President Barack Hussein Obama's (also known as the greatest President of all time) term is finally up. I and many other Americans are beyond thankful for the 8 years of service from this great man. From the affordable care act, lower unemployment rate, the legalization of same sex marriage, being only one of four Presidents to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, and of course being one of the coolest Presidents to ever hold office! I want to first say thank you! Thank you for accomplishing so much while being an inspiration to not only black people but all people every where. Even though that long awaited vacation you deserve is next on your to-do list, your work isn't finished. I can't speak for every President ( because I have only had two other presidents in my lifetime), but after most terms it seems as if Presidents vanish. There is little to no trace of them in the media and barely any interviews after the first couple of months of being "laid off". They resurface at some political rallies and conventions to support whoever is running next. But I (we) want more from you Mr. President. Your presence is a present (Kanye West voice)! So no "retirement party" or vanishing from the public eye just yet! We still need you more than ever!
I would love to see these 5 things from President Obama post-presidency:
1. Get More Active in The Black Community.
Being the president isn't a easy job. Once elected, you have to appeal to everyone. Whether white, black, catholic, Muslim, etc.; a President SHOULD come off as fair and equal. Though some Presidents do show a certain dislike for a certain type or group of people through the policies created and decisions made while in office (not Trump, his racist rhetoric and xenophobic messages are said at speeches and rallies). I don't think Obama was any different from any other President in that aspect. In what seem like an effort to stay fair, Obama did not favor one group or race over another, which is perfectly fine, BUT Black America went to bat for Obama in 2008 and 2012 having the highest turn out in black voters in history since 1964! So some African Americans like myself have a problem with this, and not because Obama did not " DO" anything for us or because he was not a good president. It's because he, sometimes, danced around the oppression of the black community for the last 8 years in countless press conferences and speeches. The cop shootings of unarmed black men, the proven oppression and racism for the last 300 to 400 years ( which he did comment on at his farewell speech), etc. We did not want nor need a knight in shining armor, but we thought having a Black President would have meant a louder, more verbal defense of the black community. So now that his presidency is over, I want him to speak out MORE ( he has spoken out about some things, but not enough) against the social injustice of African Americans and all the other minorities that have been discriminated against and marginalized. He doesn't have to be Jessie Jackson but it would be nice to hear Obama tell the truth about some of the systemic issues that plague the community of minorities ( especially the black community) more often.
2. Stay Visible.
In my short life, I don't remember having a President ( I have only had 3 Presidents in my lifetime including Barack) that was so visible and so "normal" as Barack. Maybe it's social media showing the American people more of the "behind the scenes" stuff, or maybe Bill Clinton and George Bush were out among the people and I was to young to remember. Whether both of those things are true or not, Obama did a great job of showing the "citizen/normal" side of him. Every time I turned around I saw Obama on TV, doing some funny skit online, and even dancing to Hotline Bling. The reason Obama was so popular and may be the most popular President ever is because he was at basketball and football games among the people, he played basketball with the UNC's basketball team ( every old head think they still got it on the court), and he never stopped having fun. Obama was turned into a hometown hero not only for Black America, but for everyone! Him and Michelle remind me of the fun Aunt and Uncle in a family that you always see having fun and laughing at the family reunion, hand-dancing to every old school song played! The American people loved seeing Barack, it gave us a sense of hope in a leader who is just as normal as us! Continue staying in the lime light President Obama!
3. Chi-Town Hero
Chicago is by far one of the worst cities to live in due to the extreme gun violence. This quote from CNN.com sums it up, "The city saw a surge in gun violence in 2016: 762 murders, 3,550 shooting incidents, and 4,331 shooting victims, according to a statement released by the Chicago Police Department on Sunday January 1st, 2017". Many celebrities have spoken up in efforts to help relieve the bleeding of the troubled city. Dwayne Wade, Spike lee, Chance the Rapper, G- Herbo ( Chicago rapper), and many more have all been active in trying to help stop the violence in Chicago. Barack having deep ties to the Chicago community, I would love for him to try and tackle some of the issues and help where it's possible. No, I am not calling for an Obama Robocop to clean up the streets in a week, but I am definitely calling for him to be even more outspoken about the gun violence. Chicago needs the countries help to put this issue on the for front of everyone's mind. Who better to help with that than President Obama.
4. Black Love Never Dies
*Cue BJ the Chicago Kid song “Real Love Never Dies”* The Obamas are the pinnacle of Black love. Watching the President's ode to his beautiful wife at his farewell speech was #RelationshipGoals to the fullest! Their unwavering love for each other puts a tear in everyone's eye. The way Barack talks, loves and uplifts his wife is how all men should treat there woman. It's honestly a inspiration to see that kind of love from our President. The genuineness about their love is what makes it beautiful. No one has the perfect marriage, but you can honestly see that Barack and Michelle, through flaws and all, love each other to death! Barack, continue to respect and love your wife and two daughters like you have been doing. Being the Husband and Father young black men aspire to be and young black women aspire to find and marry; this will continue to help our young (and old) adults put it all into perspective! Keep showcasing your love and show the young generation that true love really never dies!
⁃ Regardless of whatever people think Obama did or didn't do; he has still become synonymous with the black community. I hear people all the time say as a community, we have to unite like other minority's did to make an impactful change for our communities. Things like pulling funds together within the black community to strengthen it, united backing of a candidate that is picked for us by us, lobbying our current officials and representatives to get what we want, and so on. I chose FUBU as the title to this last point as a shout out to Solange Knowles and her latest album " A Seat At The Table". FUBU ( NO, it does not stand for Fat, Ugly, Black, and Uncomfortable like it did in the 6th grade. Grow up guys! ) is an acronym that means: For Us By Us. I would love for Barack Obama to not just give his endorsement away to just anyone because they are a democrat, but back a person that has the black communities' interest at heart. Someone ( regardless of race) that cares about the black community. Most Presidents just give their endorsement to the next person running out of their political party ( except Trump, but we all understand why). Please keep us in mind when endorsing someone to run for any government job in the future.
Again, thank you for the last 8 wonderful years Barack and enjoy that vacation! Just know when you get back, your work is not done just yet.