Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Obama wasn't elected for blacks only

Published:Tuesday | January 19, 2016 | 1:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

President Barack Obama took the oath of office to defend the Constitution, and the United States of America, not necessarily to defend any particular racial or ethnic group of people - but all Americans - contrary to what columnist Ronald Mason seems to think ('Barack is not a black American', Sunday Gleaner, January 17, 2016).

He, against all improbability, became president - twice. The first time was a miracle, the second time, decreed by the gods - i.e., the will of the people.

Sure, he has defended American capitalist institutions very well - Wall Street, the banks, the automobile industry, etc. But, then again, America is a capitalist society, and these institutions are the engine of capitalism. So he couldn't have allowed them to fail.

WINNERS AND LOSERS

But he did try and got Obamacare through, despite stiff opposition from vested interests. Sure, there are winners and losers here in this health-care conundrum. But many blacks and poor whites have benefited from being able to get some basic health-care insurance.

In terms of criminal justice, Obama told the NAACP's 106th national convention at Philadelphia in July 2015 that 60 per cent of the prison population comprises either African-Americans or Latinos. He proposed reforming the criminal justice system by: signing the Fair Sentencing Act; the Justice Department's 'Smart on Crime' initiative; and commuting the sentences of dozens of people sentenced under old and unfair drug laws.

Most of those benefiting from these proposed reforms are black and brown-skinned people.

GEORGE S. GARWOOD

merleneg@yahoo.com