People-of-Color Majority Alters Politics

Presidents do great things when social movements make it impossible to do anything else, Rinku Sen writes at Colorlines.

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Presidents do great things when social movements make it impossible to do anything else, Rinku Sen writes at Colorlines.

Much of the discussion this election cycle has been about changing demographics.

Black voters turned out overwhelmingly for Obama. Millennial voters, who represent the start of the next demographic phase, did too. Republicans are blaming each other for losing the Latino vote; Steve Schmidt, head of McCain's 2008 campaign, told MSNBC this was the last election that someone could possibly win without getting a good portion of Latinos, which of course Gov. Romney didn't. Mike Huckabee said Republicans have done a terrible job of reaching out to people of color, while DREAMers are claiming credit -- and I'll give it to them -- for forcing POTUS's hand to deliver the Deferred Action executive order, which in turn delivered him many Latino votes.

But demographics alone aren't going to run a policy agenda through the system. It's not like we, people of color, can just exist and, as a result, lead politicians to pass helpful policies simply by asking. Huge challenges remain in economic justice, immigration, environment, education and housing reform. The nation's understanding of what it will take to generate racial, economic and gender equity remains shallow, focused largely on how new constituencies threaten the old white way, per Bill O'Reilly.

Read Rinku Sen's entire piece at Colorlines.

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