The New Black Man
On Jan. 20, President Barack Obama delivered a State of the Union address that he should have delivered years ago.
Gone was the passive Obama determined not to offend the masses as the first Black president or the one determined to reach across party lines for a consensus on the issues.
Present was the new Obama who is the epitome of the new Black man.
Titles, accomplishments and money are no longer enough to satisfy our appetite.
Only power and respect, which we demand and not ask for, will quench our thirst and satisfy us in 2015 and beyond.
The “Yes We Can” mantra of 2008 has been replaced by a confidence that Obama so eloquently symbolized when some Republicans cheered the fact that he can no longer seek office again in 2016.
He smoothly reminded the GOP that he couldn’t run again for the presidency because he has already won twice.
When cheers rang out at the State of the Union, Obama responded by saying, “I have no more campaigns to run…I know because I won both of them.”
When Obama broke down the ultimate barrier and became the first Black president, many non-progressives saw this as detrimental to our country.
Many went so far as to say that they would never refer to him as Mr. President.
That animosity eventually poured into the U.S. Capitol symbolized by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) when he shouted, “You lie” after Obama stated that healthcare would not be given to illegal immigrants in 2009.
The aforementioned animosity played out even further as Obama attempted to work across party lines with House Speaker John Boehner only to be rebuffed countless times.
Though Obama had to walk a thin line being the first Black president, trying to win re-election in 2012 and helping the Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections, he has nothing more to prove as a lame duck president but to make sure that his GOP counterparts and critics get accustomed to an intelligent, aggressive and strong Black leader who will not walk on eggshells to appease his opponents.
At the State of the Union, the president pushed for free community college, protecting the Voting Rights Act while invoking the spirit of Selma, Ala., reversing the outsourcing of jobs, middle class economics, guaranteed paid sick leave, equal pay for women, a free and open Internet, and addressing climate change amongst many other initiatives.
That forcefulness began even before the State of the Union when Obama announced a series of executive orders “that will protect up to 5 million undocumented persons from deportation” according to “U.S. News and World Report.”
While many conservative critics blasted Obama for overstepping his authority, it was high time that he used his legal authority to enact measures instead of waiting for his adversaries to play ball with him, which is a ballgame that would have never occurred.
“President Obama is doing what he can within his well-established constitutional authority,” explained Senator Harry Reid (D-N.V.). “The president’s actions fall well within the clear constitutional and legal authority of his office, as well as the precedent set by every president since Eisenhower.”
Nevertheless, Obama is setting an even bigger precedent for all Black leaders to follow whether they are in the political or business arena.
That precedent is get used to seeing Black men in power and begin respecting their authority. And like Obama, Black men do not need someone else’s approval to flex their muscles or their power.