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Black America and Obama: A Dilemma

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African Americans praying over President Obama

Since the 2008 election of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States, numerous constituencies have experienced some measure of social uplift as they have exercised their political strength in compelling the administration to advance their interests.

This reality prevails, as the Hispanic community, ever politically cognizant of Obama's campaign promises ensuring his commitment to the body's general prosperity, observed the 2009 nomination and installment of Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court.

Latino Americans would further realize a social triumph, as this population in the late spring and summer months of last year asserted their increasing political might in pressuring the White House to maneuver on behalf the collective in halting Arizona's veiled efforts to establish an apartheid state in its attempt to enact Arizona Senate Bill 1070 .

Not only have Hispanic Americans utilized their political capital in prompting the Obama Administration to function as a proponent for measures that would ensure greater degrees of group wealth but so too has another population.

The gay community in December of last year witnessed the culmination of an enormous protracted effort to force the federal government to end what they and many others believed to be a human rights violation. The repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" -- the United States military's policy rendering gay and lesbian armed service members unable to divulge their sexual orientation absent penalty -- served as an enormous step in this people's fight for an equitable standing within American society.

In the face of these monumental victories experienced by the Hispanic and gay communities in imposing their political will on the Obama administration to act as an advocate in forwarding each group's agenda, the president's most loyal constituents have yet to collectively enter into such interactions with the Head of State - even though their needs are the greatest. The reason for this circumstance may perhaps exist as a product of an aged African American conviction.

The African-American community has long functioned as an integral force behind the Democratic Party and even more so as a stalwart supporter of the institution's latest lead official, President Obama. It is a population however, that has historically experienced enormous suffering, not withstanding its current condition which further serves to extend this troubled legacy.

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A black populace devastated more than any other by the country's economic crisis as reflected by a16% unemployment rate - approximately twice that of white Americans.

A community whose youth ever increasingly attend monumentally failing public schools - such institutions serving as no more than temporary holding facilities before nearly a third of its male populations drift into the tide of the prison industrial complex.

A constituency that comprises only 13% of the nation's population however accounts for nearly half of all newly documented HIV/AIDS cases.

A people perpetually made the victim of state sponsored terrorism, as signified by the merciless slayings of its members to include Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell and Oscar Grant -- among scores of others -- via law enforcement officials sworn to protect all segments of society.

A body perennially abused by an extraordinarily racist criminal justice system, as exemplified most recently in the improper and callous execution of Troy Davis.

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A collection of citizens however, that served as a vital and stable electoral force which if not for their efforts, the president would have never escaped the 2008 Democratic primaries; a precursor to Obama's ultimate victory during the general election. Additionally, this group is one whose support the incumbent will need to rely heavily on in his bid for reelection.

In light of this paradoxical circumstance in which an overwhelmingly distressed people have refused to collectively register a single demand upon an elected official, partially of the same race and considerably indebted to them, an explanation as to why such a conundrum exists begs expression.

The answer to this unfortunate and enormously problematic riddle finds its origins in the vestiges of the past - a turbulent history which for the African American signifies considerable oppression.

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Frederick Alexander Meade is a syndicated columnist providing analysis on social and political matters. His works appear in news magazines and publications internationally.

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It is the intent of the author to provide comment... by Frederick Alexander Meade on Sunday, Oct 2, 2011 at 9:37:38 AM