Dascha Polanco and Selenis Leyva play jail mates on “Orange is the New Black”, but from January 11th to February 12th, they will be playing neighbors as part of the Atlantic Theater’s off-Broadway world premiere of “Tell Hector I Miss Him”, a play by Paola Lázaro.
You’re in Puerto Rico. Old San Juan. You’re a tourist, you walk down the stairs of this beautiful old fort built by the Spaniards. When you reach the bottom, you realize you’re in a hole. Welcome to the basement that lies under the tourism and behind the fort walls. You spend some days there, you don’t want to leave. Oh no, you’re addicted. “Tell Hector I Miss Him” unmasks a community built on the law of respect that keeps getting washed away but refuses to drown.
But when the President finally did begin to speak, he said that the evening would be about saying thank you.
Credit: The White House / Giphy
“My fellow Americans, Michelle and I have been so touched by all the well-wishes that we’ve received over the past few weeks. But tonight it’s my turn to say thanks,” Obama began.
“Whether we’ve seen eye-to-eye or rarely agreed at all, my conversations with you, the American people — in living rooms and schools, at farms and on factory floors, at diners and on distant outposts — are what have kept me honest, kept me inspired, and kept me going. Every day, I learned from you. You made me a better President, and you made me a better man.”
Obama is right about that. His administration was not perfect, but he was able to accomplish so much for the American people and clean up a few messes that were left from his predecessor. While he was able to secure protections for more than 750,000 Dreamers, he also deported more than 2.6 million immigrants.
That was all it took to get the crowd to start chanting:
Please don’t leave us!
Obama said that even though progress “has been uneven,” America is defined by “forward motion, a constant widening of our founding creed to embrace all, and not just some.”
President Obama went on to discuss *a few* of his accomplishments, such as reversing the recession, legalizing marriage equality…
Rebooting the auto industry, creating the longest stretch of job creation in our history, open a new chapter with Cuba, taking out the mastermind of 9/11, and giving 20 million people health insurance… NBD.
He said that the only way he was able to do so much for our country was because of us.
He went on to say that right now is when we need unity more than ever. “Our founders quarreled and compromised, and expected us to do the same. But they knew that democracy does require a basic sense of solidarity,” Obama said.
President Obama said that going forward it’s crucial to uphold laws against discrimination. “That’s what our Constitution and highest ideals require. But laws alone won’t be enough. Hearts must change.”
He said that we must understand that “politics is a battle of ideas” and while it’s healthy to have a discourse about it, we must prioritize different goals while maintaining “some common baseline of facts.”
On the topic of our environment, Obama said we must allow ourselves to pay attention to real statistics.
But one of the most touching moments came when President Obama talked about the power of the Constitution. He called it “a remarkable and beautiful gift,” but reminded us that it has no power on its own.
Pres. Obama: "Our Constitution is a remarkable, beautiful gift. But it’s really just a piece of parchment…we, the people, give it power." pic.twitter.com/qjG1dr6LuZ
“We, the people, give it power. We, the people, give it meaning — with our participation, and with the choices we that make and the alliances that we forge. Whether or not we stand up for our freedoms. Whether or not we respect and enforce the rule of law. America is no fragile thing. But the gains of our long journey to freedom are not assured.”
Then he said that if we don’t agree with how things are going on, we should run for office and make a change ourselves!
We’re on it, Obama!
But undoubtedly the most touching moment of the night was when President Obama gave his wife and best friend, Michelle Obama, the most lovely mention.
“You took on a role you didn’t ask for and made it your own with grace and grit and style and good humor. You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody. And a new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model. You’ve made me proud. You’ve made the country proud,” Obama said.
This is the moment that made both him and Malia shed a few tears.
Of course, he thanked his kids too, which made everyone cry even more.
If you’re wondering about the youngest of the Obama clan, Sasha, she had a huge exam to take this morning so she stayed back in D.C. to prep. Hard work ethic runs in the family.
One of the most optimistic moments of President Obama’s speech came when he said he wouldn’t be leaving us. He said he’d continue to fight along with us.
“My fellow Americans, it has been the honor of my life to serve you. I won’t stop; in fact, I will be right there with you, as a citizen, for all my days that remain… I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change — but in yours.”
He finished by saying: “Yes We Can. Yes We Did. Yes We Can.”