Things That Matter

Here Are Just A Few Of The Top Moments From President Obama’s Farewell Speech That Filled Americans With Pride

President Barack Obama delivered his highly-anticipated farewell speech last night in Chicago.

For a lot of Americans, this moment was filled with sadness, because it meant that Obama’s eight years as president have finally come to an end.

A photo posted by Barack Obama (@barackobama) on Oct 11, 2016 at 4:17pm PDT


Oh and btw, President Obama is only the 10th president in American history to present a formal goodbye, which is vastly different from the annual State of the Union Address, which he gave a year ago today. This occasion was more heartfelt and poignant, especially in such divided times.

Before the President even uttered one word, the Twittersphere was a hot mess.


But when the President finally did begin to speak, he said that the evening would be about saying thank you.

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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:

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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.”

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CREDIT: Giphy

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.

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CREDIT: Giphy

“But that’s what we did. That’s what you did. You were the change,” Obama said.

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.

“The idea that for all our outward differences, we are all in this together; that we rise or fall as one.”

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CREDIT: Giphy

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.

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“Without a willingness to admit new information, and concede that your opponent is making a fair point and that science and reason matter, we’ll keep talking past each other, making common ground and compromise impossible.”

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.


“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!

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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.

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CREDIT: Giphy

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.

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“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.”

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And after all that, many couldn’t help but wish they were by him to reach out and do this:


Thank you, Obama.

READ: 11 Inspirational Obama Quotes To Remind You That America Is Great

Did you approve of President Obama’s eight years in office? Share this story and let us know your thoughts below. 

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

What I Wish My Family Knew About How Their Vote For Trump Impacts My Life

Culture

What I Wish My Family Knew About How Their Vote For Trump Impacts My Life

fidmart85 / cantstayput / Instagram

Politics is a tricky topic for families and friends, especially when you are on opposite sides of the aisle. It’s hard not to take things personally when it comes to how those closest to you vote. Those feelings have been heightened since 2016 when President Donald Trump won on a campaign based on fear and hate. His rhetoric has never changed and his words and policies are having a real impact on the lives of millions, including me and my husband.

My family is a Cuban family living in Florida. They fit the description in more ways than one. They are a close-knit unit always visiting each other and having mini family reunions for every occasion. Covid changed that for a while but over time they have safely created a bubble with themselves. I am one of three in my immediately-extended family to leave Florida so they don’t see my life on a daily basis. I can only imagine that living in Florida would change that.

With the 2020 elections in just days, I have had some hard conversations with my family about things they’ve never understood or asked about. As a gay Latino man living in the U.S., my life hasn’t always been easy and safe. I grew up in a rural town in the Florida panhandle where it was not okay to be visibly and audibly Latino nor gay.

I was 16 when I had my first run-in with violent homophobia. I was at a keg party and I was pouring a beverage. A college student came up to me and asked if I was gay. Knowing the importance of self-preservation, I immediately said no. Without missing a beat, the man sucker-punched me in the face, called me a faggot, and ran to a waiting car that sped off.

My parents never heard that story. I lied to them when they noticed the welt on my face and told them I got elbowed at cheerleading practice. I know. I was a cheerleader and my parents couldn’t see I was gay. It was safer for me to lie and not let my parents know I was targeted for being gay, something they were in no place to accept are Cuban immigrants living in a rural, conservative southern town.

That moment instilled in me a fear that I live with to this day. No matter where I am or what I am doing, I always function at the level that I can be attacked at any time for being gay. President Trump’s rhetoric and administration has made that worse.

During President Barack Obama’s administration, I felt safe for the first time in a long time. I know that comes with some privilege, but it was the first time in in my gay life that I felt safe to be who I was. I came out to my parents. I became involved in politics to get people elected. I traveled as an openly gay man. I was no longer living in the shadows.

The 2016 elections shattered the feeling of safety and peace for me and my friends. Suddenly, all of us were on the chopping block as our rights and dignity were under attack again. The Pulse Nightclub shooting in June 2016 reminded me of how much hate there still was for people like me and the Trump campaign was fanning those flames. I was scared. My family didn’t understand why.

Most of my family voted for President Trump that year. It was a knife through the heart to know that most of my family was not concerned about my own safety and dignity. For them, President Trump’s election was more important than the very real threat he posed to millions of people.

I remember confiding in my family my fear that President Trump would try to eliminate marriage equality, won just one year before. I was made to feel like I was being dramatic. My husband and I got married the Friday after Thanksgiving because we just did not trust what the administration would do.

Four years later, Supreme Court justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito signaled that they want to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that made my marriage legal. How? With the help of Amy Coney Barrett, who was rushed in with just days left till election day. Marriage equality became law of the land in a 5-4 ruling.

This blow to the LGBTQ+ community comes after the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that LGBTQ+ people cannot be fired for being LGBTQ+. The ruling in June stated that LGBTQ+ were included in the Civil Rights Act under protection from discrimination based on sex.

