Recent comments by the sole Democratic African-American U.S. Senator William “Mo” Cowan at a Democratic forum sparked a conversation about whether President Obama has championed the needs of the African-American community. Cowan cast doubt on the need for a “black agenda” and said, instead, that Obama needs to focus on what will move the country forward. For the first time ever, America’s racial and ethnic minorities make up approximately one half of the under five-year-old age group according to the most recent U.S. census estimates. Fueled by immigration and high birth rates, racial and ethnic minorities are now growing more rapidly than whites. Given this information, is the idea of a black agenda still relevant?
Ultimately, providing access to opportunities for all minorities will improve the lives of African-Americans as well as all Americans in general. By focusing on issues such as education, employment and healthcare, we are taking steps to ensure that this minority population receives the tools it needs in order to succeed and contribute. After all, it is this young diverse group that will become the backbone of the U.S. labor force and the driving force behind our economy.