Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Graphing Change: Obama's State of the Union 2011

Barack H. Obama, 44th President of the United States of America gave his second State of the Union address on Tuesday, January 25, 2011.  This address was given at the beginning of his second year of his first term.  This address, however, has been framed by four significant events; a GOP sweep of the House and near sweep of the Senate during midterm elections, extreme political theater between two parties on ideological lines, a de-escalation of American troops in Iraq, while they increase in Afghanistan, and the shooting of Gabby Gifford’s (Congressional member from Arizona).  As a result of the latter event, Congressional members of both parties (Democrats and Republicans), decided to sit an "integrated” fashion, as a show of solidarity, for one of their near fatally shot members.  We are two months removed from the delivery of this address, and President Barack Obama is still unable to shake a coarsening narrative that includes; he is Un-American, has not brought about change, and is alienating the African American base of the Democratic Party.

After reviewing President Obama's second State of the Union speech, the research reveals the following; it took 13 pages to communicate his ideas, his speech can be divided into 6 categories (Arizona, Domestic, Winning the Future, International, U.S Troops, and You Should Know), and the section on "Winning the Future" took about 54 paragraphs to communicate.  Despite President Obama's rhetoric, that contains his philosophic frame (which translates into his leadership style of governing); a coarsening narrative continues to be waged by the Right, with the help from some African Americans. As a result, this warrants the need to ask a few questions:

1.  How many times does he refer to America and Americans (in some form) in a collective and connective sense?

2.  How many examples of change are offered in this speech?

3.  How can African Americans utilize information from the speech, to help their communities?

4.  How many times is American history used as a reminder of American greatness?


As for question 3:  How can African Americans utilize information from the speech, to help their communities?

Pursuant to President Barack H. Obama's speech, there are topics that afflict the African American community, to include; gun violence, school reform, higher education, innovation, small business owning, immigration reform, digital age, health care, debt management, and issues of equality.  The following are recommendations that one can use the Speech to conjugate into meaningful action: (click specific words in the recommendations to learn more)

1.  Lobby the NRA, State, Local and Federal Government for gun control laws.

2.  Demand local school boards to educate African American children earlier and longer.

3.  Encourage African American students to attend America's world best colleges and universities.

4.  Engage in opportunities of innovation that are often supported by the Federal Government.

5.  Create a business to compete in the mark of profit and help rebuild America.

6.  Demand youth to finish high school.

7.  Support immigration reform for those coming from Africa, the Caribbean, and the Diaspora.

8.  Create applications that will move the digital age forward.

9.  Understand the Health Care Law because African Americans are often without insurance, suffer from disease, and visit the emergency room most often.

10.  Reign in their debt and save disposable income.

11.  Demand the repeal of any such laws that demonstrate inequality, to include Don't Ask, Don't Tell

In today's coarsening political culture, wherein conservatives and their supporters seek to define Barack Obama, his presidency, and his rhetoric, we must take another look.  The research that has been provided demonstrates the following (just in the second State of the Union); President Barack Obama used some form of America and Americans a total of 241 times, he uses American history to remind us of our greatness 18 times, he cites specific examples of change 61 times, and lastly there are elements of the speech that African Americans can use to strengthen their communities.  More broadly, the speech addressed our domestic economy, and specific steps of how we can win the future (investments in innovation, education, infrastructure, and mangment of the National debt).   Each of us must do our own research and make reasonable decisions based upon the facts revealed in the research.  The stakes for our country-and for African Americans-are too high to ignore.

"We are part of the American family. We believe that in a county where every race and faith and point of view can be found, we are still bound together as one people; that we share common hopes and a common creed..."-Barack H. Obama, 44th President of the United States of America, second State of the Union speech


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