December 12, 2011

What Has Barack Obama Done for Black Folks?

President Obama received about 95% of the African American vote in the 2008 presidential elections. Black folks put a great deal of energy and enthusiasm into his election. Some say that the Obama administration has not delivered enough for Black folks in America.

Personally, I think that Barack Obama could have sleep-walked through the entire 4-year period of his first term as President of the United States and I would be cool with it. Just having a person of African American descent as our president is powerful enough in many respects. My young son now understands that there is no limit to his dreams and aspirations.

However here is a more tangible list of accomplishments made by Obama administration that impacted on the Black community. Methinks this list may be more tangible for the more skeptical 'villagers' in cyberspace!
  1. Last year President Obama extended unemployment benefits for roughly 7 million workers who would have otherwise lost them.
  2. The Small Business Administration will commit $1 billion to invest in companies located in under-served communities. This will include investing in hardest hit areas.
  3. $3.6 billion out of a total of $7.2 billion has been secured in grants and financing for Black businesses due to the work of President Obama’s Minority Business Development Agency.
  4. President Obama is challenging states to turn around America’s 5,000 lowest performing schools – many of which are serving African American children. And this Administration is investing more than $4 billion to help states turn those schools around.
  5. More community colleges will receive funding they need to grow and thrive – $2 billion more over 4 years.
  6. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) like Morehouse, Spelman, Howard University and Florida A & M will now receive nearly $1 billion more in funding over the next 10 years with the total amount of funding going to HBCUs now approaching $2.55 billion more to invest in serving their students.
  7. Because of the Affordable Care Act 8 million African Americans now have access to healthcare. And, expanding access to preventive care will reduce health disparities for 41 million African Americans (14% of the population).
  8. President Obama signed into law the Fair Sentencing Act, to reduce the huge disparity in punishment of those convicted with cocaine possession or use versus those caught with crack. The law gets rid of so-called “mandatory minimums” and knocks down the disparity in length of sentences from 100-to-1 to 18-to-1.
  9. Under President Obama 80 cents of every dollar in HUD’s budget is being used for renewing homeless and rental assistance for current residents of HUD-assisted housing. In the 2012 budget the Obama administration will assist over 5.5 million families and double the number of new supportive housing units.
  10. President Obama signed the Cobell-Pigford settlement for Black & Native American farmers which approved two multi-billion dollar settlement agreements that have been held up in Congress for decades that benefit minority groups with claims against the federal government.
The challenges faced by President Obama have been unique and powerful -- two traditional wars, war on terrorism, BP oil spill, natural disasters, near-depression level economic, high unemployment and a do-nothing Congress. Yet, he continues to fight for us. At the end of the day I suspect that the Black community is going to realize that Barack Obama is a better choice for a second term as our president than any of the folks currently running for the GOP nomination.

Don't you agree?


Rob L said...

Not sure what qualifies specifically for 'helping Black folks', but don't forget the changes to preditory lending in the credit card bill. No more raising rates on existing balances on their whim (unless you miss a payment; yes, I know...), better disclosure of the costs and fees of a card, etc. Well done, and so overdue.

Unknown said...

Rob - Excellent point! I notice that most, if not all, of the GOP presidential candidates want to see the financial protection policies repealed. I will say that the economic crisis in our country caused me to change my behavior re: credit cards. I used to have tons of them. Now I just have one.

alandbusch said...

Good afternoon. First time viewer of your blog. Attractive format and an interesting point of view though I think President Obama could have had a tremendous impact on black youth in particular but has failed to do so. His supporters speak at length about his oratorical gift, but he has failed to exploit the power of the bully pulpit.
I wrote the following piece

Perhaps you might take a look and post it on your blog as Opposing point of view.


Alan D. Busch

Unknown said...

Stop the kiss-kiss, stop the pandering. The facts are that Obama has not spoken into words that African Americans are still ostracized , marginalized, blatantly discriminated against, overlooked, not considered, discounted, generalized, categorized and despicably painted with an extremely broad brush.
Intentionally shut-out of ethic power, individual authoritive positions of industry and finance, to this day African Americans are used as a standard measure of class designation with the Dark complexion being the lowest. Ah, come now …be an adult about the matter. Be honest with yourself.