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The Hip-Hop Response To President Obama’s 2012 State Of The Union Address


“The State of the Union is getting stronger, and we’ve come too far to turn back.”
-President Barack Obama

The president’s State of the Union Address was delivered as most of his spoken outings – remarkably eloquently.

But, beyond the quality of the speech were some serious issues at this pivotal moment in history.

Before the American people, he outlined where we are as a nation, as well as where he would like to see us go as an “America built to last.” President Obama then perused through a proverbial smorgasbord of issues ranging from higher taxes for the wealthy to the mortgage crisis to the energy crisis to education.

At the Barack Talk event Tuesday night, a group of progressives and over 35,000 viewers delved into POTUS’s issues, as well as those that were not represented by the president as he spoke before the partly-hostile Congress. Civic engagement, voter suppression, The Occupy Movement, new laws making abortions difficult, and other matters like felons’ rights were largely overlooked.

The president also didn’t talk about how one out of seven people in American live below the poverty line, or how one in four children live in impoverished conditions. Google that, America. Better yet, click here.

Voter suppression is real, and it would have served the president well to address this egregious trend to the American people Tuesday. In many instances, these suppressed voters are the very people that helped elect him. According to alternet.org, there are seven ways that otherwise eligible voters are being prevented from participating in the electoral process. One simple tactic is to make it harder to present basic identification at the polls. (Click here for the remaining six ways that voters are being suppressed.)

“There’s never been a better time for nation building…” – President Barack Obama

The president is right.

There has never been a better time for nation building. Greg Watkins and I built AllHipHop from nothing. No funding. No family bankroll. It was simply an idea from a pair of guys who decided to work together. Shortly after the company’s inception, the country spiraled into recession. These were some of the leanest years of my life. No insurance. Very little income. I mean, at one point, I walked around with glass embedded in my foot, because it was easier to deal with that than the cost of a doctor with no insurance.

But, Greg and I were scrappy and excited by the possibilities before us.

Although those times were tough, they built character and prepared us for the next recession, the worst since the Great Depression. Moreover, we continued to see opportunity amid the chaos, remaining steadfast and optimistic. Our collective eyes no longer seen through rose-colored lenses.

“Built to last…”

Obama addressed the wave of general American skepticism in his address as well, which seemed to be a subliminal acknowledgment of The Occupy Movement. This also spoke to the youth community we call Hip-Hop, as I only know an idealistic few that have any faith in the government to help them achieve the “American Dream,” as we’ve been reared to believe in.

But a dream is just that. We’re dealing with reality. Right?

We’ve got to remember that the president runs the nation[s], but he does not control our local communities. We’ve looked at and criticized the president keenly, but we’ve got to do the same for ourselves. In the last three to four years, what have we done? African Americans, for the first time since the Civil Rights Movement, will not see positive economic progress as a group.

We continue to see our own shortcomings and yet, we look to Washington D.C. to fix these societal matters. Obama may create policy and reform in areas such as education, but it is up to us to make sure our children strive to be great students and successful citizens. The president can inspire the next generation, but he won’t be able to guide them all through their journeys and trials. We will.

Yes, we have to do what we must for ourselves, and there are people doing that. We need more. That is not optional.

By the same token, it is also time to continuously hold our elected officials accountable, as they continue to be servants of the people. For us to become even more apathetic and further disengaged only defeats our own cause.

There are a number of ways that you can take action. Contact your local government and push them to activate the necessary change in your community. It can be something as simple as a bad pothole. Mentor a child and help guide them into adulthood. Educate them and yourself, because with education, many of the ills we face resolve themselves. Volunteer. Complain. Write. Tweet. Inspire. Empower.

Do something.

And be vigilant.

  • I’m surpised no one has responded to this. He’s got a point here.