The lawsuit brought to the Supreme Court to make discrimination against me legal was drafted by the Trump administration. The man my family voted for wanted to make me less than everyone else.

One of the first cases before the majority conservative court that could erode LGBTQ+ rights is Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. The case, which will be heard the day after the election, will decide if private agencies that receive government dollars can refuse people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, and even religion. How is this happening in the U.S. in 2020?

I am also a recently diagnosed diabetic. The Trump administration has been a hostile enemy of the Affordable Care Act since day one. The ACA, also known as Obamacare, has become increasingly popular with Americans, especially now during the pandemic.

Another case being heard on behalf of the Trump administration is a case to dismantle the ACA once and for all. This would throw millions of people off of their healthcare and would leave millions more with pre-existing conditions without healthcare.

A vote for Trump is a vote to strip people of necessary and life-saving healthcare. We have all read the horror stories of people dying of diabetes because they couldn’t afford their insulin. The Trump administration wants us to go back to those days. The court case could force numerous people to die from treatable and manageable diseases for the sake of profit over lives.

Republicans have no plan to replace the ACA. However, they have continued to lie to the American people and claim that they do.

There are several communities under attack right now. Black lives are at stake. Abortion rights are at stake. Healthcare is at stake. Immigrant rights are at stake. Trans lives are at stake. LGBTQ+ rights are at stake. Our standing in the world is at stake. The soul of our nation is at stake.

Under this current administration, I have seen my friends live in fear that they will lose rights. I have watched friends grapple with the understanding that they have lost rights.

My family claims to care for me, and I am sure that on some level they really believe that. However, as a gay Latino man living in the Trump administration, I have grown resentful. I resent that their votes are costing me and my friends their human dignity. I resent that their vote exacerbated the ongoing pandemic that has cost more lives than it should have. I resent that they ask why I don’t visit despite voting to limit my rights and freedom.

To my family members who have voted against this administration, thank you. Thank you for standing by my side. Thank you for understanding what is at stake for me and my marriage. Thank you for rebuking an administration that has caused unnecessary harm to millions of innocent people.

It is not too late to have your voice heard. Go vote. Millions of us are relying on you using your voice to determine the future of this nation.

READ: Remembering The Victims Of The Orlando Shooting, Many Of Whom Were Latino

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Marco Rubio Writes Letter Asking For TPS For Venezuelans After Republicans Voted Against It

Things That Matter

Marco Rubio Writes Letter Asking For TPS For Venezuelans After Republicans Voted Against It

Stefanie Reynolds / Getty Images

The Trump administration is letting Temporary Protected Status expire for hundreds of thousands of people. A lot of these people have been here for years and have started families and businesses. Republicans voted against TPS for Venezuelans so Sen. Marco Rubio is now asking Trump to do something about it.

Sen. Marco Rubio wrote a letter to President Trump asking for TPS for Venezuelans.

It is a break from the usual tactic of ignoring TPS needs in Florida by Haitians, Hondurans, and Salvadorans. These people are at risk of losing their TPS after the Trump administration decided to let those protections expire. Venezuelans started fleeing the South American country when the economy started to collapse. Many of them have settled in South Florida.

People immediately started to call Sen. Rubio out for his glaring inaction for years.

Venezuelan nationals have been coming to the U.S. for years to escape the terrifying situation in Venezuela. An economic downfall led to millions of Venezuelans going without food, school, medicine, and other necessities. The crisis was an international fascination as Venezuelans took to the streets and were killed for protesting against their government.

Senate Republicans refused to vote on a bill last year to provide TPS to Venezuelans.

In August 2019, Senate Republicans had the chance to vote on a bill that would have protected Venezuelans living in the U.S. A bill in the Democrat-led House passed but the Senate bill stalled because of Senate Republicans. The failure by the Senate to pass the bill has left Venezuelans vulnerable to deportation back to the country they fled.

“Not this week, I don’t anticipate movement on it,” Rubio told the Miami Herald back then. “I anticipate hopefully getting the administration to do something. That’s what we’ve been working on behind the scenes here, we’ve made a little progress on it. We have 17 votes already scheduled this week, a bunch of nominees, the spending bill, the veto override. The votes this week have already been scheduled.”

During this time, the Trump administration has quietly been deporting Venezuelans back.

Venezuelans nationals have been deported back to President Nicolás Maduro’s brutal regime. With no economic prospects, the deportations are sending people to their deaths as one in three Venezuelans aren’t getting enough food. This is just one of the many issues compounded on the Venezuelan people after years of economic and political turmoil.

Venezuelans are also pointing out how Sen. Rubio waited until after Amy Coney Barrett to fight for TPS.

Senate Republicans recently confirmed Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. The confirmation was rushed to secure a conservative majority on the court and went against the wish of the American people. A majority of Americans preferred that the Senate wait until after the election.

There are four days left until the elections and every vote matters. Make sure you get out there and make your voice heard.

READ: The RNC Wants You To Think Biden-Harris Policies Are Socialist, These Cuban And Venezuelan-Americans Think Otherwise

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com