Wednesday, January 13, 2016

President Barack Obama's last State of the Union Address

President Barack Obama issued his final State of the Union address. The age of Obama has been filled with interesting events and controversies. He outlined an optimistic view of American society and a future that he has envisioned. He said that he regretted the division and the rancor between Republicans and Democrats (in mentioning about Roosevelt and Lincoln). He talked about the truth about how Muslims and immigrants shouldn’t be demonized. Likewise, he minimized the seriousness of the economic problems that we still have today. Today, millions of working people and the poor suffer economic stagnation and imperialism. The members of the House and the Senate including other people watched the speech. The truth is that the economic recovery was a bonanza for corporate profits, stock prices, and the wealth and income of the super rich for the most part. Many people dropped out in trying to find a job. We have seen the growth of 14 million private sector jobs, but most of those jobs exist in low wage jobs. The real wages of working people have fallen, social services have deteriorated, pension benefits have been gutted, and cities such as Detroit and San Bernardino have been forced into bankruptcy. Recently, Detroit has a program trying to escape bankruptcy recently with a high cost of public resources being gutted and water shutoffs. According to a report by the National Association of Counties issued on the eve of the State of the Union address, of the 3,069 counties in the United States, 93 percent are worse off than before the 2008 financial crash according to at least one of four economic indicators: total employment, the unemployment rate, the size of the economy and home values. In 27 states, not a single county has recovered fully from the 2008 crash and the deep economic slump that followed.

These include such major states as Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. General Motors, Ford and Fiat-Chrysler, which enjoyed record profits, not for the auto workers who produced those profits. Real wages for auto workers have dropped sharply since the Obama White House forced through a 50 percent cut in wages for all new hires as part of the bankruptcy reorganization of the industry in 2009. Mass discontent among auto workers was expressed at the end of 2015 in the rejection of contracts at Fiat-Chrysler and Nexteer, a major supplier, and in widespread demands for strike action. We still have massive economic inequality, which both capitalist parties of Republicans and Democrats have supported policies (like wage cuts and bailouts for Wall Street beyond just globalization and automation) which expanded economic inequality. No major Wall Street banker have been prosecuted for criminality. He spoke about the ACA, which is a law filled with mixed results. Obama’s foreign policy is similar to the Republicans with military escalation in the Middle East and laws domestically that violate democratic rights. The difference is that the GOP candidates view the President as not going militaristic enough, which is silly. President Barack Obama praised the military. We have the issue of ISIS. He called on Congress to pass an Authorization for the Use of Military Force against ISIS, but vowed to wage war with or without legislative approval. The leaders of ISIS, he proclaimed, “will learn the same lessons as terrorists before them. If you doubt America’s commitment—or mine—to see that justice is done, ask Osama bin Laden. Ask the leader of al Qaeda in Yemen, who was taken out last year…” President Barack Obama said that the U.S. issued almost 10,000 air strikes, their leadership is being killed, they are taking their oil, they are taking their training camps, and they are retrieving their weapons. In a clear reference to Donald Trump, he argued that “we need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion. This is not a matter of political correctness, but understanding what makes us strong.” It is important to oppose bigotry. Opposing this bigotry means that American extremists have no right to mass murder, rob, and torture Muslims. America has condemned ISIS (which should be done), but many in the U.S. ignore the crimes of Saudi royals, other Middle Eastern puppets, and other so-called “moderate” rebels (which have ties to Al-Qaeda terrorists). So, we are opposed to imperialism. The President didn't talk about police brutality, Tamir Rice, gentrification, the water disaster in Flint, Michigan, the closing schools in Chicago, and the evils of neoliberalism. Nikki Haley gave her GOP response. Her speech was conservative and even she criticized the xenophobia of Trump and others. The final State of the Union of the first black President was historic.

