Thank You, President Obama!

President Obama has just completed two terms as the President of the United States of America. Not only was he Commander-in-Chief, but also the leader of the free world.  Most people who know me, will tell you that I have not been one to agree with a lot of the things that President Obama implemented or stood for.  I had many knock down, drag out moments with friends and colleagues alike about our beloved 44th President.

Now that he has rode off into the sunset to embark on the new chapters of his life, I want to take some time to say, thank you President Obama.

Thank you President Obama for being determined. By being determined, you have proven that not only Black people, but a Black man can fulfill his hopes and dreams in the midst of opposition if he has a goal, attaches himself to the right people, and for the right reasons.  You have shown us that nothing is impossible. Most people (all races) thought the U.S. would never have a Black President. You have helped put that rumor to rest, and I thank you.

Thank you President Obama for being a loving husband. We live in an era where the divorce rate is at an all-time high.  There are Black men and women who have given up on each other. There are so many people who have not seen a positive example of marriage. Visible love between a Black man and woman has become a thing of the past.  Most of us have not seen anything like this since the days of watching “The Huxtables.”  You and First Lady Michelle have shown us that Black love does not have to be fictitious, but as real as the air we breathe.  Thank you for acknowledging your wife in public. Thank you for holding her hand. Thank you for showing how much you love her to us. Thank you for showing that you not only cared for the safety of the world, but also for the safety of your Queen, children, and your castle.

Thank you President Obama, for being a great father. Thank you for showing Black men that we must learn to balance.  It is important to do our jobs outside the home, but we have to realize that we have a job that is in some ways more important on the inside of the home, and that job is being a father to our children. I am sure you had tons of things to do when Malia ran into a bit of trouble, but you showed men all over the world how to go to your child to get things in order. On the flip-side, you showed us that after you corrected her, the next step was to protect her from further ridicule. You have hugged, kissed, encouraged, and praised your daughters in front of the world, and still managed to run the country, and for that I say thank you.

Thank you President Obama, for remaining cool while under constant pressure. Black men face a lot of trials and tribulations that sometimes go unnoticed.  Generally, people do not know that we are struggling until we do something that is considered detrimental. You have shown us how to stay cool in the face of adversity.  We have watched people disrespect you publicly, but you never lost yourself. You remained cool.  You still smiled.  You still shook hands. You proved that class cannot be taught. You did all of this as a Black man, and I am thankful for it.

Finally President Obama, I want to say thank you for leading.  I was once told that leaders, lead. We have always been viewed as inferior by our oppressors. During a time when the NCAA has minimal, Black Division I-A football coaches, and Fortune 500 companies have so few Black men and women in executive positions, because they would rather keep the rumors alive, you have shown us that we are more than capable of leading.  You have shown us that we should not settle for being second tier.  You have shown us that it is OK to be smart.  You have shown us that it is OK to be articulate. You have shown us that operating in excellence is what we should aspire to do daily, while being unapologetic.

I may not have agreed with you on many things, but I must agree, and say, that you are necessary.  I now understand that your mere presence has been a present to me, and so many others.

Thank you, President Obama.

When Unity Is The Only Solution

On January 20, 2017 America watched Donald J. Trump become the 45th President of the United States of America.  On the same day, America watched the 1st Black President, Barack Obama, and First Lady Michelle Obama, ride off on Marine One to bring an end to a historic Presidency.

As I watched everything unfold, my mind began to think about what we must do as Black people to move forward under this new administration.

I started to think about how fragmented we have become.  There are so many things that separate us now.  Social status has become even more powerful than racism, because we now don’t work together simply because one person may have more money than the other.  We are now defined by where we live. The church has also become a place that treats the haves differently than the have nots. What has caused such a disturbance between people who look alike? What is it that makes us act as if we are not attached to the same history that once had us all bound together collectively?

During a time when racism was obvious, black people were treated the same by our oppressors. It did not matter how well you spoke.  It did not matter how well you dressed.  It did not matter who you worked for, and it certainly did not matter what church you belonged to. All of us were called niggers.

America is still calling us by this negative term.  It became brutally obvious to me when I watched then, Vice President-elect Mike Pence shake every hand that he could, and even went on the row right behind President and First Lady Obama, but never shook their hands. In my opinion, Vice President Pence was calling them out of their names. He was sending a message to so many with his actions.

So now that President Trump is in office, what are we going to do?  Are we going to ignore the White House? Are we going to bad mouth every Black person who makes the decision to talk to the President? Are we going to keep allowing these political parties to separate us?

If we are going to participate in politics, we must first learn more about the political processes.  We have to know more about who we are voting for. We need to know who is truly on our side, and not just talking. There are politicians who we continue voting for, but never see the changes that they claim to be fighting . We must work to hold these individuals accountable. If we can’t, then we must find candidates who will work in the best interests of our people.

We can no longer allow Democrats, Republicans , church denominations, or social status to separate us from each other. We are prime examples of divide and conquer. Black men are separated from black women. Black families are falling apart at a rapid rate. Our neighborhoods are run down because we are no longer neighbors.

The time for unity is now!

You are my brother. You are my sister. There is NOTHING that will cause me to treat you less than I would myself. We must learn to treat each other better, while operating in excellence.

We have yet to see if this will be the worst President for us to have as Black people.  To this date, we do know that we have seen some very difficult times in this country. The difference between then and now is how we worked together to get through those tough times, and terrible people. We can do it again.

Unity amongst our people is the only solution. It has been tried, and tested. I believe that if Black people can come together as one, we will be the most powerful nation within this nation, and an unstoppable force.

The time is now.