Standing Rock: Determining President Obama’s Legacy to All Americans

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Photo by Marc Nozell | CC BY 2.0

Photo by Marc Nozell | CC BY 2.0

President Obama’s election was not only the remarkable once-in-a-lifetime event that many of us who remember the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s hoped for, but also a first in the history of the United States. For the people of this country to vote in a person of color was monumental and ground-breaking. Many of us had very high hopes that injustices would be righted, racism diminished, and discrimination reduced. While progress has been made, these changes have not occurred. The history of the United States is deeply entrenched in white privilege, with the world only now getting used to the phrase, what it means, and its power in our lives. Yet, it is important to realize that despite the need for much more progress for human rights, President Obama has reached out to all citizens during his two terms.

Under his leadership, all citizens can access healthcare, whether they are working or have a pre-existing condition. Citizens who are in same-sex relationships can marry and provide insurance and survivor benefits for those they love. Citizens are now protected from the abuses of the banking establishment that caused the Great Recession with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Low-income college students have access to additional Pell Grants, and all citizens have benefited from the passage of credit card reform and improved food safety. However, there is a segment of the population that has not received…

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