Young Black Professionals Support Obama
America’s young black professionals have spoken. And they want President Barack Obama for a second term. “We love him,” Brian Benjamin, founder of Young Professionals United 4 Change told tells BET.com. “One of the things we saw in the State of the Union is the president talk about this whole idea of fairness across the board — with American businesses, the education system and in foreign policy. As the beneficiaries of the civil rights generation, we get what he’s saying.”
Black America’s opinion of Obama has greatly fluctuated since the beginning of his presidency, from high enthusiasm to the Congressional Black Caucus’ condemning remarks that he had not met the black community’s needs. Tuesday’s State of the Union address seems to have affirmed his support among young African American leaders and professionals.
I have had my differences with the president,” Elkhair Balla, co-founder of b condoms, a minority-owned condom company said. Balla was comforted by Obama’s speech and its promise of funding young entrepreneurs to help them create new jobs for the country. “I felt that he was talking directly to me,” Balla said to BET.com “I think four more years is what we will need for him to push his policies and agenda.”
Even with Obama’s renewed support, the black community still has high expectations from the president, including creating new, better-paying jobs for African Americans. “Whether people are young, old, middle class or poor, that’s what’s hitting us the most,” Marc Jenkins, president of the New York Black Expo, said. Jenkins, who considers himself part of the black middle class, is currently working three jobs to make ends meet.
But hope, one of the central ideas that Obama inspired from the onset, remains strong among African Americans. Many still believe in his ability to succeed and make changes on their behalf. “I give him my support because he walked into a very tough situation,” graphic designer Carla Brown said to BET.com. “He walked into the economy when it bottomed out. To come in and make any sort of change is better than President Bush who walked into an economy that was great and tanked it.”