All Articles Tagged "election 2012"

Choosing Between Obama, Romney And The Bible: How I ALMOST Made The Decision Not To Vote In This Year’s Election

October 31st, 2012 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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I have a confession. A confession that would make my sixth grade history teacher cringe. A confession that would probably  make black suffrage advocates shake their heads in dismay.  I almost drank the Kool-aid. I almost decided not to vote in the upcoming election. Hear me out.

Prior to news breaking alleging that many black pastors were advising their congregations to opt out of voting in this election, I hadn’t really put much thought into the candidate that I would be voting for. As a young adult and a student, it just seemed to me that President Obama had my best interests in mind and at heart, and that was who I had planned on voting for. However, my firm stance was shaken as I made my rounds one morning, scanning the web to see headline after headline implying that black pastors were advising their congregations not to vote in the upcoming election because of Obama’s advocacy for issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion. Apparently, deciding between Obama and Romney was like choosing between two evils. Call me naive, but I had never really even taken those factors into consideration. Yes, his stance on the subjects directly conflict with basic biblical principles; however, I never stopped to make the correlation between my presidential candidate of choice and my religious beliefs prior to reading these headlines.

But the more I thought about it, the more conflicted I felt. Would me deciding to go to the ballot box and vote for the Democratic party be a direct contradiction of my Christian beliefs? Yet the thought of voting for Mitt Romney made me absolutely sick to my stomach. Because I couldn’t find a peace of mind with either men at the time, I decided that I would do like the other Christians mentioned in those articles I found online–I had decided not to vote. I knew it wasn’t the best choice, but what was I to do? Considering how much Christians endorsed President Obama in the fist election, comparing him to Dr. King and all, compared to the way in which they are at odds with him now was like watching two parents fighting and being unsure of which side to choose. So, I made up my mind to do what most children would do when caught in the middle of two feuding parents. Stand there and do nothing.

All was well in the world again. I didn’t have to choose between my Christian upbringing and my political party of choice. “May the best man win,” I thought as I made myself comfortable, nestling in the gray area instead of choosing sides. That is until one day, while on Twitter, I came on across this image of a man hanging from a streetlight post with a sign on his chest that read: This N-Word voted. I felt hot tears well up in my eyes as everything I’d ever learned about the Civil Rights Movement and the fight for black suffrage came rushing back to my memory. I thought of all the people who lost their lives so that I could have the right to vote. In that moment I came to my senses. Voting is a responsibility and a privilege. No one ever said that choosing between presidential candidates would be easy, but blood was literally shed so that people like you and I could be able to vote and choose. Deciding not to participate in this presidential election is a cop out that I almost took. But I am so glad that I came to my senses. While deciding between presidential candidates in this current election is a hard decision, know that someone died just so that you would have the right to make that decision. I don’t know about you, but I know where I’ll be next Tuesday…

Jazmine Denise is a freelance writer living in New York. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise

All photos are courtesy of Shutterstock

One Woman’s Right To Have an Abortion

October 29th, 2012 - By Jasmine Berry
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Source: Shutterstock

“If I always remember, then I’ll never forget and make the same mistake twice.”

Elise*, 22, paused for a moment, staring at nothing and no one in particular as she recalled the moment she was having an abortion performed. While visiting family in New Jersey, she was introduced to a guy through her cousin. The two hung out a lot, resulting in them sleeping together.  She left New Jersey to return home to Maryland, before starting college in Miami, only to find that she was pregnant at 18 years old.

“I knew what I had to do. It wasn’t one of those things you think about more than once,” she says, with a heavy sigh. “I was scared, but there was no turning back, you just do it.  I was squirming at first, and the doctor told me, ‘If you squirm again I can’t take this out.’ I laid still and just beared with the pain as he sucked it out. When he was done, I watched him pour it down the drain.”

She opted to stay awake during the operation, in order to teach herself a lesson.

Elise’s story is not unfamiliar to many young women. According to Abortion.org, 50% of women obtaining abortions in the U.S. are younger than 25: women aged 20-24 obtain 33% of all abortions; teenagers obtain 17% and girls under 15 account for 1.2%.

Women’s rights has taken center stage in the current presidential election. And, with that, the controversial issue of abortion has become an incessant point of conversation.

