Obama Makes History, Needs to Make Good on Promises

By Jonathan Adams Jun 04, 2008

Courtesy of drmvrbr2000 Last night, we watched Barack Obama claim the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. It’s been a long hard road, but we would be remiss to gloss over the historic significance of the Democratic primaries this season. Gone are the days, due to Clinton and Obama’s work this year, that white men are the only viable candidates for president. Obama and Clinton both have acknowledged their political forbearers who helped make the road on which they run, but this time history will have no choice but to mark their names down because of possibility the candidates represent. This reality only makes the fight for racial justice more important. There’s definitely plenty work to do, but we want to highlight some specific items that Barack Obama should get accomplished in his first 100 days elected President. Both Obama and Clinton touted plans that would provide health care for the country, but we want to make sure that these promises are kept. There are indispensable portions of Obama’s plan that people of color cannot give up. We need affordable insurance for our families and we need our hospitals to be accountable for their disparities in care. These cannot be compromised under political pressure because we need a plan that fully addresses racial inequity in the health care system. Obama has promised to probe the constitutionality of any executive order signed by George W. Bush during his early days in office if he is elected. Executive Order 13224 should be on Obama’s hit list. Originated in the politics of fear that followed the September 11th attacks, this executive order gave the Treasury the power to block the assets of any person or entity deemed a threat to national security. The problem with Bush’s order is that the list of terror proponents was guided by racial profiling and perpetuated the idea that all Muslims are a threat to the United States. This, and other executive orders that followed during the War in Iraq, have tacitly created an open season on people of color. Without any checks on the president’s power, reports from California of FBI agents monitoring mosques are no surprise. We don’t know who will be on the ticket with Barack Obama, and it remains to be seen whether his charisma will help us win the big fights in health care and criminal justice, but we do know that the best start to being an effective President is making good on your promises.