Election 2012: Q&A with DePaul Black Student Union President Taylor Moody

By Ryan Moye and Kikora Mason
The Red Line Project

Posted: Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012

With the presidential election about three weeks away, DePaul University students are anticipating re-election. African-American students, part of what's generally referred to as the “black vote,” share an interesting perspective on how the election affects the African-American community.

Taylor Moody, a fourth-year political science student at DePaul and president of the Black Student Union, shares her thoughts and what impact the election has on the African-American students.

Q: With voter registration ending Oct. 9, what efforts has the Black Student Union made to get more students registered to vote?

A: At events, we have made sure to have people at tables to get people registered. We also had a co-sponsorship with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. on campus…along with the Student Government Association (SGA). We want to give more students of color especially, more of an opportunity to be registered or at least know where to go to be registered.

Q: In the 2008 election, President Obama’s most trusted and largest group of supporters were young people. In this election, some of the Obama enthusiasm has died down. Why do you think that is?

A: With any movement where people are excited, the excitement dies down after a while. People are not as motivated because I guess in their eyes, there has not been tangible progress for their own personal situations. I also think people were expecting some things that were kind of unrealistic for a president to do in only four years.

Q: Some people argue President Obama has not done enough for the African-American community. Currently, African-American unemployment among those 16-19 years old is at 39.9 percent. Do you think he has done enough for the black community?

A: Obama is the president of the United States … it is very unrealistic for us as a people to expect one man to represent us. Can he do more [for us]? Yes, I think he can do more. We can all do more to help [issues] like the unemployment rate.

Q: Do you think enough has been done to garner the attention of young voters in swing states like Virginia and Florida?

A: I don’t know necessarily. I would hope so.

Q: What do you think about the incorporation of celebrities and the Hip-Hop community in the re-election campaigns?

A: I hate to be so cynical, but I think it’s a great thing. I just think no one should ever blindly endorse someone. A celebrity endorsing a candidate can either be a positive thing or a negative thing, depending on what kind of celebrity the individual is.

Q: Recently, President Obama attended a fundraiser hosted by rapper, Jay-Z and wife, Beyoncé. What message was supposed to be conveyed there? Do you think it was contradictory to dine with the “1 percent” when Obama’s campaign is centered on strengthening the middle class?

A: I didn’t take much offense to it just because when you think about elections and campaigns, money is one of the most important things. Where are you going to get that money from to get that message to the middle class? From people that have the most money. Having a benefit with mostly “1 percenters” is not necessarily the best thing to do, but if it is necessary, it is necessary.

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