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Racism & Poverty: What Obama Must Accomplish in Four Years
By: Ehimwenma E. Aimiuwu
January 23, 2009


President Obama has made history and it is now time for him to be the President of change, hope, and progress as he had promised.  Many voted for him, despite the fact that he is black, because they believe that he is a unifier who loves peace and also believes in the greatness of America.  No matter what President Obama accomplishes in the next four years, it will fall short of the hope Americans expected if he does not tackle the legalized systems of racism and poverty. 

America is not as great as it should be as a nation because of racism.  A lot of minorities are never given a fair chance to contribute fully to the progress of the American nation.  This is because no amount of affirmative action or civil rights laws can eliminate racism; they can only make it feel better on the surface.  Racism is a legalized and justified feeling that one group has over another.  The existence and replication of racism is based on the American laws that are as old as slavery itself.  Many cities and states in America still refer to these old “slave and Negro” laws to this day when they deal with the affected citizens about situations on the street, at work places, at schools, in courts, and on police issues.  This is why one group feels it is justified and legitimate to hang nooses, say hate words, kill, and discriminate against another.  It is because the American law allows it.   


There are more “slave and Negro” laws used from many centuries by the police and judges today than civil right laws.  This empowers others against those affected by these laws in their daily lives.  For instance, in Jena, Louisiana, a white boy beats up a black boy and walks away, but when the black boy beats up the white boy, he gets a murder charge with tennis shoes as the murder weapon.  In the same city, a white boy points a gun at a black boy and the black boy takes the gun from him.  The white boy gets probation, but the black boy gets charged with theft because he refused to give back the gun to the owner who wants to kill him with it.  How is the law interpreted differently for different citizens?  What gives white people the audacity to kill, be disrespectful, and to discriminate openly?  It is because of the way the old “slave and Negro” laws were written and are still utilized today in America – a nation of freedom and justice.  The American law empowers some citizens to get away with physical and economic crimes against humanity.  President Obama must go out of his way to get all the courts of the land to remove all “slave and Negro” laws that predates the civil rights era.  This is the only way that the American nation can truly come together and be unified under the banner of a legitimate, fair, and just American legal system. 

Another issue President Obama must address is the issue of poverty through education.  Many Americans who are still suffering under the old “slave and Negro” laws are not only higher on the poverty scale, but are also falling behind in education.  Unconsciously as a culture, many of these affected citizens focus more on entertainment and sports as a secure form of livelihood as opposed to education.  While the former tend to be freer economically, majority of those with education tend to be the last to get hired and the first to get fired.  Education seems to have failed them for generations because of the ineffectiveness of the EEOC and American discriminations laws in employment.  Moreover, their parents where of more value to the American society as ignorant workers used to build wealth for others, instead of being educated citizens contributing to the American greatness.  President Obama must do whatever it takes to eradicate poverty by making up for the time these laws were used to promote their ignorance and segregation in a mere attempt to use them as free laborers.  These citizens have never been compensated for the bondage of the “slave and Negro” American laws that still exist and are utilized to this day.  The best compensation they can have is a free higher education to make up for their literacy and economic neglect by the American law. 

I deeply recommend to our great President that if his words and campaign of equality, fairness, hope, and change means anything, then the underprivileged Americans need nothing less than a free higher education for the next 100 years.  This will elevate the value for education, thinking process, vision, communication, and competitive spirit of the group towards contributing productively in their communities and the American nation.  Within these 100 years, every surviving member of that group must have their school loans cancelled because the American nation must compensate them for their years of legalized ignorance and servitude, and its effect on the current members.

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