African-Americans Expect More from Obama: Throughout the First Term, Asked about His Agenda for African-Americans, President Barack Obama Explained That He Was Not the President of Black America, He Was the President of the United States of America. African-Americans Expect Better Treatment in Obama's Second Term, Writes I. K. Cush from New York

Article excerpt

DEMIOCRATIC STRATEGIST, ROBert Shrum, predicted Obama's victory two weeks before the 6 November US presidential election. Shrum is a senior fellow at New York University's Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service and was an adviser to John Kerry's 2004 campaign.

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According to him, in spite of the "42% of voters" who are old-guard whites, America is fast becoming a "majority minority nation". However, a more nuanced explanation is warranted.

Since Richard Nixon, that "42%" of white voters have been the backbone of the Republican Party, and some would say the backbone of old-guard white supremacy politics in America. The people who catapulted Obama to victory in 2008 were marginalised African-American, Latino, and young white voters motivated to vote by his soaring and inspirational rhetoric. They don't usually vote. But they voted again in 2012, stuffing that 42.% further into the dustbin of history. During his first term, Obama did not live up to the expectations of the new voters he energised in 2008. However, they expect him to deliver in his second and final term.

Obama's new victory portends a new paradigm for the American political landscape: the issues of the new "majority minority", labour unions, gays and women must be addressed. Any political party or politician who fails to address these issues, as Mitt Romney did during the campaign, will flame out, as Romney did in the presidential race.

Expectations

Obama did not fulfil many of the expectations of his core supporters--African-Americans--during his first term. Throughout the first term, when asked about his agenda for African-Americans, Obama explained that he was not the president of Black America, he was the president of the United States of America.

However, being president of the United States of America did not prevent him from taking political risks for gays. He supports gay marriage. For women, he supports equal pay for women. For Latinos, he supports immigration reform that will place Latino immigrants on the path to US citizenship. …

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