Roughly eighteen days remain in the presidency of Barack Hussein Obama II. Today the White House announced, President Obama will deliver his farewell address to the nation from his hometown of Chicago. The remarks will take place at McCormick Place on January 10th and admission is free. Tickets are being released on January 7th and available on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Much like his victory speech in Grant Park in 2008 and subsequent inauguration in 2009 this will be a must see event. President Obama is the first Black Commander in Chief in the history of the United States, which in and of itself is something. His remarks, which he says are in the early draft process, will be a celebration of the ways the country has changed “for the better” over the past eight years. President Obama will also “offer some thoughts” on how we as a nation can continue to progress in the years ahead.
No doubt it will be passionate and stirring as President Obama is one of the great orators the world has ever produced. Check the receipts. His remarks will be filled with hope and optimism because that’s who this son of a Black Kenyan economist and White American anthropologist is. President Obama is one of the most optimistic politicians to ever be elected to public office. His belief in the goodness within his fellow man is what allowed him to navigate the difficulties of the presidency with grace, class and dignity like no other President before. In recent comments to the media, President Obama said:
Since 2009, we’ve faced our fair share of challenges, and come through them stronger. That’s because we have never let go of a belief that has guided us ever since our founding—our conviction that, together, we can change this country for the better.
Coming off one of the most divisive presidential elections in recent memory and as we embark on the New Year and a new presidency, we should look back and think about the Barack Hussein Obama II era.
The election and re-election of President Obama did not signify the dawn of a post racial nation. It caused us to reckon with this nation’s sinful and abhorrent past. The behavior of this nation’s citizens before, during and after the recent election shined a light on that. No, we are not in a post racial America. We live in a nation still very much governed and affected by race. The rise of Barack Hussein Obama II proved something that has always been true. A truly exceptional Black person can rise above the mountains of inherent, systemic and systematic racist forces designed to deny progress and even ascend to the highest office in the land. But, he is the exception not the rule. While many would argue we live in a better world, I would urge caution. Let’s judge if we are truly in a better world when we can see improvements and progress among everyday people.