After the second presidential debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama, MSNBC held a panel with undecided voters to ask them how they felt about the two candidates and whether or not the debate influenced their choice. Sixty-three-year-old African-American Khari Enaharo was one of those people on the focus group.
Enaharo previously explained that he was undecided because none of the candidates were speaking specifically about the concerns of the African-American community.
“Black middle class gains have been wiped out. Black male unemployment is high. Black females [sic] net worth is low. Those issues are important to me and they are being ignored,” he told MSNBC in a survey prior to the debate.
Single and without children, Enaharo is currently retired but used to work for Columbus Housing Authority. In 2000, he wrote and published Race Code War: The Power of Words, Images, and Symbols on the Black Psyche. Today, he receives a pension and works part time as a radio host. Three mornings a week he hosts an internet radio show called Conversate in the AM and on Saturdays from 6-8 am he hosts Straight Talk Live 106.3 FM.
Enaharo feels that African-Americans are being ignored by both presidential campaigns.
“People feel that they are becoming invisible, our needs are irrelevant and that is unacceptable,” he told theGrio. “Latino’s [sic] and women are discussed. Government is supposed to help those who need help the most.”
Enaharo told theGrio that the candidate that could get his vote does not have to have to outline their policies, just address them. He believes the candidate should say, “here’s what we are facing. Here are the problems. I do that every time I sit at the microphone.”
Enaharo is from Ohio, one of the most crucial wing states in the upcoming election.
A recent voting rights dispute in the state led the Supreme Court to decide to uphold early voting days. Some Democrats called the attempt to reduce the number of early voting days “voter suppression,” while some Republicans called it a “campaign against voter fraud.”
“I don’t want voter fraud nor do I want voter suppression,” Enaharo explained why he thought the case went to the Supreme Court. “We don’t have federal standards for how voting ought to be conducted. [If we did], we wouldn’t be getting into battles state by state.”
On early voting itself, Enaharo confessed that he had never been one for making his decisions before Election Day.
“There is so much to be absorbed. I try to follow and make informed decisions.” He told theGrio. “I want to make sure that I take in everything before I make that decision.”
During the last election, Enaharo voted for President Obama and feels that the president has been good in terms of symbolism, but in both candidates there is a lack of substance.
Enaharo told NBC’s Ron Allen, “The one who addresses [my concerns] effectively will get my vote. The conventions and debates were show and tell. It didn’t speak to those issues. Americans are suffering in silence.”
Enaharo still doesn’t seem to have made a decision.
“Neither [candidate] has addressed the issues of the worsening plights of the African-American Communities….Legislatively, in debates, discussion, we remain invisible. Yet I am being pressed for my vote. What’s in it for us? How will our situation improve?”