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The Election is Over. Now what?

November 13, 2012 Politics, Power 1 Comment

By Casey Thomas

The election that we thought would never get here has come and gone. President Barack Obama has been re-elected and it will be January 20, 2017 before he leaves. Many people not only went out and voted, but they used every tool available to get the word out to make sure their family, friend, foe or associate went out and voted. Some people used blogs, others sent tweets out on their Twitter account, and still others posted pictures of the president and articles about the now infamous “47 percent” video on their newsfeed on Facebook. Still others use more traditional methods such as email and their cell phones to call and remind people to go out and vote.

As the data now shows, the African-American turnout in 2012 was as high as it was in 2008, especially in swing states like Florida and Ohio. The election is officially over, now what?

If I’m not mistaken, black unemployment in the country is at 14.3 percent and higher amongst black youth. Black-on-black crime is still occurring at a higher percentage the white-on-black crime. The graduation rate for black boys is around 52 percent nationwide. The incarceration rate of black males is higher than any other ethnic group. I could go on with more statistics, but I think you get the point.

While it is great that we turned out and voted in large numbers in November, what are we going to do this January when our kids return to school preparing to take standardized tests that will determine if they graduate or not, or if they will be passed to the next grade?

Or when parents return to work and their children are once again left at home to finish their homework and hang out with the fellas or the homegirls until Momma can get home from work?

Or when school is out this summer, and teenage boys and girls hormones are calling and they have the opportunity to act out on what they are feeling?

What do we do now?

Now is the time to organize, not around a politician, but around issues that affect our everyday lives. It’s also time to plan what is in the best interest of our communities. It is up to us to stay engaged and involved withlocal issues such as education, economic development and crime prevention that impact us on a daily basis.

Stay woke!

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