While President Barack Obama fully supports a woman’s right to choose, his opponent does not. Softening his initial, aggressive stance, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he would back laws in support of protecting life. Earlier in the presidential race, he said he wanted to cut funding for Planned Parenthood and appoint judges to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

When Elise had made her decision, she went to Planned Parenthood to have her abortion performed. The procedure cost around $300. Elise says Planned Parenthood is a good resource for those who need it, and even believes the abortion numbers would be higher if taken away.

“It’s not your decision,” says Elise, referring to the constant debate between politicians over a woman’s right to an abortion.  “If I had kept my child, I would not have been able to go to school, to better myself, and provide a life— and then I would have been a statistic. My parents would not have helped me, and then I would have been looking around—mad at the world, when it was my fault.

“They’re not the ones who are quick to be a statistic,” said Elise, about the Republican party’s stance on the issue.

According to The Alan Guttmacher Institute, the most common reasons women receive abortions are due to interference with school, work, not wanting to be a single parent and not being able to afford a child.

Though this happened years ago, there are times when Elise is reminded of her decision.

“Every now and then I get a baby killer text message or phone call,” she says in reference to the guy who impregnated her. He wanted her to keep the child, but offered no assistance in wanting to help raise their child.

She now takes birth control pills and whenever she is in a relationship, she always uses protection. As of now, she’s undecided about whether she wants children someday.

Elise resides in Maryland and is finishing her last year of college. She hopes to own her own event planning business in the future.

*Name has been changed.

Jasmine Berry is a senior majoring in journalism at St. John’s University. Follow her on twitter @signedjas and her blog.

Kerry Washington Writes Op-Ed Piece About Why She’s Down For President Obama–And Why You Should Be Too

October 22nd, 2012 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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WENN

While everyone prepares for tonight’s last debate (thank you, Lord!!!!!!!), Kerry Washington was somewhere writing a deep essay on why she supports President Obama in his quest for a second term. Washington has had the President’s back for a while now, even speaking at the Democratic National Convention to get the word out. In a thought-provoking piece, Washington said she is inspired by his support for women’s rights and women’s health, as well as the fact that he seems to be working for the people–all people. Being a man raised by a woman, he seems most concerned out of both candidates in doing right by us:

President Obama knows the importance of women’s rights and women’s health. He was raised by a single mom, and he has been surrounded by smart, strong women ever since—he’s married to one and he’s a father of two. So for our president, women’s issues aren’t just political, they’re personal for him as well.

When President Obama made the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act the very first bill he signed—he did so because he believes the hard work of our daughters is just as important as the work of our sons. He fought for Obamacare so women can access quality, affordable health care. He put two more women on the Supreme Court because he believes women should have an equal voice in the decisions being made at the highest levels of our democracy. And he knows we still have work to do.

I think the most interesting part of Washington’s piece was the part where she pointed out the things Mitt Romney has NOT committed to, and of course done his famous flip flop on over and over again. I’m sure you all remember in the last debate how Mitt Romney didn’t answer the question about equal pay and instead talked about how he helped women get jobs in general. That Mitt, always beating around the bush:

There are a lot of answers Mitt Romney still hasn’t given women. Why won’t he stand up for equal pay? Why won’t he support renewing the Violence Against Women Act? And while I am surprised that Romney won’t commit to those things, I’m even more concerned about what he will commit to.

Two weeks ago, Romney told a newspaper that eliminating a woman’s right to choose isn’t part of his agenda. Within two hours, his staff had to correct him, confirming that, yes, the real Mitt Romney would “of course” support legislation to restrict and deny that right. Romney can’t hide that he once called Roe v. Wade “one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history,” and has pledged to defund Planned Parenthood. Romney also supported one bill that would turn women’s health decisions, like having birth control covered in our health plans, over to our bosses, and he even once said he’d be “delighted” to sign a bill that banned all abortions.

Washington concluded her op-ed letting folks know that it’s important for us, women especially, to go out there and get our voices heard this election season, or we run the risk of losing so much.

“We, the people, especially us women, have to make sure our leaders know how we feel, what we think and what we care about. Together, we need to stand up for the kind of America we want—one where women and girls are equal, strong and proud, and where we all have a president who has our back.”

Check out the rest of Kerry’s piece via The Daily Beast and get enlightened.

