Last night's State of the Union address was largely celebrated for invoking issues plaguing minority groups, but to some, the speech served as a "missed opportunity" to dig deeper into issues directly impacting the lives of African-Americans.
Such is the opinion of Ifeoma Ike, Co-Creator & Campaign Director of Black and Brown People Vote, who had hoped that Obama would've given racial equality more than just a fleeting mention.
"I understand that it's the State of the Union address, but it's really frustrating at times when the issues that actually impact you on a daily basis are just mushed into one run-on sentence of really different issues," she lamented in a HuffPost Live conversation on Wednesday.
He talked about Ferguson and Staten Island, which deals with the police brutality towards the black community, and then you go into the unfortunate violence that occurred with officers that were killed in New York City, and then you lump that in with the decrease in crime rates. And so, in a lot of ways, I think it's endemic of how we view race in America, that it is one big lumped issue that isn't worth the respect of actually piecing out what those issues are and even acknowledging that for almost 180 days, youth in Ferguson have been marching peacefully for the rights of black people everywhere.
And while the President was praised for his ambitions to shrink the gap between the middle and upper class, these issues are hardly on the forefront for many members of the black community, according to Ike.
"It's actually a very different world for those that are not experiencing a lot of the economic victories that we are touting in the United States, including the fact that African Americans are the only demographic right now that are still in double digits when it comes to unemployment," she explained.
"I just really encourage him and others to really look at what a lot of young people have been crying for," she continued, "which is the acknowledgement of not just civil rights, but human rights of black people: black women, black men, black trans, of black queer, of black gay -- all of these communities actually are treated so far from what we consider human, and definitely far from what we consider American."
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