underestimated the weight of the tactics involved.
Have we stopped to consider that some people in this country voted for President Obama only to be voting against a party and the previous administration, rather than being enlightened enough to believe in this county having a Black president? Some tactics involved are knowing what we’ve gone through as African Americans and our history, having the audacity to use air quotes when speaking of the president as being Black or African American. While the leadership of a president is called “the bully pulpit,” these critics are demanding that the president be tougher on Republicans. After the election, it’s as though we’ve forgotten ongoing struggles from the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement up through the election. We expect President Obama to be perfect, while shifting our focus. We allow him to be labeled as having a “crisis in leadership,” when it is the same ole racism redesigned, and not about party opposition. We knew that electing him would force us to deal with racism even more in this country. Now we are.
In order to get him re-elected, we have to acknowledge the reality that racism is more sophisticated and is being whispered behind closed doors more than ever before. This will continue to fuel the lack of economic recovery and growth. The true test of how far this country has come is not the historic election, but President Obama’s re-election. What we are faced with, as the re-election campaign picks up, is the realization that we will have to do some convincing to get people back to the polls.
With a clearer vision of this unrelenting pursuit, there is no doubt that people are hurting financially. More voters and potential voters are puzzled, disillusioned, or fearful of the coming years ahead. To get people to register to vote, this upcoming election may not be easy. There are numbers of voters who could be displaced for economic reasons while trying to put food on the table and find jobs. Some may be close to being homeless. How many are actually homeless? While corporations are sitting on cash rather than hiring, we may not be out there marching for equality. Equality in this nation involves becoming closer and closer to being equally impoverished.
What’s more disturbing are those outspoken African-American critics who have the audacity to have forgotten to look at the harshly intensive nature of racism in America today. It can appear to be subtle at times. We must offer hope to President Obama with strength and courage from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We must have the audacity to get up off our apathy.
Renee J. Turner is a writer and has written articles on voting and voter registration here in Atlanta, Ga.