The Black community calls for accountability in Obama's second term
Amity Paye | 4/11/2013, 4:21 p.m.
At 11:15 p.m. on Tuesday November 6, 2012 the media projected President Barack Obama had secured more than the 270 needed to win the presidential election. Obama eventually won 303 of the electoral votes and 50% of the popular vote.
While more than 90% of the Black vote was projected to go to Obama, as the Black vote usually goes over 80% to the democratic candidate, black leaders have also been sounding off for months on the high standards they would hold the president to in his second term. "We are looking for a leader to finish the work he started," wrote NNPA columnist Julianne Malveaux. "Obama must be a stronger advocate of the policies he has embraced, and we who watch must not be fooled by a glitzy performance."
Obama sent an email out to supporters Tuesday saying, "I will spend the rest of my presidency honoring your support, and doing what I can to finish what we started." But while campaigning for his first term in 2008 Obama repeatedly told the story of Franklin D. Roosevelt meeting with labor leaders in 1932 who had many requests of the then president. FDR reportedly told them, "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it."
Now that President Barack Obama has secured a second term in office many in the community are calling for people to hold him accountable, not only to the black community but also to the may promises he has already made; To make him do these things.
On a panel for the New York Association of Black Journalists on Monday, author and AmNews freelance writer, Herb Boyd explained that while many understood Obama could not take more radical steps to help the Black community during his first term, they hope he will do so in his second and intend to "hold his feet to the fire."
This time around the demands for attention to specific issues affecting the Black community will be loud and unrelenting.
"We hope this second vote of confidence will manifest itself in the trickling down of goods and services to those who really need them. That was the biggest criticism by people who didn't see the practical benefit of electing a president they thought would represent them," said activist Andre Mitchell, founder and executive director of Man Up! Inc., earlier in the campaign season. "We need the federal aid and services and support in our community as it relates to issues we are dealing with in our community every day; such as jobs, housing and gun violence. These are things we would like to see President Obama focusing a significant effort in his second term."
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