A prevailing thought about Obama’s possible second term continues to hold. Will Obama accomplish more for minorities if he wins a second term? Or has he done enough for minority groups?
Analysts and leading African American policy professionals continue to spar over Obama’s agenda and it’s impact on black America. High rates of black unemployment dominate the news cycle as Obama recovers from an unpopular debt recovery deal with House Republicans. Today’s income gap that divides white, black and brown is wider than ever before and doesn’t appear to be closing anytime soon.
Analytically, one might look to Obama’s first term to get a glimpse of what his administration has done to benefit minorities– a group of voters who overwhelmingly supported Obama in 2008. The following points do not represent the full impact of the current administration’s policies which affect communities of color, but it is an attempt to name a few initiatives which have impacted the African American communities, Latino communities and other minority groups:
- Through the Environmental Protection Agency the Obama Administration has awarded $6.2 Million toward workforce development training in 21 cities. In addition to providing the trainees skills, the grant places the newly trained workers into jobs.
- The Obama administration continues to assure that minority-owned and small businesses have greater access to federal contracts. Obama’s goal is to exceed 23% of federal contracts to be awarded to minority, veteran and woman owned businesses. Obama appointed Kathy Hughes, an African American to head the Small Business Administration.
- The Obama administration sued Citibank for not lending to minorities.
- Obama signed an the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges, an executive order which proposed $98 million dollars in new money for HBCUs in the fiscal year 2011.
So yes he has done a lot for black folk. He has done a lot for our nation. Some feel he hasn’t done enough. If he gets a second term only time will tell what direction he will go on. We can only hope he has some common sense folks advising him outside of the Washington loop as to what minority communities continue to need from their government.