Audaciousness of Obama: Just The Facts

 An ICON MANN Original by Nikita Hamilton (April 4, 2016) 

President Barack Hussein Obama was elected to the highest office in the United States of America on November 4, 2008. On that day, he became the first Black President of the United States, and on his inauguration day, January 20, 2009, he inherited a plethora of national problems ranging from the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Bush administration’s War on Terror (i.e., the international military campaign initiated after the September 11th attacks). In front of him, from day one, lay a country with problems in education—in 2008 the dropout rate for African Americans and Hispanics, ages 16-24, was 9.9% and 18.3%, respectively—the economy—in fiscal year 2009, which started about four months before Obama's presidency began with a deficit $1.4 billion, roughly 9.8 percent of GDP—health care—42 million people were uninsured in 2013, Guantanamo Bay, and national civil rights for the  LGBT community, and more. And, though some of these issues were faced by Presidents before, President Obama seemed to have all of them culminating into one gigantic storm that the Republican Right placed solely on his shoulders despite the actions of previous Presidents Bush, Clinton and Bush Sr. that led the country to where it was long before President Barack Hussein Obama took office.  

Our President was not responsible for the Great Recession, a factor of which is tied all the way back to the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act under the Clinton administration. He was not culpable for the War on Terror. He was not accountable for our health care system at the time. However, he decided to focus on improving these issues, and more, for the betterment of the country in a systematic, methodical well-planned manner with a predetermined goal to make America great again. He did this because as the elected Leader and Commander-in-Chief of this country it was his duty. Despite attempts to defame his character by Republicans and even some members of his own Democratic Party for being an inexperienced first-term Senator, he stood tall. He withstood the Birthers’ and the Tea Party’s—or Koch brothers’—attacks questioning his citizenship. President Obama’s fortitude to shoulder the blame, make a change, and rise above the critical detractors constantly reminded us of why we voted for him in the first place: HOPE. 

 President Obama, to date, has 

  • Reduced the deficit by a $Trillion dollars,  

  • Decreased the unemployment rate by 5%, 

  • Created the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare, which helped to decrease the number of uninsured Americans by 15.3 million,  

  • ‘Got the man behind of 9/11’ said to the country, and the world, almost 10 years after the World Trade Center, and Pentagon attacks, “the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al-Qaeda,”  

  • Decreased the number of troops in Iraq down to less than 200 soldiers 

  • Called for attention on the issues of police brutality and harsh sentences for non-violent drug crimes, which are disproportionately given to black men, resulting in efforts such as the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative and commuted sentences of 61 men who were serving time for drug possession, possession with intent to sell, or related crimes.  

He has worked tirelessly to leave our country better than when he came into office back in 2009, no matter how little credit some would see fit to give him. 

President Obama’s impact is not reserved solely for the U.S. Within a few short years he has also bolstered the international perception of America globally after years of scrutiny. Trips to Africa, India, and China alongside many others have helped to improve America’s image in the world at-large. Signs of increased confidence in America can even be seen in predominantly Muslim countries such as Jordan and Egypt. Furthermore, history has been made with the Iran Nuclear Deal, which not only allows international inspectors to monitor Iran’s nuclear program at every single stage, but will also open the doors for trade (and embassies) between our two countries –a relationship that was severed nearly forty years ago as a result of their 1979 Revolution. Without this deal, Iran would need only 2 to 3 months to compile enough weapon-ready uranium to build their first nuclear weapon potentially destabilizing their region and causing concern around the globe. Heads of State from the United Kingdom, Germany and France said, “the agreement provides the foundation for resolving the conflict on Iran’s nuclear program permanently,” meaning more safety for the United States and the world at-large.  

 Our President also made a historic deal with Cuba, with both sides agreeing to reopen embassies in one another’s capitals and to officially restore diplomatic relations for the first time since 1961. The First Family recently visited Cuba in a continued effort to show that this deal is more than a symbolic gesture, and is instead the first steps toward concrete change in US relations with Cuba. He has also worked to advance America both within and outside of its borders, whether that is in terms of diplomacy or safety. 

 These are all just some of the reasons why we, as ICON MANN, will miss him when his term ends. No matter how anyone attacks his actions, statements, and decisions, he is not now, and has never been, a monolith. President Obama is dynamic and layered, wearing the roles of President, husband, father, friend, and man proudly. He never allowed bias to box him in or deter him from his goal to make impactful change for the betterment of our nation. He continues to move forward, audaciously, no matter the challenge and no matter the time on the stop clock. He is working for the country until his time comes to an end and not a moment sooner. President Obama rightfully earned our hope. 

Now in order for anyone to become this audacious they need the ultimate cabinet member and best friend. Yes, Biden is nice, and we are all enjoying the bro-mance, but that’s not enough to make and sustain a Commander-in-Chief. No, we are talking about the pan-ultimate ride or die, and the Bonnie to his Clyde that President Obama found in 1989 at the law firm of Sidley Austin where he worked with fellow lawyer Michelle LaVaughn Robinson, who you can call her First Lady Michelle Obama, or FLOTUS for short. Together they have given our nation a shining example of Black love, support, and perseverance. They proudly proclaim their love and their bond. Their marriage upturns stereotypes of only broken Black families, lazy Black men, and angry Black women. We’ve been able to see their daughters, Malia and Sasha, blossom into impressive young women who are shining examples to young girls around the world. The Obamas have allowed us to see them as a family and the affect of that is probably greater than they know and than can be articulated with them still in our view. This national example of Black love and family will stay with us for generations to come and was made possible by the audacity to hope, to strive, to push, and to persevere. 

Though we will soon have to say good-bye to President Obama as our acting President. Our nation will be left with the effects of his presidency far into the future. There are 9.26 million more Americans with jobs, more Americans have healthcare, and Americans are now able to visit a country that is only 90 miles away from our border, CUBA LIBRE, but had been closed off to most of us for over 50 years. As a result of Obama’s willingness to be strategically bold, unapologetic, results-driven and accountable we, as a nation, would not have all of these accomplishments to proclaim. Our 44th President is one-of-a-kind and will be sorely missed. ICON MANN family, respect-lighter’s up!