  • NorthDollasTX

    CHUCKEE re-stating the obvious but i felt you though

    FACT: banks been running this country since 1929 when Roosevelt was president and if need be they’ll bail they azzes out again OR the whole entire country will fold, right/ok? – OBAMA gonna get his 8yrs – no mf doubt about that.  Why you think there’s no FORMIDABLE/CREDIBLE opponent to run against. Not like it matters cuz democrates/republicans are the same to them – just portrayed different to US. The niggah just a FIGURE HEAD or a “token” for you dumb niggahs. This country was in the shitter way before the 1st bush took office – er’body after him just dug the grave deeper.  No more civil liberties meaning OBAMA signed off to let these mf’s run up in yo spot, confine you to wherever, convict you with no right to a fair trial … then HIDE YO MF AZZ for life.POLITICS aint shyt but POLITICS … my only reasons ever for supporting OBAMA was 1. He’s BLACK enough (which i took as my own victory for everything we’ve endured as black people) 2. because he was young, smooth, and unapologetic at 1st.  Now i always knew that all PRESIDENTS have been pawns (checks and balances) and we learned that in the 6th grade.  But after 400 years of being crucified on trees i felt at least they owed us that.  But in reality it was a smoke screen – “give’m the black president – shut they azzes up even more – keep’em docile so they dont buck back” but my niggah look at the clock – its bout time for a BLACK RENAISSANCE a rebirth of sorts and i aint talking about no damn HIP HOP cuz its already too tainted … i mean like a real live NATIONWIDE MOVEMENT like the 60’s – and im not advocating VIOLENCE unless its in retaliation or for protection … im talking about A WAKE UP – A RESURGANCE IN OUR SELF WORTH – BACKING THE BLACK DOLLAR TYPE SHYT

    • Getmoney

      Real shot you wrote bruh…It was definitely nice to see a brother get that far without being popped…but 4real it’s only so much he can do…the gov’t has 3 branches-executive, house, and senate…you need the majority vote to pass anything… unfortunately, the house and senate elections aren’t that popular and they were able to get redneck, racist, republican leaders for both house/senate (John Boehner is THE worst)…so even if Obama was trying to help us, THEY still have 2/3 of the vote…it ain’t all Obamas fault y’all…but like dollas said, we def have to invest in our own communities, our own business, and build/support our own schools (a lot of charter schools going up on the hood…this is good)…stay strong y’all, keep pushing. Start ya own business…teach ur kids…avoid felonies so u can arm yaself at 21…shit is real out here.

      • NorthDollasTX

        we need more bruvahs like you myG … just to be able to overstand and process the information and how its spinned and spewed.  Glad you brought up charter schools cuz there’s a ying and yang to everything Charter Schools included… i feel like the good is it brings the resources and developes the fundamentals needed to play THE WHITEMANS GAME (hs, college grad w/ degree, workforce for $50k a year and 20k in college debt lol) but thats the AMERICAN/NACIREMA DREAM <<< well aint it?
         
        But whose gonna teach US about US … instead of instilling THEM and THEIR values in US.  What about OUR history that was covered up never to be heard of unless you get lucky enough to bump into a old head w/ sup[reme knowledge.  The charter schools aint gonna tell you that Obama wasn't the 1st black president – only the 1st black president under the United States Constitution.  The Black Moors who settled and conquered over 2/3 of todays known world.
         
         

