November 6, 2012. Historic occasion. 1st reelection of a Black president. We won. Again!
So outside of that little riot at Ole Miss, there didn’t seem to be a lot of excitment. No wild parties. No naming babies Husein. No declarations of post racialism in America.
Instead, the streets were empty. Our president looked tired and we still aren’t clear about what type of work
he’s going to we’re going to help him get done.
So over the next four years, what will be our President’s top 4 agenda items?
Here’s what I’d like to see:
1. Appoint a legal scholar to the Supreme Court. I vote for retired Georgia Supreme Court Justice Leah Sears, but I’d be happy with California Attorney General Kamala Harris, or Judge Jacqueline Hong-Ngoc Nguyen.
2. Mobilize the Obama For America machine to shift power in the House in the 2014 elections. People may not have been partying in the streets after this election, but the Obama camp may have created a generation of progressives (who might be Democrats). The connectedness shared by this group of progressives exist to shifting our existing stale conversations around class, race, gender and economic equality. If our President can maintain the structure for the 2012 campaign’s historic GOTV effort the House could be under Democrat control in 2014.
3. Stop kicking people out of the country. We all know immigration laws have to be reformed. It’s the only thing besides not raising taxes that Dems and Repubs agree on. I’m not sure if our President’s idea matches the ideas of all those brown folks who voted for him. Let’s do something really radical and keep all kinds of reforms on the table (unlike what happened in the health care debate). I’d love to see an examination- BY THE ADMINISTRATION INSTEAD OF HARD WORKING NOT FOR PROFITS- of the biases built into the immigration system. The economic argument underlying the policy that allows more people from Western European nations into the country has disappeared. This policy should be reformed first.
4. Give us our civil liberties back. Sure, we’re excited that we’re mostly out of a set of wars in the Middle East, but the war against our own civil liberties has left Americans as losers. Our President extended the Patriot Act, wire tapping has increased under DOJ’s leadership and whistle blowers keep getting locked up. Bill Quigley’s 2011 piece, “Twenty Examples of the Obama Administration’s Assault on Domestic Civil Liberties” makes the case that we are losing our rights and not even noticing. I, like most social justice lawyers on Gulf Coast, listen when Bill Quigley talks (or writes in this case).
So why did you decide to vote President Obama in for the next four years? What are the four (or maybe just one) thing you’d like to see accomplished?