On January 20, 2009, Senator Barack Obama was officially sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. As a young 15-year-old African American, I saw him as a symbol of hope for our country. I was proud to have volunteered many long hours to help him get elected. While I could not vote at 15 years old, I was excited to phone bank to engage voters about the democratic process and persuade them to support Obama. At the age of 23, I have to say it is alarming to see how President Obama is attacked for the smallest things. Unfortunately, he is not given the respect he deserves by some. While we have made great strides towards along racial lines in our country, there is still more work to be done. At first, when some individuals kept attacking President Obama, I kept saying “it can’t be racial”. However, reality has hit me and sadly racism is still alive. It may not be as open in the past but it still exists.
I am writing this because it is important we help our minority youth in the political process. When I talk to some young people, they are not interested because of the corruption, greed, special interests, amongst other issues involved in politics. It is time for this to change and we really want to see a difference made in our urban cities in America. Our minority youth deserves better than just a write-off. Lastly, I want to encourage our young people to stay focused and never change your dreams for anyone. As a young minority, you will face different situations and it may take twice the effort to climb that ladder of success. While some may back-stab and give up on you, remember to never give up. I have been involved in politics for the past nine years, and just remember everyone is not your friend. I encourage you to find a real mentor (s) to guide you to becoming the best person you can be. I have listed a few of my mentors who have helped/ are helping me achievement my goals. I truly thank former New Jersey Assemblyman, Carmelo Garcia for believing in me and his guidance to help me reach my full potential.
Demetrius M Terry
Executive Vice-President of College Democrats of NJ