    • Papi Peligro

      It was never about black and white.  All them people feeding you that Eugenics and Black power junk reversing what white people have done to us and getting they own slaves. You a black slave with a black master who’s using you to get money from white people. Why does walmart have all the activist blacks sitting on its board? Why does the Rainbow coalition and Al Sharpton seek corporate sponsors? You think they care about you.  You think that corner store preacher telling you about the white devil care about you. You still someone sheep.  What good are sheep to a shepard only good enough to skin and sell their wool.  Jay Z selling black New York culture yet ain’t never been a Rocawear factory in New York or America. Down to Marcus Garvey using the black empowerment movement to garner investments for his own business ventures. They don’t care nothing about you.  They skinning you sheep and using that wool to sell to white people. Rock and Republic employed more black people.  All that lumanati talk their isn’t any lumanati unless you want to count the Heritage Foundation that Obama is fighting.  Obama is fighting to give people who want to take advantage of the opportunities in America the opportunities to work hard and becomes something REGARDLESS OF Race or class or where you live which is often depending on race and class. What’s the equalizer and Education and Low cost healthcare.  You talk about Pawns well everybody slaving for something. Who you think Louis Farakhan is working for when he tells you “you need a black minister of agriculture, a black minister of economics, but give the good reverend just a few dollars to put it together. You know the reverend don’t need it”. He working for himself. He putting the chains back on your neck skinning you and selling that wool. Obama never got into office by saying I’m going do this for black people. No he said all his children as the president regardless of color deserve an education. All children regardless of their color signing up for the military needs benefits. All children and all families don’t need to go bankrupt because someone gets sick.  The black leaders are angry because he’s giving you your own rod and telling you to go fish.  They want to skin you and sell that wool too whitey.  You aren’t free until you free yourself of the mentality that you need to stand behind black stuff to get ahead. You still a slave.  If a black man has to be a thug or hardcore to be black we still slaves. My grandmother grand father never had to be no thugs and parents cotton pickers. In fact my father was cotton picker and never a thug.  Why you think they put Hermann Cain or an Alan Keyes in front of you because the Heritage Foundation thinks your that stupid to believe that you must follow blacks.  You calling this man a pawn. Obama is fighting to give you the tools you need to be free and make your own way. Nobody gave us a black president.  We voted for his ideas and policies of which he has done the best job he could.  Heritage Foundation gives you Herman Cain they don’t give you Obama.  Stand behind him because he is ensuring that poor communities From Chicago Westside to Alabama trailer homes will have the opportunity to go to college or trade school and get a job. As a community we can’t find jobs because our father’s did manual labor so we are doing manual labor and the jobs are gone. Its time we take ownership of our future and realize we don’t have to stand behind any person we need to stand behind legislation and policies that help us have opportunities. 

      • NorthDollasTX

        my bruvah aint nobody feeding me NOTHING that my eyes dont already see … it is about BLACK/WHITE however,  im in agreement with your point as well IT BEING ABOUT RICH/POOR – so let me say this before i get my pin and pad out and take notes and really respond to your response (this one is solely off the 1st 3-5 sentences) 

        when you was in basic math class as a kid and they gave you a fraction like 20/40 (50%) but that fraction breaks down into a MORE simplified form ie: 10/20 and the most simplified form for this example would be 1/2 = all the equivalent of 50% but different numbers … correct?

        Thats my outlook on everything money being 10/20 and race being the most simplified form 1/2 – i do overstand that there are BLACK devils who can/will betray me worse than a WHITE devil ever could … but its not THE BLACK DEVILS that own AMERICA in its entirety either.  A “niggah” for lack of better terms thats as broke as me cant do shyt but break in my house – but the other devil can keep me out of that american dream by making unjust laws, bad curriculum, force feeding messages thru the media … 

        rich or broke … you still BLACK in they eyes … money can only get you so far … and when you get that far … are you willing to sale you soul (sale yo’self and your culture out) to keep it? @J.Jackson

      • NorthDollasTX

        i sat in that cold cell days before my son’s 2nd birthday … and THE TRUE AND LIVING GOD hit me with an epiphany … it took literally 2 minutes for me to figure out … selling my soul for money means risking my freedom and most importantlly FATHERHOOD …

      • EL_BARK

        You post was hypocritical, even if you dont see it.

        So the hertiage foundation gave us ” hermain cain”

        And am i not to believe, the hertiage foundation didnt give us
        Obama as well….

      • NorthDollasTX

        bark … i was gone give’m the benefit of the doubt and TRY to read the rest once he spk on SHARPTON, THE CAMEL but marcus garvey … my dude must not know thats how the CIA was able to crumble the nationwide support that marcus garvey had was by separatism – divide and conquer.  The same BLACK RICH elitest he referred to were the exact same ones that helped the CIA tear down Marcus Garvey … business ventures? Of course, they are business ventures because he was a business man.  Who else thought about and put action behind a BLACK TRIANGULAR TRADE between Africa, Black America, and “my bad i forgot the 3rd” – who brought revolution, black empowerment, back to africa, ETC… this one of the ONLY brothers at the turn of the 19th century that was telling niggahs not to be DOCILE or be illusioned by the perception of the American Dream.

        i couldnt even allow myself to read the rest of that shyt he typed
        then he turn around and co-sign OBAMA … “which way is loose”

