Multi-hyphenate actress/dancer/small business owner Brenda Braxton has many talents from hoofing it on Broadway boards to styling Harlem's hottest residents at her upscale barber shop Bbraxton, but there is only one choice in her mind for the 2012 Presidential election. She sees President Barack Obama as the "right person for the job," replying quickly in the affirmative when asked if he has her vote in the upcoming election.
Braxton tries not to get involved in local politics, but she plans on holding a fundraiser for the incumbent president at Bbraxton in the future and has very little interest in being a member of the Republican Party now or anytime in the near future. "Racism is such a big part of the Republican Party, I'm not sure if they'll ever be fair," she says.
As an African-American female small business owner, she seems aware of the expectation that all blacks should vote for Obama, but doesn't see much of an option elsewhere. While she recognizes the expectation that blacks should and will vote for Obama, she doesn't see much of a choice within the Republican Party. She bristles at its treatment of the President, saying that the mistreatment "seems racially based."
So, Braxton will soldier on in the efforts to get Obama re-elected in November. She plans to hold a fundraiser for the campaign in Bbraxton's stylish and modern space on West 116th street in Harlem, partially because of voter identification laws that she feels strongly are being pushed by Republicans in order to suppress the votes of reliable democratic constituencies. She feels such laws are racially motivated in nature, and worries about how they will affect elderly African-Americans who "sometimes don't have internet access" and lack information about changes in the different policies.
Though Braxton does support Obama and is heavily invested in African-American issues, she slightly disagrees with those in the African-American community who feel that Obama should have done more for that community specifically. She feels that both the African-American community as well as the community of small business owners like herself are sometimes unaware of just what is available to them based on programs that the Obama administration has pushed forward.
While she does recognize and hear some of the complaints, she believes that Obama's position as the first African-American president puts him under a higher level of scrutiny and that some people are simply "not seeing what he has done." Braxton shares the belief that a rising tide lifts all boats, and believes that African-Americans are helped when the country is helped. "We've got to meet him halfway," she adds with a beleaguered smile.
Mitt Romney, therefore, should not be expecting a call from this small business owner to become a part of the campaign. Braxton feels that Romney and the Republican Party would do great damage to the country and are looking to turn back the progress made not just by African-Americans, but by gays and other minority groups. "He scares me," Braxton states flatly while reflecting on the possibility of a Romney.
Braxton is a bit brighter about the prospects for the re-election of Obama in 2012. She feels that asking the President to completely fix what was broken in four years is an unfair task. "Another four years is what he needs to bring the country back to where it needs to be," she says, before getting back to work.