I can’t tell you how badly I want this election season to conclude. Hearing the lies and the lack of information about how folks are going to improve the conditions of ALL people has become frustrating at this point. But I definitely agree with Washington about her points on women’s health and rights possibly being snatched from right under us if Romney is elected. As inconsistent as he’s been over the last few months, if not years, it confuses me how some can ride so hard for Mitt and not the President, a man who has four years under his belt already (and not to mention Osama Bin Laden’s head on his record).

Oh wait, I know why (and I’m sure you do too), but that’s a whole other story for another day.

What do you think of her comments?

 

The Rundown: A Bad Jobs Report and Gabby Douglas Wins Gold

August 3rd, 2012 - By Tonya Garcia
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Image: FoxNews.com

-The country added 163,000 jobs last month, a huge increase when compared to the 64,000 that were added in June. Even with this good news, there’s bad. First, the unemployment rate is up to 8.3 percent. Second, the country is producing as much stuff now as it did before the downturn, when there were five million more jobs. If companies can do more with less, they will. And third, the jobs being created is only covering the new people coming into the workforce. Add to that the ongoing concerns about the European economy and things are still looking pretty dark. But, the Federal Reserve sounds like it’s now ready to act with stimulus measures, so that could be a good thing.

-Gabby Douglas has the gold! The 16-year-old won the women’s all-around competition yesterday, becoming the first black American to win that coveted prize. Even with all the that, people have found a reason to bad mouth her. The Internet has gone in on Douglas’ hair, of all things. We’re going to ignore all that. #GoGabbyGo.

In other Olympics news, Michael Phelps is competing in the last individual race of his career today. And the U.S. basketball team is cruising, setting a points record beating Nigeria 156 to 73. Want to imagine getting your own gold? Go to the BBC site where you can plug in your height and weight and find out which Olympic athlete you resemble.

-Those angered by Chick-fil-A’s position on same-sex marriage are staging a kiss-in in protest. Participants will show up at restaurants across the country and kiss other protesters of the same sex. Wednesday was “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” which brought record-breaking sales. The day was organized on Facebook and attended by many who support the stance put forward by company president Dan Cathy. Chick-fil-A restaurant locations are largely in regions where support for same-sex marriage tends to be low. But if the company tries to move into areas where the tide on the issue is turning, the company will likely run into trouble.

-The U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria and (former U.N. Secretary General) Kofi Annan is stepping down from his post at the end of the month. During a press conference, Annan criticized the lack of action and support he received from the Security Council. Violence continues in the country, where the city of Aleppo is now the main site of fighting between the government and rebels. More than 14,000 people have died.

-A study conducted by two liberal advocacy groups, U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) and Demos, found that just 47 people have given 57.1 percent of the $230 million donated by individuals to PACs during this 2012 election. Super PACs supporting Mitt Romney have spent $144 million on TV advertising in swing states so far. Billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his family have donated  good portion of the $36 million that they’ve given to Winning Our Future, a PAC with ties to Newt Gingrich. They’ve also given $10 million to Restore Our Future, a PAC started by Mitt Romney’s former aides. The report’s authors “calculate that it would take 321,000 middle-income families, donating an equivalent share of their wealth (0.15 percent), to match the Adelsons’ giving,” The Washington Post reports.

Still a little unsure of what a PAC is? Stephen Colbert started his own super PAC and invited legal expert Trevor Potter on The Colbert Report to explain what they are and how (horribly) they’re allowed to be behave.

More on Madame Noire Business!

Does the Black Christian Church Speak for You?

May 17th, 2012 - By Charing Ball
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Source: religion.blogs.cnn.com

Question: Why is the news obsessed with what the black community thinks about same sex marriage?

I mean, they don’t ask the community about their feelings on the economy. Nor are we invited to share our thoughts on topics related to foreign affairs. But every since President Obama pledged his support for same sex marriage the spotlight has been put onto black community as political pundits and journalists alike wait with baited breath to hear what we think about it.

