- - Sunday, August 2, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Black lives matter. Young black Americans have the power to change elections.

However, their votes are continually being taken for granted by both the Democratic and the Republican party.

The millennial black vote has become predictable and is expected by the Democrats.

Yet, young black men and women are continuing to suffer under current Democratic policies.

In Generation Opportunity’s most recent “Millennial Jobs Report,” the effective U-6 unemployment rate for millennial black Americans was reported to be 19.2%.

This outrageously high unemployment rate coupled with a lower gross medium income and a higher incarceration rate than any other race in the U.S. is simply not an acceptable result for loyal voters of the Democratic party.

However, Republicans have ignored the young black vote in a different way, chronically writing off these voters as “unwinnable” due to their strong Democratic party voting history in recent decades.

In 2012, over 53% of eligible 18-29 year-old black Americans voted in the presidential election, a vast majority voting for Barack Obama.

If the Republican party more effectively marketed themselves to this sector of the U.S. population, they may have be able to change the results of this election, which would have given Republicans the opportunity to enact policies to help black communities and in turn win the future support of young black voters.

Heading into the 2016 presidential election, both political parties should more actively seek to garner the support of the black community, paying less attention to past voting behavior and more attention to the issues that matter to these Americans, and millennial black Americans should hold those elected responsible for creating changes in their communities by using the power of their votes.

Madison Gesiotto is a staff editor for the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law.

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