Some in the media believe that minorities voted for Barack Obama because he’s black. This was never an issue when voting mostly democratic for the last 70 years. It’s easy to tag a group as voting a certain way when the candidate is a member of one of the minority groups. But minorities are deeper than this. Minorities are the same as any other group; They just have smaller numbers.
According to the Pugh Research Center, Blacks and Hispanics have been losing wealth during the last ten years at an alarming rate. In fact when compared to Whites, the rate is between 18 and 20 times the losses; I didn’t say percent, I said “times”. When I first heard this I thought there must be a mistake. There are several reasons for this, but it primarily has to do with the laws that have been created or eliminated during this time period, and the resulting recession. Add this to the fact that Hispanics tended to live and work in the areas where the industry was hit hardest; mainly construction. So when this industry took the big hits, the Hispanics not only lost wealth, they lost more jobs.
From a numbers standpoint, Whites outnumber Blacks in relying on social programs; However, there is a higher percentage of Blacks in these programs. So when many of these programs were cut, Blacks were affected more. Blacks and Hispanics are less likely to hold the high paying jobs when compared to whites, and these are usually the last jobs to be cut.
What the country is going through now is by far one of the most divisive periods ever seen since the civil war. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise to those who understand cultural diversity, history, and politics. The first Black President was elected, but not everyone voted for him. He was elected during a time when the country was facing one of the greatest recessions since the Great Recession of the thirties. Many blamed the Republicans for this recession; It therefore stood to reason that the Democratic Party would win the office of President, and so it was. However, soon after the honeymoon period is over; usually two years, and a midterm election, the fighting starts. Only this time there was more at stake. Because just as proud as the country was to elect its first Black President, there are those who opposed the idea just as strongly; They believe it was too soon and that he is not ready.
It’s been shown that you cannot legislate what’s in someone’s heart; And this country cannot, and will not get past its long history of slavery just because it elected a Black President; Only time and constructive work will do that. This should have been evident during the election campaigns when things said, seen, and done during rallies that had never been witnessed before. People were showing up armed and yelling obscenities and threats towards the other party’s candidates. This election spawned new groups and new political attack methods and strategies that are finding their way into Congress.
The office of the President of the United States has been disrespected in ways that have never been witnessed before. For the first time in recent history, a member of Congress called the President a liar during a national televised speech, and got away with it. Many Americans found this reprehensible, and rightly so.
So what needs to happen? Citizens need to stand up and say enough is enough. Because whenever a country falls into turmoil, the minorities are usually the ones who suffer mostly. As with many diversity issues, we take two steps forward and three steps backwards. The election of the first Black President has resulted in the biggest political and ethnic divide the country has seen since the sixties; However, it is still a step in the right direction.