By Tracey Ricks Foster, Senior White House Correspondent
It all started on Monday, June 22, 2015. President Obama was a guest on the popular podcast, WTF, hosted by Marc Maron. The president clarified the statement he made directly after the Charleston, South Carolina shooting deaths of nine African Americans in the basement of a church by a racist. President Obama made it clear that as far as racism is concerned, “we are not cured of it. And its not just a matter of it not being polite to say ‘nigger’ in public.” By his using the word, ‘nigger’ instead of the politically correct term, ‘the n-word,’ President Obama sent the media into a tailspin. Why? Well, the unpublished book of politically correct language has socially eliminated the word ‘nigger’ from the its lexicon. Recently, even if an African American uses the word, let’s say for instance like CNN’s Don Lemon, to provoke appropriate conversation or discussion on race, it is frowned upon. However, the president is the…well, the PRESIDENT and he can say what the __________he wants. And boy did he ever! By being unafraid of the pushback and negative public opinion that he knew would come his way, President Obama didn’t stutter when he said ‘nigger’ and kept it moving towards his point that America still has a ways to go towards the effort to be a complete union of people that judge people on the content of their character, and not the color of their skin. African Americans needed to hear President Obama use the word ‘nigger’ without fear because it made a clear statement. The statement that African Americans have wanted this president to make for six years: Black Lives Matter.
Speaking of President Obama’s six years in office, the majority of it has been spent on what? Healthcare. The Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010 and Republicans have fought it tooth and nail. Remember all the town hall meetings with scary militia men hanging around outside carrying assault weapons screaming about patriotism? Do you recall Sarah Palin and others proclaiming that Americans would need to hide their grandparents because the dreaded ‘death panels’ were coming for them? After two unsuccessful attempts by the attorneys for the GOP to ‘dismantle and replace’ The Affordable Care Act in part, or in its entirety, by way of taking the matter to the highest court in the land, on Thursday, June 25th, President Obama was vindicated. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, in a landmark decision that sent FOX NEWS spinning! To see the president gloat during his noon press conference was exciting. Washington is still cleaning the bloodied battleground that Democrats, Republicans, and the now ineffective and inactive Tea Party waged in the name of Obamacare. There were casualties. Some lost their bid for re-election. Seats were lost and won on the strength of defeating Obamacare and subsequently, President Obama. Yet as the president pointed out in his weekly address to the nation, “it is time to stop refighting battles that have been settled again and again. It’s time to move on. Because as Americans, we don’t go backwards, we move forwards.”
Yes. Can you say, ‘winning’?
Then TWO things happened the very next day. Friday, June 26th, the U.S. Supreme Court declared in a historic decision that same sex marriage is constitutionally legal and should be acknowledged in ALL fifty states. The court announced that states should not “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” President Obama, before stepping to the podium to make an official statement, took to Twitter and tweeted “#LoveWins.” The president later remarked that even though Americans are still divided on the religious issue of same sex marriage, and the definition of marriage, the Supreme Court’s definitive historic decision “also gives us hope that on many issues with which we grapple, real change is possible. A shift of hearts and minds is possible.” After years of vacillating on same sex marriage, teetering towards the religious left, and then ‘evolving’ publicly in an interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts, President Obama took a fierce stand for same sex marriage that was contagious. The White House was even lit in the rainbow colors that have long symbolized pride in the LGBTQI community.
And…how, how can any of us forget the soul stirring eulogy that President Obama gave at Mother Emmanuel for Reverend Clementa Pickney? The president spoke about the end of racism and gun violence and the tragedy of losing loved ones senselessly. But it is when President Obama began to speak on the power of God’s ‘amazing grace’ that not only rocked the historic church in Charleston, S.C.; it rocked the entire nation that watched the funeral service. As President Obama concluded his eulogy on grace, Amazing Grace, no he didn’t break out singing! Yes. He really did. President Obama stood there at the podium, in front of what would amount to the entire country, and the world by way of social media and You Tube, and sang the opening verse of ‘Amazing Grace’. The mourners in the audience rose to their feet, and lifted their voices in accompaniment with President Obama. What more could he have said if not through song? Did President Obama care that it was unrehearsed and spontaneous? No. He just fearlessly went for it! The results? Incomparable.
President Barack Obama has had many shining moments during his presidency, but none will ever compare to the fascinating week he had in June 2015. With a little more than a year and a half to go in the White House, I get the impression that the shades of the Barack Obama the GOP desperately attempted to label a radical community activist and faithful follower of Reverend Jeremiah Wright may be seeping out. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so. I think that the president should courageously and fearlessly be the man he really is and speak his mind. There are no more elections to be won or campaign trails to stomp. I believe that the title of ‘lame duck’ will not apply to President Barack Obama. I think that the Phoenix has awakened and we need to buckle up because it is going to be one hell of a ride!!!