President Obama had two huge victories during the past month but many Pittsburghers are asking about his commitment to the Black community.
One victory was the Health Care law, which many wonder why it ended up in the Supreme Court in the first place. It passed by the slimmest of margins 5-4, and as expected our boy Clarence Thomas voted against it.
The GOP said it was unconstitutional for the government to demand that all people have affordable health insurance. That’s odd, what about the laws that everyone must wear a seatbelt, must have car insurance and many others. Even though the law was watered down tremendously by the Republicans to get it through Congress, it will give low and moderate income Americans access to health care. Even though everyone has stated that health care reform is a must only the Democrats have made an effort to create that change. But it will be interesting to see just how effective this law will be after the election.
The other major law passed was the student loan interest rate. The rate was due to double if Congress did nothing. But to his credit President Obama made this his top priority and campaigned vigorously to force Congress to vote in favor of keeping the rate where it is. Fearing what would happen to them at the polls if they voted against it almost all the Democrats voted for it and the vast majority of Republicans voted for it as well. It still baffles me that this was even an issue. This should have been a no brainer, and a unanimous vote. The few that voted against it should be voted right out of office. Education is the foundation to this country’s future, and we must do whatever is necessary to make sure all Americans have access to it, regardless of income.
But even with these victories and the springing up of Obama offices throughout western Pennsylvania and the country a lot of Blacks are asking where are the Black folks, especially the paid Blacks in the Obama field officers? Mayor Nutter from Philadelphia is the leader in Pennsylvania for the Obama campaign, but in Pittsburgh even though there are a lot of Black volunteers there are very few Blacks being employed by the Obama campaign.
Another question, which hopefully will be answered by the campaign, and will be remedied in the near future, is where are the notable Blacks? Maybe they are waiting until its closer to November to speak out. Where is the Black church, where are the community leaders?
This is a two-fold question. First why isn’t the Obama campaign seeking them out? Maybe it is because they don’t have Blacks working at the campaign offices that know the community. And second, why aren’t the Black leaders speaking out in support of Obama, or at least on the issues such as the Student Loan issue and the Healthcare law?
My question to the Obama people is why are you spending so much time responding to Mitt Romney and little to no time addressing issues facing the Black community such as employment, education, housing, crime, blight, job training, mentoring and did I say jobs?
Responding to Romney is nice but what most Americans want to hear, and Blacks are no different, is what are you doing, and what are you going to do if re-elected? Not what Romney will do.
(Ulish Carter is the managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)