The AllHipHop Endorsement for Barack Obama
By Chuck Creekmur
It is time for Americans to stand up and reelect President Barack Obama.
During his first term, the Commander-in-Chief has presented the United States with much-needed, resolute leadership, and has subsequently accomplished a string of successes, economically, socially, and internationally as well. Without question, there is much work to be done, but Obama has been able to stabilize the nation despite the GOP's policy to overtly, consciously block just about every forward-thinking move the president has attempted since taking office.
First, most people understood that Obama was going to need eight years to make true change happen in America. The previous eight were catastrophic to American quality of life and morale, all the way down to the international perception of our nation. Obama has been a great ambassador of the people, and he has restored honor to the presidency. He managed to end the War in Iraq, which he opposed from the very start. He also ended the terrorist reign of Osama Bin Laden, which was a priority for America.
Remember, we were a resourceful people facing another Great Depression four years ago. No other president faced such dire economic conditions since Franklin Roosevelt in 1933. In Obama, we found a president that took on another president's mess and averted an economic meltdown. He kept the automobile industry from flatlining and even added jobs. The housing industry wasn't resurrected as hoped, succumbing to political and regulatory pitfalls. And, while some people have some level of disappointment about Barack Obama, those sentiments are largely based on the sweeping assertion that he was a modern Jesus coming to save us. Let's erase unreasonable expectations, and get to the reality of why Obama deserves another four years. Obama has made great strides simply to regain some semblance of economic normalcy to the United States.
The Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) will certainly be erased if Romney is elected. The historic law initiated by the president would ensure that all Americans, particularly the uninsured, will get healthcare. This is going to revolutionize how we address our lives, and it will cover people with pre-existing ailments as well. Young adults that have parents with insurance can now retain healthcare benefits until they are 26.
Looming precariously under healthcare are hot-button issues such as a woman's right to choose. The president - unlike Mitt Romney and his counterparts - understands that decisions about sticky topics such as abortion (and supporting organizations such as Planned Parenthood) are better left up to those parties involved in the personal situations at hand. Undoubtedly, retaining rights such as a woman's choice to decide what happens to her body should be a high priority for us all. The president gets it.
Americans [The 99%]
Off the top, amid his secret meetings with wealthy sponsors, Romney wrote off the 47% of the country he doesn't feel he needs or cares about. Obama, however, believes in raising up all Americans. My brother and I had a chance moment with Obama before he became president. We held up our daughters so they could shake hands with him. When he saw them over 3-4 rows of manic people, Obama's face lit up, and he reached over those people to grab hands with them. These are the moments that cannot be faked and they impact the future, even if they cannot vote November 6. Obama even took part in Nickelodeon's mock kids vote (they reelected the president, by the way). Romney didn't bother. Not even with the kids. They don't vote. As president, Obama is far more trustworthy than most, even though he's got the cumbersome task of making a nation happier. Simply put, he cares.
African Americans, The Poor, and the Hip-Hop Community
Obama has fought steadfast for people of color, youth, and even the poor. He's outlined an agenda for African American people, created a number of job and mentoring programs (Summer Jobs+) for disenfranchised youth, and courted the Hip-Hop Community like no other president. Sway from MTV's "RapFix" series interviewed the president; Obama made Jay and Beyonce spokespeople for the campaign, and invited and got the views from a number of community movers and shakers in Hip-Hop on how to make things better. Pointless gestures? I think not.
Obama's 2008 election proved we've made strides, but it also showed that racism has been donning a well-crafted camouflage. Still, Obama managed to do work and expose his adversaries and their racial hang-ups. Perhaps we now understand that we have not achieved the Utopian post-racial America that many - including some African Americans - have trumpeted. There is a great deal of progress that needs to be made in the area of race relations, and Obama is the president for that end.
Pell Grants have been set up to help students in dire financial need, and they don't have to be repaid. In 2012, The Department of Education announced the designation of $228 million in federal grants to 97 Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The American Jobs Act helped millions of African Americans and others by providing additional financial help.
Our Collective Plight
The central question to the attacks on Barack Obama has been: "Is your life better now than it was four years ago?"
At AllHipHop.com, we recall exactly where we were four years ago, in every way imaginable. All struggle is contextual, but it definitely was not the best of times. The recession had not yet formally hit, but my independently-owned company had already felt the economic tsunami on the way. My business partner, Greg Watkins, and the staff were attempting to do what would ultimately become the final "AllHipHop Week" to date, and the consistent sponsors weren't there, unaware of what was to come. The new sponsors weren't there either. We ended up hobbling through a fractured week. We'd eventually see the recession impact us on a number of fronts, eventually forcing us to stick and move to find fresh streams of revenue. In other words, we were like everybody else feeling the economic crush.
On a personal front, it was a mess, and everybody could feel the sting of the impending economic free fall to come. I remember most of my friends and family were reeling from something job- or housing-related crisis. Others were just suffering or teetering on the edge of the Middle Class and poverty. And guess what? Most of us are still are going through these tremendous challenges. This is not a sprint to recovery, but a marathon to prosperity.
So, are we better now than those times?
Before you answer that, take it back a few years. Ask yourself, is your life better now than it was 8-12 years ago, when President Bush was decimating the country? My people are still coated in the painful residue from eight years of the second George Bush. Obama inherited that. These aren't excuses. These are facts. In four years, Obama accepted the dire circumstances and has definitely made the country a better place. A better place that had a lot more work to do.
Hit the link and you can see that the president's plan for America is far more clearly defined than his opponent Mitt Romney's.
Lastly, who do you trust more - Romney or Obama? Romney appears to be telling lie after lie, seemingly in an effort to satisfy whoever he is speaking to at the time. Some of these whoppers are outlined by Rachel Maddow of MSNBC. Really, Mitt?
To allow Romney entrance into the White House is almost to reward the Republican party for their efforts to stymy progress, thereby disallowing Obama the ability to finish the job he's finally making some momentum at. Some Republicans, particularly the abrasive, ineffectual Tea Party, were not about the people in any way, shape, or form. Remember, the Delaware witch from last time around, Christine O'Donnell? Really, Tea Party? Really? The Republican-run Congress' chief priority was to undermine Obama and filibuster everything moving, from legislation to key administrative positions. The true "State of the Union" was subsequently weakened, and Americans became disillusioned by a system that couldn't get it together to served them. These folks were not about the people. These folks were about their agenda.
For myself and those I know, things are much better on every front. I give Obama some of that credit, and other parts I give to our own inability to accept defeat. Yes, there is much work to do, and we don't agree with every policy POTUS has adopted. Still, it is time to allow the president time to do the work that remains to be done on jobs, the economy, immigration, the environment, and more.
In 2007-08, we were fired up in the face of a Great Depression, and we are still fired up staring at a Great Progression.
AllHipHop.com believes that the best way to continue making progress in the people is to bestow President Obama another four years.
Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur is a father, son, and the CEO of AllHipHop.com. He’s a cultural critic, pundit and trailblazer that has been featured on National Public Radio (NPR), BET, TVOne, VH1, The E! Channel, MTV, The O’Reilly Factor, USA Today, The New York Times, New York’s Hot 97 FM, and numerous other outlets.
Thank you: Rob "Biko" Baker, Cheo Hodari Coker, Johnathan Creekmur, Mary Seward-Downes, Elon Johnson, Thuy-An Julien, Seandra Sims, and Tonya Pendleton