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Barack Obama & Joe Biden

President Obama gave a historical speech yesterday.

At 5:20 P.M specifically, The President spoke about the Child-Centric Framework. He didn’t call it that, but he preached the premises and spoke of the advantages of looking at politics through that lens.

The Child-Centric Framework is a theory I created while studying Human Rights. I spoke of this perspective in my article on THUGLIFE, and the leader of the greatest nation on earth spoke of it yesterday. The concept is simple, put children first, and the result is a more optimally functioning society. Not perfect, but closer to it.

The President made the case that if you nurture your children, less of them will end up in jail. He spoke of a man who said that he focuses on his daughters to stay out of trouble. It keeps him from breaking the law, and keeps his focus in life.

While I unfortunately did not catch Barack Obama’s speech in its entirety, I did watch majority of it. And I am overjoyed at the strides being made in the United States’ political landscape. Clemency and justice reform seem to be the theme of the last few days, and I hope that it continues.

The President raised some very interesting points, and orated some pretty beautiful gems. I would like to share four with you right now:

  1. POTUS said that a Black man born 25 years ago today has only a 1 in 2 chance of getting hired. He called this a crisis, which is exactly what it is. This is evidence of the systemic discrimination against the Black community.
  1. “Justice is not just the absence of oppression, but the presence of opportunity.” This is now my favorite quote of all time. Coming a close second behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” Obama’s quote captures the plight that we are all currently faced with today.
  1. He spoke of the importance of taking steps to move forward. Taking one mile after the next to get to where you want to go. And to me, most importantly, he said “stop running the race…that’s how you win the race.” It is a reminder to put yourself first, keep your eyes on the finish line but your body and mind in the present as often as possible.
  1. Lastly, he reminded citizens, that “there’s nothing we can’t do.” And I believe him.

Yesterday’s speech was about incarceration. The problem of mass incarceration. On Thursday, Obama will be the first sitting President to ever visit a federal prison. Pause. This is not to be overlooked. How are such a high percentage of Black and Latino citizens institutionalized without oversight from the person in arguably the highest political office in the world. The thing to observe is that it is now being done, by the 44th president, the next thing to observe is how fucked up that is. But let’s focus on the positive, it’s being done.

Yesterday on my personal blog, I spoke of the 46 prisoners Obama granted clemency to. I was immensely proud to be an Obama supporter in that moment. But it also made me reflect on my time of institutional confinement. It made me remember the fight I had no choice but to defend myself in and the fact that I made no apologies to anyone for defending myself, despite the fact that the staff wanted for me to. Fuck that, the girl attacked me while I was on the phone with the United Nations, I did not see this as a coincidence.

But I’m not here to talk about my experience, I’m here to write an article that delivers real material to the people that want that. Violence is no joke, and it breeds itself most rapidly in private spaces. In homes, in cells, in closed units. I write this to you with a spinal injury I recently acquired through a domestic violence situation. Violence is no joke. Not the butt of a comedic joke, but a real infliction all who are reading this experience.

Visibility is an important thing. Which is why right now is such a beautiful time because social media puts the individual on a stage he or she may have never imagined possible. It places information on a public forum, so that if you want to find that information, in theory you can. I do my best to share the information that educates me with the rest of the world. Many times that includes music, hip-hop in particular, articles like Lupe Fiasco’s most recent piece on racism, and sometimes it includes a YouTube video from myself.

Barack Obama is doing his best to elicit the change that he promised in his 2008 and 2012 campaigns. I can see that, clearly. As a global citizen I ask you, help him in this fight. Do whatever you can to bring about the change that you want to see in the world. And if you’re unsure of where to start, start with your children. Present, past, and future.

-Arielle London

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

The President’s Speech: Mass Incarceration, Children, & The Future of America was originally published on globalgrind.com

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