Obama is considered the first Black president but what has he done for Black folks? Nothing. This is Obama’s last term in office and in his speech , the day he took the second oath of office, he talked about gay rights, immigration and gun control. But nothing about what he would do for the new Jim Crow. There are less men in our communities due to gun violence and mass incarceration. So, I look at his urban policy and found the following bullet points for Crime and Law Enforcement:
Crime and Law Enforcement
- Support Local Law Enforcement: Barack Obama and Joe Biden are committed to fully funding the COPS program to put 50,000 police officers on the street and help address police brutality and accountability issues in local communities. Obama and Biden also support efforts to encourage young people to enter the law enforcement profession, so that our local police departments are not understaffed because of a dearth of qualified applicants.
- Reduce Crime Recidivism by Providing Ex-Offender Supports: America is facing an incarceration and post-incarceration crisis in urban communities. Obama and Biden will create a prison-to-work incentive program, modeled on the successful Welfare-to-Work Partnership, and work to reform correctional systems to break down barriers for ex-offenders to find employment.
- End the Dangerous Cycle of Youth Violence: Obama and Biden support innovative local programs, like the CeaseFire program in Chicago, which implement a community-based strategy to prevent youth violence and have been proven effective.
- Address Gun Violence in Cities: Obama and Biden would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent.
But, I want to know without combing through pages upon pages of rhetorical data, exactly what the president will do that will address the new Jim Crow of mass incarceration or as others refer to the new caste system. There is something seriously broke when there are those who pay their debt to society but can not have a second chance at building a life because they are blocked by the word “felon” to rent an apartment, to find a job or learn a skill. The Latinos has his support. The Gay community has his support.
My question is what will Obama do for Black folks that will enhance their quality of life if its not to address the issue of mass incarceration?
The only voices we hear asking Obama to “do something for us” is Tavis Smiley, NPR/PRI radio host and Cornel West PhD, Princeton University. Mariam is asking that something be done about the pipeline from cradle to prison through the Children’s Defense Fund. But, my question is, what is the Congressional Black Caucus is asking for? The Congressional Black Caucus is one of the few political groups that Black folks depend on to cover our back.
Where are the Black leaders and what are they asking the President for?