorado, Florida and Nevada where they turned out in unusually high numbers. It is time that Blacks put pressure on the President and demand more funding for our communities. The state of Black America must be front and center and we must increase the volume of our demands. We helped the President win the election and now he must improve the quality of life for our community.
Roger Caldwell is the CEO of On Point Media Group in Orlando.
By Roger Caldwell
Miami Times contributor