I don’t know about the rest of yall but I’m kind of offended. Two months ago, when the Black community was all a huff over the Trayvon Martin case, I don’t recall CNN or MSNBC rushing to get a comment from the likes of GLAAD and the Human Rights Coalition. Sure both groups did put out statements taking a strong stand against the injustices around the Martin case. But those statements never made it to the press. Nor were their cameras in what could be classified as traditional “gay spaces” asking them their opinions on Zimmerman’s guilt or innocence. I’m willing to bet though, that if a poll were done, like the many CBS/NBC/Gallop/New York Times polls we’ve seen about the black reaction to Obama’s announcement, we probably too would see a diversity of thought from the LGBT community including those who supported justice for the Martin family to those who downright thought he had it coming. I mean, just because you are gay, doesn’t mean that you can’t be racist.

Of course, it would be illogical to think that if a number of gay and lesbian, transgender and bisexual folks believe that Zimmerman was innocent than the entire LBGT community must be condemned. But that is what is happening to the black community now on the issue of same sex marriage. No matter how internally diverse we are, in the eyes of the mainstream it is one for all and all for one. The obvious explanation is that this is an attempt to drive a wedge – or at least exploit a supposed wedge issue that is already there – between the two communities, especially considering that the long standing narrative is that black voters let their Bible-thumping ways get in the way of any sense of justice for the LGBT community.  We’ve seen that vilification of black folks in 2008 with the passage of California Prop 8 and we see it most recently in North Carolina with Amendment One – even as new evidences proved that other factors such as geographical location of the voters and generational differences in attitudes proved to be much more determining factors than actual race.

But the media needs its villains and scapegoats. And instead of putting the blame squarely on the state and federal governments, who choose to derail or flat out refuse to enforce the basic promise of equality under the 14th Amendment, they use the tried and true arguments of state rights and majority wins, which is as old as struggle for equality itself.  First off, black folks have never been that politically powerful. And secondly, do you honestly think if a law, in regards to civil rights for black folks, were on the ballot today it would pass by the majority? Heck no, that’s why federal mandates were created to force the hands of states, who seek to deny people basic rights.

But all of that is secondary to the discussion at hand. More to my point: black people are a monolithic group, similar in kind to the Borg from Star Trek.  We look alike, talk alike and therefore must think alike – at least by the mainstream media standards. Never mind the hundreds of free thinkers, black intellectuals, college professors, and ordinary blacks who’ve spent their entire lives either living or pondering on the intersection between being Black and being gay. Their views don’t matter. The only opinions that do matter belong to those, who the media has deemed the sole authority on the black experience: mainly the Southern black conservative church.

For the last few days since President Obama’s announcement, many mainstream news media, along with several black media outlets have been tripping over themselves to parade every single conservative preacher, Deacon and brother in a Christian barbershop in front of the cameras to give their brimstone and fire accounts of why President Obama and “the gays” are going to Hell. These people are scary and often feed into the political theater that the black community is largely homophobic, thus throwing their support for President Obama’s reelection campaign in jeopardy. It’s good fodder for 24-hour news stations, whose main objective is ratings, but bad for our community, who just can’t escape having our thoughts and images marginalized to fit someone else’s agenda.

Once a Bully, Always a Bully? The Issue With Mitt Romney’s Past & Present

May 15th, 2012 - By Charing Ball
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Source: 2012.talkingpointsmemo.com

While President Obama was solidifying his support of the  LGBT community’s quest for equal rights including the right to marry, his opponent was raising eyebrows over allegations of aggressive behavior with a former gay classmate.

Mormon millionaire and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, has been accused of bullying a former classmate, who just so happened to be gay.  The incident allegedly took place at the prestigious boarding Cranbrook School, where Romney attended high school.

According to the Washington Post, Romney, then a senior, spotted: “something he thought did not belong at a school where the boys wore ties and carried briefcases. John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t having it. “He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” an incensed Romney said.

A few days later, Romney allegedly lead a briefcase-carrying posse into Lauber’s room, tackled and pinned him to the ground and cut his hair with a pair of scissors as Lauber, cried and screamed for help.  While originally thought as an isolated incident, another former (and anonymous) high-school classmate of Romney’s has stepped forward to claim that other fellow students have “really negative memories” of the Republican presidential candidate, and that his behavior during those years bordered on the lines of “Lord of the Flies.”