It's a powerful story. The trailer is dynamic, creative, and emotional. Muta’Ali Muhammad is doing a labor of love, by showing in public, great information about his grandparents. Many of our elders are passing away. Therefore, we have to learn lessons about our elders, so the world can exist in the better format than the past. That is our goal. We want black liberation, so all in the human race can be truly free from oppression and injustice. Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee had a long love story. Their sweet, sacrosanct love story doesn't just deal with romance and emotional connections. It dealt with social activism, which both people have done courageously in the service of humankind. Social activism enriches the soul and it inspires others to fight for the cause of goodness and justice too. For years, Ruby Dee lived in Harlem. She and Ossie Davis opposed the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis disagreed with the McCarthyite witch hunts, because they were a violation of democratic, human rights. Ruby Dee was a friend to both Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis opposed the Vietnam War. Additionally, they gave speeches to protest the unjust Vietnam War. Ruby Dee was a genius and she worked in film, theater, and other endeavors as we, as black people, are the masters of creativity and performing in diverse endeavors. Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee not only protested police brutality (they abhorred the murder of Amadou Diallo). They also opposed the unjust Iraq War, which has caused much of unfortunate turmoil that we see in the Middle East presently. Her physical body is not alive now. Yet, her spirit lives on. Her values and her progressive principles inspire us. We owe a lot to her. I remember watching the Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis movie special every weekend years ago. We honor the love between a strong black couple that loved each other so. Great beauty encompasses Black Love. Therefore, we cherish Ruby Dee's memory and we will continue on the work that the couple established (in our own ways). Yes, I will look at the documentary on Centric.

First, Sybrina Fulton is entitled to endorse who she wants to. She lost a child. She deserves that right. Also, I don't agree with the far right, whom some won't even advocate federal government funding for mental health services. Some of these extremists view human life as having less value than guns, which is evil and wrong. Now, I don't endorse Hillary Clinton for many reasons. For long years, Hillary has even been aided by Wall Street and other corporate interests. When the centrist President Bill Clinton was in office, she went along with his reactionary policies of the Crime Bill, the expansion of the mass incarceration state, and the welfare reform bill (which crippled black, brown, and poor families in general). When Hillary Clinton was Senator, she voted for the destructive Iraq War, which has caused mayhem and destruction throughout the Middle East. When she was the Secretary of State (under President Obama), she supported NATO's evil war in Libya (which violated international law and she gloated over the death of Qaddafi. US-backed jihadist rebels killed Black Libyans too). Libya is now in a civil war when Libya once had strong public resources for its people. Today, Hillary Clinton is running for President. She talks about guns, but she refuses to call for any Wall Street criminal to be prosecuted (in a high level), and she refuses to expose the destructive system of white supremacy. Hillary won't expose the underlying class issues that relate to our problems in the first place either. I won't vote for the racist, sexist, Islamophobic, and xenophobic Republican Presidential candidates (like Trump and Cruz. These folks are extremists and I won't ally with their agendas at all). Yet, I disagree with Hillary on numerous issues. I do send prayers to Sybrina Fulton as she is a heroic black woman.

It is so sad that the voices of black women in this story (of black women being sexually abuse by rent owners in Baltimore) have been ignored for years. The rapists are not in prison (which is a total injustice), and the black women victims of sexual abuse suffer life long trauma. This story should make anyone furious. This isn't just happening in Baltimore. It happens all over the nation where corporate exploiters harm the lives of black people and the poor. It has happened internationally where Afro-Brazilian women have been assaulted. That is why there was a recent protest in Brazil made up of thousands of black Afro-Brazilian women who are fighting back against rape, sexual assault, and police brutality. Capitalist exploitation has caused foreclosures, lead poisoning, and other evils in the world. A real revolutionary will always criticize capitalism, because capitalism by its nature is counterrevolutionary and exploitative. The lives of black women matter. Their human rights are sacrosanct and when one person harms one single black women, it is an attack on all of us. No stone should be unturned involving this tragedy. Anyone directly or indirectly involved in this abuse should be punished. I'm glad that more black people are having jobs in America now as compared to a few years ago (a lower unemployment rate is better than a higher unemployment rate), but we have a huge way to go. We have to grow our median income rates. We have to address mass poverty in our communities. We have to also form more collaborations of black people among many classes to help the black poor in creative ways. Education, health care, the environment are real issues that we must deal with too. We are in a racial and class struggle for liberation. This is a very enriching interview. Dr. Karsonya Wise Whitehead has magnificent insights that all people should appreciate. Everyone should study about the history of Emilie Frances Davis and buy Sister Dr. Dr. Karsonya Wise Whitehead's literature too. We have to do the research. Dr. Whitehead is doing an incredible job in showing people great history from 19th century America. The late Emilie Frances Davis from Philadelphia was a strong woman. African American history is beautiful. Dr. Whitehead is right to condemn police brutality and to stand up for the dignity of black bodies. Black humanity have shown resiliency and courage. We, who are black people, deserve our rights to be protected just like anyone else.
Yes, Black Lives Always Matter.

By Timothy

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