We at the Black Parent Network would like to congratulate Barak Obama on his historic second term as president of the United States. The tone of his inspirational victory speech promises that the “Best Is Yet To Come!”
This slogan echoes the tide of hope that marked the start of his first term 4 years ago when he also inspired us with his “Yes We Can Slogan”. I printed off pictures of him and wrote this slogan on it and gave them to my daughter, niece, nephews and friend’s children. The significance of the message in that slogan, to myself and to generations of black people, was not lost. It was simply astounding to be able to truly mean the message in those words for our children.
Imagine the back drop as we watched in awe, as a black man took the office of President to become one of the most powerful men on the planet. After hundreds of years of fighting discrimination and injustice it was almost beyond imagining that a black man could overcome all of this to sit at the head of the table in the White House.
Well he did. And he has done it again.
Politics aside it is clear that the charisma, decency and humanity of the man has shone though the slick political business acumen of his opponent Mitt Romney. Not least his obvious finger on the pulse of social justice is clear. Consider the momentous health reforms he brought in to overturn the outrage of people dying in a privatised healthcare system that would deny care to those unable to pay expensive insurance premiums in pursuit of profits.
Right and Responsibilities
Furthermore although the final jury is still out, his performance on economic issues indicate that his time in office has not been wasted and that the reduction in unemployment and his willingness to rescue the critical car industry, a staple employer of blue collar workers, says much about his brand of economics. Basically, making money is a right that we are all entitled to - as long as it comes with appropriate responsibilities for the lives that are impacted along the way.
Out of Touch
More importantly the “them and us” politics of the right is now very much out of touch with the changing demographics of the United States. Romney clearly relied on his appeal to the conservative, white, male middle classes and failed to understand or connect to the issues of the black and Hispanic populations which now make up a significant minority or even majority of many of many of the key states that he needed to win.
As unbelievably as it seems, Romney’s approach to the ethnic vote included a recommendation for self-deportation as a remedy for illegal immigrants without US status or a right to work legally . Meanwhile Obama talked about sweeping immigration reforms that would enable children of immigrants born in the US to acquire US status and social and economic rights...
Clearly there is a lesson for many other political parties the world over. Take a look at the UK where demographics are already starting to hold sway in a significant number of areas. In London the Black and Minority Ethnics are now in the majority – one could ask how represented are their views in the halls of Whitehall?
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