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The President:  Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward.  (Applause.)  It moves forward because of you.  It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression; the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope -- the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family, and we rise or fall together, as one nation, and as one people.  (Applause.)  
Wyclef Jean is one of the legendary names in hip hop music folklore. He led the Fugees to be one of the top selling and most influential groups of all time and made solo albums that also made their mark. He won Grammy awards and taught the mainstream music world a creative way to do hip hop by fusing zouke and compass from his home nation of Haiti, reggae music from Jamaica, along with hip hop. He is also famous for work he does for Haiti. Jean has written an autobiography, which details his life in Haiti before he left for the United States, up until when he ran for president of Haiti. The book is the first of seven that he plans to release. Caribbean Today freelance writer Jason Walker recently caught up with Jean during his promotional tour for the book.
While the 2012 elections are being hotly contested in communities throughout Miami-Dade County, some are tempted to exploit racial, ethnic, religious or gender divisions.  These sorts of unethical campaign practices are destructive to the present and future of good community relations in our county. Spirited debate about pressing community issues and the experiences and qualifications of individual candidates are important and necessary aspects of any campaign for elected office.  But, the election of our government and court leaders should not devolve into overheated power struggles between the various population groups in Miami-Dade County.  The destruction of campaign property, personal attacks, innuendos, and statements that pander to racial, ethnic, religious and/or gender biases are not effective strategies for creating a better community.  Any short term gains perceived to result from these negative practices are overshadowed by the more lasting resentment and mistrust left behind.  When the election is over, our community must deal with the results.
I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate you on the coverage of the “Jamaica 50th” anniversary, as well as the presidential fight for the White House (in Caribbean Today’s July 2012 issue). As a Jamaican-born United States citizen for the past 30-plus years, I wish there was a way I could just make it crystal clear why this President (Barack Obama) must be re-elected to finish what he started. While we may not agree with some of his policies, and who they protect, we must not fail to realize and understand he is the only one or two (U.S.) presidents (Bill Clinton was the other) who have fought for issues that positively benefited all people and not just some.
The dream continues to be deferred – at least for now – for the many young immigrants anxious to become beneficiaries of the Obama administration’s version of the “DREAM” Act. While the June 15, 2012 announcement by the United States Department of Homeland Security that made clear certain young people brought to the U.S. as children are eligible to request deferred action has been heralded in many quarters, young people in desperate need of a work permit have been told to keep on waiting.
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