Goldie Taylor: My President Wasn’t Black Enough

My President Wasn’t Black Enough – The Daily Beast – Others, like Ta-Nehisi Coates, Tressie McMillan Cottom and Jamelle Bouie, have written deftly about the inherent limitations, glories and disappointments of a black man in the Oval Office. Opposed from the start by a Republican-controlled Congress bent on obstruction for obstruction’s sake, some of his headiest policy ideals turned out to be a fool’s half-run errand. Broadly speaking, in the end, there would be no 50-state Medicaid expansion and no revived assault weapons ban. The comprehensive consumer finance reform package, a source of due pride for the administration, did not allow homeowners victimized by predatory subprime mortgages—victims who were disproportionately black—debt relief in Chapter 13 filings. Forced to rely on the power of his own pen, Obama used executive orders and administrative changes to advance limited reforms on issues like mass incarceration, immigration and overtime pay. His Justice Department took up “patterns and practices” investigations and pressured local law enforcement agencies to adopt new policing policies. The administration eventually announced an end to federal private prison contracts. Much of those ad hoc gains will prove too little and too late, too easily unraveled by the newly sworn president who has demonstrated significant animus for such reforms.

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