18 June, 2021

A Peculiar Relation

African-Americans debate what Obama did, or did not do, for them

A Peculiar Relation

Until he could, a Black US president seemed to lie even beyond the chances of probability. Barack Obama signified hope and change for younger generations. But, for many African Americans, his election meant more: it was the realisation of a personal dream. His victory meant a significant leap forward for a nation where, decade after decade, strained Black-White relations could ultimately be traced to the scars of slavery. In 2008, a few white optimists even declared the onset of a post-racial era.

Four years later and on the eve of a tightly fought election process, Obama gets mixed peer reviews, especially from Black intellectuals, who are disappointed that he hasn’t done enough for his community. But the common African-American is more than satisfied and willing to cut him some slack.

There is little doubt that Obama will get about 95 per cent of the Black vote on November 6, according to a Wall Street-nbc survey. Not helped by his ‘47 per cent remark’, Republican challenger Mitt Romney might as well be ‘Missing Romney’ for the...

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