      • NorthDollasTX

        bark … i was gone give’m the benefit of the doubt and TRY to read the rest once he spk on SHARPTON, THE CAMEL but marcus garvey … my dude must not know thats how the CIA was able to crumble the nationwide support that marcus garvey had was by separatism – divide and conquer.  The same BLACK RICH elitest he referred to were the exact same ones that helped the CIA tear down Marcus Garvey … business ventures? Of course, they are business ventures because he was a business man.  Who else thought about and put action behind a BLACK TRIANGULAR TRADE between Africa, Black America, and “my bad i forgot the 3rd” – who brought revolution, black empowerment, back to africa, ETC… this one of the ONLY brothers at the turn of the 19th century that was telling niggahs not to be DOCILE or be illusioned by the perception of the American Dream.

        i couldnt even allow myself to read the rest of that shyt he typed
        then he turn around and co-sign OBAMA … “which way is loose”

      • EL_BARK

        Lol,

        You me too, i was trying to figure out. His point.
        Then the garvey diss, straight had me stop.

        Think and make sure, i was comprehending, what i was reading.
        Sometimes, i read so fast, and you can tell by the first 3 lines of a post,
        If it worth reading. Then i seen, the herirage foundation,
        Was keeping steady with it, even his point with sharpton i agree with a little,
        But by the end, i was scracthing my head. Like, wait this remind me of a judah naz post. Lol

        White man devil, white man devil, but i loves me some aerosmith.

        Once i seen him, co-signing obama. Lol

        I co-sign your post for the most part. Although i never bang with him.
        For people like our parents, that had to live & endure the civil rights movements,
        And to see a niggah that look like us, and had that black family in the house,
        Was something that seem impossible 50 -60 years ago.

        But like you said, when you sit back and be real, they all on the same team,
        In the grand scheme of things…..

        I was convince, once i seen hilliary and him, attend the buildenberg meeting.
        And soon after he was the primary.

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  • Vote Ron Paul is time for real change

    • Masterful_Ronin

      NEGATIVE

    • dre8791

      Are you serious? DO NOT vote for that racist old ass man. Get out of here white woman with the snake tongue.

      • I’m not trying to offend anyone Mr. Cates, I’m simply expressing my feelings based on my research.. I don’t know how much you know about Ron Paul but I suggest you look into it before making negative remarks.. Based on your picture you seem to be involved in the military if that’s actually true, then YOU tell me why does the military support Ron Paul more then any candidate? Ron Paul is really looking to make a change for the people regardless of color.. Stop using the racist card its played out! Give me facts & leave the B*tchen alone 

    • Right on.. the only reason he was accused of being racist is because he’s the only one telling the truth and media propoganda will blow everything out of proportion. In a perfect world, he would win, but the powers that be won’t allow it to happen. He even said himself, he won’t win. I know alot of people of color who have witnessed the realness with this system and believe Ron Paul is the closest to abiding by the consitution.

    • Christian Good

      um….no dont vote for ron paul. his economic policy is basically trickle down economics on crack! do a bit of research will ya?

  • imcafeaulait

    DAMN that was good!

  • Masterful_Ronin

    Politics is a double-edged sword. On one hand, you could say that Obama has not been an effective president; on the other, you can deduce that he has tried damned hard, but been hendered on almost all fronts.

    Obama has been one of the most harshly criticized and over-analyzed presidents in the history of America. No matter what he’s done, it has either not been enough, not what an individual wanted, or something completely fabricated and perpetuated by word-of-mouth and foul media tactics. I’m not saying that Obama is the g.o.a.t. or anything, but I do believe that he needs a little defense against some of his accusers and detractors.

    Anyways, I’m off that. I want to see another 4 years with Barack in the driver’s seat. These first four years were a hot mess. Another term would see an America that Barack has had at least SOME hand in creating. Things like universal healthcare need time to evolve. We need a president like Obama in the white house because he has not been afraid to challenge the old guard. He may have lost most of those battles, but I feel that he is still very much our best hope in this war for America.

  • Q.

    Here’s my comprehensive guide to Black FREEDOM, WEALTH and HAPPINESS:

    1) KNOW THY SELF.

    2) DO FOR SELF.

    The End.

    • Christian Good

      sounds more like greed

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