Why I Love My President

Posted in Publisher's Point by Publisher, Port Of Harlem Snippets on August 21st, 2012

I admired Jimmy Carter’s attempt to work with the rest of the world as equals as exemplified in his appointment of Andrew Young as UN Ambassador. I liked Bill Clinton’s strong inclusionary practices such as when he selected the then unfamiliar Hazel O’Leary to head the Energy Department. 

I love Barack Obama. He embodies Port Of Harlem’s mantra: inclusion, diversity and pan-Africanism. The nation’s first Black president started his presidency with a noble act — the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter bill, which helps women fight for equal pay for equal work. The occasion reminds me of what Frederick Douglass once said, “When I ran away from slavery, it was for myself; when I advocated emancipation, it was for my people; but when I stood up for the rights of women, self was out of the question, and I found a little nobility in the act.”

And when I hear Blacks say he has done nothing for them, I wonder where were they when he signed the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) and doubled funding for Pell Grants. As you may know, 80 percent of Blacks compared to 90 percent of Whites currently have no health insurance and according to The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, “About 46 percent of all African-American undergraduate students receive federal Pell Grant awards. They account for approximately one quarter of all Pell Grant recipients.” (Blacks are about 13 percent of the US population.)

No law should have to have the word “Black” stamped on it for African-Americans to understand the racial implications of its implementation.

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