Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Obama sixth State of the Union addresses protests against police in Ferguson, and New York, equal pay for women, free community college tuition, voting rights, gay rights, tax cuts for middle class, foreign policy, Obamacare, Chalie Hebdo, vetoes, and immigration reform

By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief, Cleveland Urban News.Com, and the Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.com, Ohio's most read digital Black newspaper and newspaper blog. Tel: (216) 659-0473. Kathy Wray Coleman is a community activist, educator and 21-year investigative journalist who trained at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio for 17 years. (www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com

WASHINGTON, D.C.-During his sixth State of the Union address Tuesday night before the two chambers of Congress, and for the first time before a Republican controlled Congress, President Barack Obama (pictured), among a host of other issues, called for free tuition for community college, decried racism, sexism, and religious and gay persecution, and spoke on the outcries out of Ferguson, Missouri.

Those outcries have spurred anti-police brutality protests across the country.

"Man, woman, Black and White, Latino, Asian, immigrant, Native-American, gay, straight, Americans with mental illness or physical disability, everybody matters," said Obama, whose speech promoted a broad agenda on both domestic and foreign policy.

"We may have different takes on the events of Ferguson, and New York," said Obama, referencing the high profile shooting death last year of unarmed Black teen Michael Brown by a White Ferguson cop, and recent controversial police killings across the nation of Black boys and men in general, including Eric Garner in New York, and 12-year-old Tamir Rice at a public park on Cleveland's west side.

"But surely we can understand a father who fears his son can't walk home without being harassed," the president said relative to the police killings. "And surely we can understand a wife who can't rest until the police officer she married walks through the front door at the end of a shift."

The focus of the president's 60-minute speech, the second shortest of his presidency, was the middle class, and what he dubbed "middle class economics."

Obama advocated tax cuts for middle class families and the working poor, including a $500 tax-break for working families, an increase in the minimum wage,  and affordable and high quality health care. He said that unemployment is down, the economy is growing, and Obamacare, officially the Affordable Care Act, has given Americans that don't have it, and cannot afford it, access to health care.

As heavily anticipated, America's first Black president called for the Republicans and Democrats to stop bickering, and urged them to "unite to pass a bi-partisan infrastructure plan."

The president also promised vetoes, including in response to a congressional bill that will eliminate funding for abortions while this year is the 42nd anniversary of the landmark pro-abortion U.S.Supreme Court ruling  in the controversial civil case of Roe v. Wade. 

Polls show that the president's approval rating has jumped nine points to an average of 47 percent since November when the Democrats lost control of the Senate to Republicans, who already controlled the U.S. House of Representatives.

The president, whose State of the Union comes on the heels of the Martin Luther King Holiday, said that women deserve equal pay to men, and that the right to vote is sacred, especially given the 50th anniversary this year of the Voting Rights Act and the historic Martin Luther King-led Civil Rights march from Selma, to Montgomery, Alabama.

A Democrat and former junior senator representing Illinois, Obama wants to raise taxes on the rich, and said that Congress should lift the embargo on Cuba, and pass a resolution to authorize force against the terrorists group ISIS.

"We will continue to hunt down terrorists," said Obama, who also denounced the murders two weeks ago by Al-Qaeda terrorists of 12 journalists at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Obama promoted his agenda for cyber security, and wants paid family leave and sick time, and more support to military veterans.

The president pushed for tax and immigration reform, feasible attention to climate change,  and more diplomacy abroad, particularly when dealing with Iran's annoying nuclear program.

"We lead best when we combine military power with strong diplomacy," said Obama.

Obama said that bigger nation's like the United States should work to stop bullying by bigger countries against smaller countries with less resources by "opposing Russian aggression, supporting Ukraine's democracy, and reassuring our NATO allies."

The term-limited president, in his third year of a second four-year term, said that he is not pressed, one way or another.

"I have no more campaigns to run," said Obama.
 (www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com