US President Barack Obama speaks during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Phoenix Awards Dinner on September 17, 2016 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Barack Obama has called on the African-American community to rally around Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in an effort to defeat Republican candidate Donald Trump in the November election.
Obama, America’s first black president, made the call in an emotional speech at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation gala on Saturday night in Washington. Clinton also attended event.
“If I hear anybody saying their vote does not matter, that it doesn't matter who we elect -- read up on your history. It matters. We've got to get people to vote," Obama said.
“We have achieved historic turnout in 2008 and 2012, especially in the African-American community. I will consider it a personal insult and an insult to my legacy if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election," he said. "You want to give me a good send-off? Go vote."
According to exit polls, record numbers of black voters casted their ballots in 2012, and 93 percent of them backed Obama over Republican candidate Mitt Romney. A recent survey conducted by the Washington Post showed Clinton having an 80-point lead over Trump among black voters.
"If you care about our legacy, realize everything we stand for is at stake. All the progress we’ve made is at stake in this election,” he said.
"My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot. Tolerance is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Good schools are on the ballot. Ending mass incarceration, that's on the ballot right now," he said.
US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton waves as she accepts a Phoenix Award from Representative Jim Clyburn (D-SC) during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Phoenix Awards Dinner on September 17, 2016 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Last month, Trump asked African-American voters to vote for him since they “have nothing to lose.”
Trump talked about disproportionate levels of poverty, unemployment and failing schools for the black community in the United States and claimed he would make a better future for them if he won the White House.
"You're living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58% of your youth is unemployed -- what the hell do you have to lose?" Trump asked the audience.
In his speech on Saturday night, Obama said Trump says “we got nothing left to lose, so we might as well support somebody who has fought against civil rights, and fought against equality, and who has shown no regard for working people for most of his life. Well, we do have challenges, but we're not stupid.”