In 2008, 96 per cent of black Americans voted for Barack Obama; in 2012, 94 percent of us did. We have been his most loyal constituency. As a prominent black Republican, even I voted for Obama in 2008, partly because of the historical significance of his candidacy, but also because I believed he had a better programme than John McCain and Sarah Palin.
What a disappointment the past eight years have been! Despite Obama’s mantra of “Hope" when he first ran for President, on any objective measure, blacks have fared poorly.
The black poverty rate was 25.8 per cent in 2009 and had climbed to 27.2 per cent five years later, according to the Pew Research Center. The earnings gap between blacks and whites is wider than it was in 1979, according to the Economic Policy Institute. As median incomes rose with the recovery last year, they went up more slowly for black people.
Black liberal organizations and individuals have begun to criticize Obama publicly. “Black America remains in crisis when it comes to jobs and the economy… Black unemployment is twice that of white unemployment. Wages are stagnant. Many people who are working are simply not earning what they need or should earn to make ends meet" said Marc Morial, director of liberal black think tank The National Urban League in its 2015 State of Black America report.
Meanwhile the 30 US cities with the highest murder rate strongly correlate with those with near-to-majority black populations, run by liberal Democratic mayors in Obama's mould. This is in the context of an uptick in murders last year, the biggest single-year percentage jump since 1971, concentrated in just ten big cities. Obama’s liberal policies have only exacerbated the problems these areas face.
In his home town of Chicago, the most racially segregated city in America, the number of shootings until the end of September this year was already 10 per cent higher than for the whole of 2015, following a 13 per cent increase in shooting incidents and a 12.5 per cent increase in the number of murders in 2015 on the previous year.
"I'm not the president of black America" Obama told an interviewer in 2012, in response to criticism that he had not done enough to support black businesses.