Last night the POTUS simultaneously blessed our lives and sent our post-Obama stress into overdrive when he addressed the nation for his final farewell address, submitting receipts and sprinkling gems throughout.
Throughout his two-term presidency, Obama has consistently maintained a message of hope. His persistent optimism, even in the face of blatantly hateful attempts to undermine his success, has uplifted, encouraged and been an example to us all.
On Tuesday night, the President took this message a step further, calling for tolerance and empathy at every juncture of the American tapestry. His appeal for intersectionality among marginalized communities, and black people in particular, felt particularly relevant as we continue to confront our internal-isms. Last night, my black President went there and broke it down so it can forever and consistently be broke. Let us count the ways:
“For blacks and other minorities, it means tying our own struggles for justice to the challenges that a lot of people in this country face – the refugee, the immigrant, the rural poor, the transgender American.”
The recent fallout that followed Gospel singer Kim Burrell’s homophobic sermon placed a spotlight on the latent hostility and pervasive prejudice that many in the black community harbor toward the LGBTQ community. How one marginalized group can justify the oppression of another is beyond me, and it is clear that POTUS is not here for it.
“For blacks and other minorities, it means tying our own struggles for justice to ... the middle-aged white man who from the outside may seem like he’s got all the advantages, but who’s seen his world upended by economic, cultural, and technological change.”
While I’m here for intersectionality amongst minority groups, I’m not going to lie, extending empathy to those who are seething with outrage at the prospect of extending their privilege beyond themselves for the collective good, is the struggle of my life. I just can’t seem to muster compassion for the tears of those who have proudly embraced their privilege, unapologetically at the expense everyone else’s oppression. Still, on a fundamental level I recognize that, their fears are real from their perspective. We hear you Obama, and we’ll try.
“For white Americans, it means acknowledging that the effects of slavery and Jim Crow didn’t suddenly vanish in the ‘60s; that when minority groups voice discontent, they’re not just engaging in reverse racism or practicing political correctness; that when they wage peaceful protest, they’re not demanding special treatment, but the equal treatment our founders promised.”
You better speak this here word, Mr. President! We are not out here protesting, risking our lives and livelihoods for the fun of it, nor are we looking to elevate our position at the expense of everyone else. We are simply trying to live our lives, get this liberty poppin' and pursue this happiness. Can we live?
Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for leading by example, for inspiring us and giving us hope.