With a month remaining in the presidential race, many voters are hoping the candidates get more specific about their policies and prescriptions for fixing our ailing economy.

In an effort to get each candidate to speak specifically to African-American voters, the NAACP along with National Newspaper Publishers Association, MSNBC, the Grio, and American Urban Radio Network invited each campaign to speak at a forum geared toward black voters but they each declined citing scheduling conflicts.

The New Pittsburg Courier reports:

NNPA President and CEO Bill Tompkins said that the forums like the one proposed by the Black groups would have given Obama the opportunity to outline his support for programs that hope to address issues plaguing the Black community.

“We need to hear that (Obama) is looking out for us, that he cares for us and that he wants us to participate in the great American Dream,” Tompkins explained.

Despite claiming they didn’t have enough time to meet with African-American media outlets, many found it ironic both candidate carved out time to court Latino voters last month.

The NNPA news service explains:

Romney carved out 35 minutes for the program and Obama shared a full hour. The candidates were grilled on topics concerning Latino voters such as immigration,  the drug war, and the controversial Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM).

Univision pressured the candidates to attend the forum held at the University of Miami after organizers of the presidential debate denied Univision’s request to add a fourth debate with a minority moderator.

As Hispanics become the biggest ethnic minority group in the country, African-American voters are finding their influence increasingly waning. But are politicians taking us for granted?

How can black voters leverage their power and get politicians to address the issues that matter to us?

Speak on it! 

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  • Honestly, there is so much a President can do and too many people rely on Obama to fix their issues. I think he has addressed universal issues that go beyond just the black race. None of the greatest leaders that did the most for the black community were presidents and so we need to focus on who exactly are our leaders of today. Leaders with the agenda of furthering black excellence and expanding the wealth and uplifting our community as a whole as opposed to individual success. More mayors and other community leaders need to take responsibility. Our history has been one that led Presidents to have no other choice but to acknowledge the issues we had. However, where is the leader now that is demanding to be addressed? I don’t see that at all. There are issues in the system that will take far more than the president to address. When unemployment rates are higher than any race, you cannot put the blame on Obama. This stems from other issues such as the education system. Although Obama is the president people need to start taking responsibility and begin focusing on ways they can affect our society to better our community. The education system is so flawed and devised to help wealthier suburbs as opposed to inner cities. Have we forgotten his executive order to help African Americans and the educational system.

    Obama may have declined based on ‘scheduling conflicts’ but you must remember that he is the face of something bigger and that he does have to win votes. I feel like he has addressed issues both in Black America and mainstream America before and continues to do so.

    • b

      Obama has not spoke to the NAACP since 2009. So I am not buying the scheduling excuse. He did not meet with the CBC for the first 2 years in office. Last I checked responding to the concerns of his constituency is a part of the President’s job.
      He asked for the job, nobody forced him.

    • 1. The black community is not his whole constituency.
      2. He met with the CBC last year or would you like him to meet with them every year?
      3. While I too believe the scheduling conflict is complete bs, you can’t overlook the fact that he has done good things for the black community, America, and THE WORLD. This election is much bigger than just the black community and Obama has not turned his back on us.

      Many may disagree, however, I believe that Obama has done his best to keep America afloat not only nationally but also internationally.

  • OSHH

    Yes black folk. dems take your vote for granted. Fixing a problem and acknowledging a problem are two different things

  • Hispanics are speaking up and asking for what they want. As they increase in number, so does their power. What will get blacks power? If we stop voting by party only. President Obama ignores us because we allow it. And no need to give me the he can’t do it all. Nobody asked him too. But when you cater to special party interests (LGBT, Latino) but get quiet when it comes to the Black population, it’s a problem.

  • b

    The fact is black folks have a 13% unemployment and whether folks want to acknowledge it not ALL voters have to feel they are important to the candidates. At the end of the day folks have to feel motivated to go to the polls. It’s quite disturbing that anyone would advocate that showing a gesture to black voters is not worth the effort.
    Some of those same folks will rant and scold on how black folks need to participate in the political process . Telling folks to participate to be ignored makes no sense to me.

    No one is asking the candidates to spend the day watching a marathon of roots and write a dissertation.

    They both found time to go to Univision.[/b]

    Obama Sept. 20
    Romney Sept. 25
    Maybe not a debate, but at-least each could have done a forum similar to what they BOTH did on Univision.

    Honestly in all my years I have never heard black folks say presidential candidates should not even address black voters/ issues.
    Never…….until now.

    I wonder why?