Lesly Hernandez

English 114 B
3.16.16
Representing Histories...
Founded about 240 years ago in 1776, The United States was finally recognized as
country. A country that is composed of fifty states each with different races and cultural
backgrounds. The United States has always been a Democracy, which means that the people are
in charge of who gets elected as well as other political matters, whether they be democrats or
republicans. In the year 1789, just over ten years that our country was founded, a president was
elected by the people. That President being George Washington. In all the years from then to
now, 2016, we have had 44 Presidents. Fourteen of those have been democrats, while eighteen
have been republicans. However, all but one of them has been Caucasian. On November 4, 2008,
the very first African American President was elected. He was President Barack Obama.
African Americans and Latinos have always been seen as the minority group. This dates
all the way back to when African Americans were used as slaves. They were not seen as people
and were not treated like one either. They were sold to Caucasian families and were given jobs
that needed to be done on the daily. Whether that be cooking, cleaning, and many even picked
cotton. Fortunately for them, Abraham Lincoln, who was the President at the time, ended slavery
with the Emancipation Proclamation. That however, only helped for a short period of time being
that the "separate but equal" act began shortly after. Segregation was the separation of blacks and
whites in different social settings. This lasted many years and still goes on and is now seen in
education. "more than 75 percent of the school districts remained segregated and one half of the

black population was below the poverty line.", according to an article of racial segregation.
African Americans have not been the only ones to go through traumatic experiences. Latinos
have been discriminated against for many years. In 1942, the government established the bracero
program, which gave Mexicans jobs to work in agriculture. To them it was a good thing because
they had work, but in reality they were being paid at very low wages and were basically
"legalized slaves." Latinos have always been looked down upon for the color of their skin or the
way they speak. Some Latinos have language barriers which makes it hard for them to speak
English and are often mistreated for that fact. Many of them are refused jobs or paid lower for
the work they put in solely because of their race. The treatment between these two races has
always been seen and will continue being seen for years to come. This is not to say that people of
other races are not treated poorly but African Americans and Latinos are two very important
ones.
Obama running for presidency was seen as a good thing to many people. More so to the
Latinos and African Americans because they had been through so much already. It changed the
game; there was actually he would follow through and make it as President. The people were
ready to see someone of color in the White House. To them this meant a social and political
change. They believed that with Obama as president it would help fix their problems. It would
help fix the racism that was going on because since people were so open to having a President of
color they would be open to other things as well. Being that Obama did grow up like other
people made him relatable and even more likable. Knowing he had to struggle in order to get to
where he is made him a good candidate to the people. It was almost seen as a domino effect, they
knew that if they could get an African American President in there it would broaden peoples
ideology and that a women President would be next, or even a Hispanic President.

Obama accomplished many things his eight years in office. Obamacare was one of the
major things he did, this was also known as the Affordable Care Act. This act was mainly to
provide Americans with access to affordable health insurance and improve the quality of health
insurance. Obamacare offered Americans a number of new benefits, rights, and protection in
regards to their healthcare. Americans that fell under the 400 percent of the federal poverty level
qualified for subsidies through the marketplace. This meant they were able to buy healthcare at a
lower price. Before this act was passed people could have been denied coverage and treatments
from their past illnesses, they could have been easily dropped mid treatment for making a
mistake on their applications. However today, these same people have a large number of new
benefits, rights, and protections. In 2013 there were about 44 million Americans without health
insurance, which made up about 16 percent of the population. These 16 percent were mainly
working families or people that couldn’t pay for health insurance. Which is why Obama made
this act, to help them get insurance by allowing more people to be eligible for Medicaid and
offering them cost assistance through the health insurance marketplaces. According to statistics,
this did help because by 2014 less than 13 percent of Americans were uninsured and by 2015 this
lowered to below 10 percent. Obamacare gives everyone an equal opportunity to have health
insurance and not worry whether they will be treated or sent away.
Under President Obama that has been a major incline in education as well. Although the
No Child Left Behind act was first introduced in 2001, one form of it was not passed up until
2010. The original No Child left Behind act's goal was to make sure that every student was given
a opportunity to learn and to close the achievement gap. However, when it came to the needs of
each community it led to too much testing during classroom times and reform wasn't giving back
the right kind of feedback, the kind they expected to see. This rewrite of the act has returned

control back to the states and districts in order to determine how to improve troubled schools.
"With this bill, we reaffirm that fundamental American ideal that every child- regardless of race,
income, background, and Zip code where they live- deserves the chance to make out their lives
what they will", said Obama at the signing of this bill. The bill still holds the federal mandated
standardized testing but not the consequences for districts that do poorly. This also stops the
government from trying to impose academic requirements, like Common Core. With Obama as
president there has been major progress in regards to High School dropout rates. According to
the Department of Education, these rates are at an all time low, with the highest progress among
African Americans and Hispanics. The national High School graduation rate was at its highest in
2013 with 81.4 percent. Between 2013 and 2013, graduation rates for Hispanics students
increased a little over four points from 71 percent to 75.2 percent. As for Black students their
percentage points increased about four points too, from 67 percent to 70.7 percent.
In 2014, Obama commenced "My Brother's Keeper", an initiative to address opportunity
gaps faced by boys and young men of color as well as to ensure that all young people can reach
their full potential. My Brother's Keeper focuses on six milestones in a young person’s life.
Them being, Getting a Healthy Start and Entering school ready to learn, reading at grade level by
third grade, graduating from High School ready for College, completing college or training,
successfully entering the workforce, and lastly keeping kids on track and giving them second
chances. Being from a different cultural background, Obama knew what these young men have
gone through and was able to relate to their stories. That is what inspired him to come up with
My Brother's Keeper, to allow them to have more options in terms of succeeding and help those
who are having a rough time adjusting. This along with the help of parents and teachers will give
them the tools they need to do well in life.”That’s what ‘My Brother’s Keeper is all about.

Helping more of our young people stay on track. Providing the support they need to think more
broadly about their future. Building on what works- when it works, in those critical lifechanging moments.”, said President Obama. My Brother's Keeper is not a federally funded
program, which means all this effort and time is straight from Obama and no other President has
done this before.
With all that President Obama has done for not only Latinos and African Americans,
there has been a huge change in particular instances. However, being that his second term is
almost up, there are now new candidates. One of those being Donald Trump, who is a
Republican. He has come up with an Immigration reform that he believes will make America
great again. However, I do not think will work or make America great again. The three core
principles of this reform are a nation without borders is not a nation, a nation without laws is not
a nation, and a nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. With that being said,
Trump has come up with some quite interesting plans that he will follow through if elected
President. Looking back at the three core principles, the first one being “a nation without borders
is not a nation”, so Trump wants to make Mexico pay for a while that separates themselves from
us. He claims that they have been taking advantage of the United States by using illegal
immigration to export the crime and poverty that goes on in their country. He also wants to have
a mandatory return of all criminal aliens, this means that all the people in jail that are here on
visas will be returned back to where they came from and not allowed to any foreign countries.
Trump has many plans as to what he wants to do with immigration but one of the most important
ones is that he wants to end birthright citizenship. Ending birthright citizenship would not give
automatic citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants born here in the United States. This
would hugely impact many people because the U.S. is seen as the land of opportunity which is

why parents bring their child here. They want their children to live a good life, better than the
lives they had to live back home. The children that are born here, the U.S. is their home, and they
would be stripped of that luxury. That is why I think it is very important for everyone to go out
and vote if they can. Although Donald Trump believes he is doing the right thing, this would
greatly affect many Latinos in a negative way. Racism and discrimination will never go away, no
matter how much people try to claim we are past all of that, it is not the case.