Black People Politics : Has Obama ignored African American concerns? Nope. Here’s the evidence.


Aug 28, 2015

President Obama delivers the commencement address to the 2016 graduating class of Howard University in Washington on May 7, 2016. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

When he gave the
commencement address recently at Howard University, President Obama spoke about race and the interests of African Americans in the United States. While exhorting students to “be confident in your blackness,” Obama also challenged them to “question the world as it is” and “stand up for those African Americans who haven’t been so lucky [as you are].”

The address received broad news coverage, in no small part because it went against the conventional wisdom that, throughout his presidency, Obama has largely declined to speak to the interests of black Americans. Indeed, black activists, public intellectuals and political scientists have taken Obama to task for ignoring African American concerns to maintain his standing among white voters.

But is this conventional wisdom true? No. Our investigation of presidential rhetoric shows that Obama has paid more attention to black interests than any other president since Lyndon B. Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964.

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He has done this plenty of times, in this country and other countries.
As President, I’ve made it clear that the United States is determined to be a partner in Africa’s success -- a good partner, an equal partner, and a partner for the long term. (Applause.) We don’t look to Africa simply for its natural resources; we recognize Africa for its greatest resource, which is its people and its talents and their potential. (Applause.) We don’t simply want to extract minerals from the ground for our growth; we want to build genuine partnerships that create jobs and opportunity for all our peoples and that unleash the next era of African growth. That’s the kind of partnership America offers.

Obama shortens sentences for more drug offenders

Now we know that this will help more blacks than anybody. He did what no other white president even had a notion to do, in fact Clinton is the one that put most of us in there.



Aug 28, 2015
And, if AAs had been more organized, and more politically involved, Barack would have been able to do more for us. That is what made us different than the gay community and the Hispanic community, they stayed in the process (stayed in his butt) between election years, and in election years, while we didn't.

He TOLD US to hold him accountable. Meaning he could not act unilaterally on our behalf. Congress would be looking at him sideways if he did. He needed us to actively make demands, then and only then could he state a case for us. But, we didn't. We voted and went home. The most important thing we AAs need to do, like what other interest groups do, is narrow down our priorities. So, that we can focus on what battles we are going to unify and fight for. As of now, we have more issues than Jet magazine. We are splintered in what our goals should be. The gays know what they are fighting for, the Hispanics know what they are fighting for. We have too many issues and are divided on what our main goals really are.

As I reflect, I think "the children are our future", so that is what we should rally for first. Better education for our children, equality in education, and more inroads to college education.
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