This has set off a firestorm of controversy in which many folks are questioning whether or not this story is an indication of the man Romney is today. And in an interview with Fox Radio, Romney laughed off the incident saying that he didn’t remember it happening and didn’t know the kid was gay. He did admit to participating in a lot of “hijinks and pranks” during his time at the boarding school. He also apologized, well he kind of apologized: “…and if anybody was hurt by that or offended by it, obviously I apologize.”  Obviously.

Yet it was the ’60’s and a half-century later, we can all assume that he has grown beyond his formative years. I mean, he went on graduate college, recommitted himself to his Mormon faith, got married and raised a boatload of children. He also founded a successful business and ran a state. Lots of people are pretty horrible as teenagers. And surely a mistake we made when we were young – when we are still trying to decipher between what’s right and what’s wrong – should not have any bearing on what kind of person we are today.

Can Obama Still Win In November Without Oprah?

April 3rd, 2012 - By MN Editor
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From TheGrio.com

In 2007, a then-junior Senator Barack Obama’s campaign for the White House took off when the one and only Oprah Winfrey endorsed his candidacy for president. At the time, the Oprah endorsement was seen as a game changer, helping the fresh faced Obama secure the middle class, white, American suburban female vote. White soccer moms all over American flocked to Obama at a moment where the relatively unknown politician from Chicago needed to secure that stamp of approval from the rest of Middle America. With Oprah came immediate legitimacy.

President Obama recently joked about that pivotal Oprah endorsement at a fundraiser saying, “And then, there is my good friend, Oprah, who very early on, when I was still running, just decided that she would support this guy with a name that nobody could pronounce,” Obama said, “And just like books and skin cream, when Oprah decides she likes you, then other people like you, too.”

For more about whether O decides to support O, visit TheGrio.com.

 

More on Madame Noire!

Just So You Know: Pres. Obama Releases Documentary Detailing Accomplishments

March 16th, 2012 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: whwweb.com

Can I just say that I’m not going to be objective on this one?  Great. Now that we’re all on the same page, continue on.

The Republicans have done everything in their power to discredit President Obama the person as well as his accomplishments as president. It’s not a pretty time in politics and it’s about to get a lot uglier during the upcoming campaign season.

For all the naysayers who believe Obama hasn’t done enough or expected him to correct an eight year mess in less than one term, this one’s for you: The White House recently released a 17 minute documentary detailing the president’s accomplishments over the past three years and some.

The documentary, narrated by Tom Hanks, features some of the following highlights:

The material emphasizes  the enormity of the problems that President Barack Obama inherited and bookending his first term with the bailout and subsequent recovery of the auto industry.

But there are some twists.

  • Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel cops to advising Obama that he should consider spending less time and capital on health care reform.
  • Vice President Joe Biden states his belief that the president would have been limited to one term if the Osama bin Laden raid had failed.
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau creator Elizabeth Warren, assessing the pro and cons of the auto bailout, says the president could have had “blood on his hands” had the industry and economy imploded.

You can watch the documentary in its entirety at Black Voices.com. 

More on Madame Noire!

Cain Gives Perry a Run for His Money

October 4th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Washington Post) — After a quick rise in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has experienced an almost equally dramatic decline, losing about half of his support over the past month, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.  Perry’s slide, which comes after several uneven performances in candidate debates, has allowed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney to resurface atop the GOP field. But the most direct beneficiary of the disenchantment with Perry is businessman Herman Cain, who is now tied for second place.  Perry also faces opposition to one of his signature immigration policies in Texas, the survey shows.  His rapidly changing fortunes underscore the fluidity of the Republican race and the lingering dissatisfaction with the candidates.  That has led some major donors and party leaders to urge New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to declare his candidacy.

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First Lady to Do Heavy Lifting for 2012 Campaign

September 30th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(AP) — She’s mingled barefoot among Aspen’s elite, stirred a Vermont utility executive to tears and bucked up disenchanted New Yorkers.  The 2012 presidential campaign is well under way for Michelle Obama, and the first lady is promising to put herself into the election effort like never before. More than a year out from Election Day, she is hauling in millions in campaign cash and sketching a portrait of her husband that is drawn with an intimacy that no one else could duplicate.  The first lady always ends her speeches to Democratic donors with two questions: “Are you in? Are you fired up?”  It’s a call to arms that the Obama campaign needs more than ever this election, when the combination of a weak economy and dampened enthusiasm for the president are creating a tougher climate for raising money.

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