Thanks for your Impact, President Obama

As President Barack Obama leaves office to make way for the President-elect to be sworn in, it’s fitting to reflect on the strong impact that he has had during his eight years in office.

President Obama inherited a grave recession, and, despite coordinated obstructionism from a Republican-led Congress, he oversaw consistent job-creation every year since his tenure.

President Obama and his daughters go book shopping.

He provided universal healthcare coverage, engaged in regular talks on racial divide, got rid of Osama Bin Laden, promoted women’s rights, launched My Brother’s Keeper Alliance to provide training and job creation for Black and Latino young men, championed sensible gun control laws, among many other notable achievements.

President Obama and his family, First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia and their dogs.

Although he was disrespected repeatedly during his time in office, President Obama was the epitome of class. He was chic, cool, balanced, knowledgeable and forgiving.

I know I’m among  many who will miss him as well as they example that his family set for the country. So I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to a President who made me proud.

Thank you President Obama. May God continue to guide and protect you and your family–OnPointPress.net–

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

The First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama speaks about the Let's Move program; an initiative targeting the youth to teach them healthy eating habits and emphasizing regular workouts.

The First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama speaks about the Let’s Move program; an initiative targeting the youth to teach them healthy eating habits and emphasizing regular workouts.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

As the holiday season approaches there is already plenty of planning for family gatherings and holiday dinners. While we wish everyone peace and joy, let us remember November is Diabetes Awareness Month. It is important to emphasize that most people can prevent the development of diabetes by adopting healthy dietary habits.

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This month the American Diabetes Association has initiated a campaign entitled “#ThisIsDiabetes,” which is intended to highlight the issues faced by diabetes suffers on a daily basis. While there is more information available about diabetes, there are still troubling trends of diagnoses for adults and children.

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The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, has been front and center with the Let’s Move! program she developed to help teach the youth healthier eating habits while also emphasizing the importance of daily exercise. This program may target the youth to start these healthy habits at a young age, but the tips apply to everyone.

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Unfortunately, Hispanics, African-Americans, and Native Americans continue to be diagnosed with diabetes at the highest rates, as highlighted by the chart above. While the holiday season should be enjoyable, let us also be responsible and mindful of the habits we might have to add or subtract from our routines in order to protect ourselves from a diabetes diagnosis.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a senior writer for OnPointPress.net and aspiring author. Follow me on Twitter @GloverIsGood.

Protests, bigotry, fear, hate fuel post-election acts

Dismayed protesters make their voices heard at Trump Tower in New York.

Dismayed protesters make their voices heard at Trump Tower, as they march, scream, cry and remain dazed at the shocking election results.

By Carmen and Charles Glover

As the streets of America continue to roil with protesters marching to voice their sense of disgust with the election results of Nov 8,, which saw a split outcome–former secretary of state Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote, meaning she had more votes cast for her–and President-elect Donald Trump winning the electoral college that ultimately determines the president, the psyche of the American populace continues to be exceedingly unsettled,

Protesters are consistent with their message.

Protesters are consistent with their message of concern for a broad swath of residents who were targeted by President-elect Donald Trump at various points during the election cycle.

The results of the election were shocking to many people in and out of the United States with millions of millennials who were angry that Senator Bernie Sanders lost to Clinton deciding to vote for Trump or to abstain from voting, only to have a change of heart the morning after, just like the British reaction after their Brexit vote. Regardless of your opinion of Donald Trump, he will be the 45th President of the United States. Reactions around the country to the election results are varied but passionate. The question many are asking is: What’s next?

Anti-Trump Protests have sprung up across the country with no signs of abating.

Anti-Trump Protests have sprung up across the country with no signs of abating as Americans give voice to their feelings of anger, despair, fear, hopelessness and disappointment.

In 2010, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was brutally frank as his summed up his plan for Republicans should they assume control of the Senate.

“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” he declared, staring intently into the television cameras as the media snapped away.

Clearly that was not a message calling for cooperation or understanding. In 2012 after President Obama was re-elected, current President-elect Donald Trump stated that President Obama’s re-election was a “total sham and a travesty…. We are not a democracy!”

Protester is not shy to express her feelings.

Protester is not shy to express her feelings, while others march, shout and take selfies.

The consistent tendency of Republicans when they do not get their way is to complain about the legitimacy of the results, threaten anarchy and collaborate among themselves to put the country on a path to peril, ruin, racism and volatility. Their approach is:The Republican way or vengeance, spite, suffering, racism, insults and pain.

However, now that a Republican candidate has won the election, the same hypocritical and two-faced Republicans are demanding that the rest of the electorate show understanding and accept the results, without giving voice to the collective trauma, shock and despair that the mere thought of a President Donald Trump holds for so many people.

Protesters give voice to their anguish.

Protesters give voice to their anguish, some waving their gay pride flags as they walk somberly.

Trump becoming President will not address the many ills that plague our society: Issues such as economic, healthcare, housing and educational disparity, systemic racism, judicial prejudice and the expanding school-to-prison pipeline that puts young black children on a path to prison through excessive and prejudicial suspensions that ultimately result in them dropping out of school and taking to lives in the streets.

Trump’s disdain for the poor and disenfranchised is legendary and was on full display throughout the election cycle. Nevertheless, both white men and women as well as a large Latino segment, voted overwhelmingly for the real estate businessman, reality star and serial insult generator.

Protesters at Trump Tower.

Protesters at Trump Tower, express their feelings of hurt, disappoint and fear due to the election results.

But while his supporters are quick to suggest that everyone else accept Trump, the protesters are very united in chanting “Not my president” and “We reject the president-elect,” as tears stream down their faces and the heartbreak they feel renders them hopeless, scared and inconsolable.

In dismissing Trump, retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Trump “fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate,” and described him as a “sexual predator who lost the popular vote.”

Anger, Anguish and Despair are etched across the faces of protesters as they voice their displeasure with the election results.

Anger, anguish and despair are etched across the faces of protesters as they voice their displeasure with the election results.

Not to be outdone, the usually reticent San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich did not mince words, and said the following:

“We live in a country that ignored all those values that we would hold our kids accountable for. I’m a rich white guy, and I’m sick to my stomach thinking about it. I can’t imagine being a Muslim right now, a woman, or an African-American, a Hispanic, a handicapped person. How disenfranchised they might feel. And for anyone in those groups that voted for him, it’s just beyond my comprehension how they ignore all that. My big fear is that we are Rome.”

Protesters show no signs of slowing down as they try to come to terms with the election results.

Protesters show no signs of slowing down as they try to come to terms with the election results.

While Clinton licks her wounds and examines the entire scope of why she lost the electoral college and presidency–her deep-seated arrogance, her inability to appeal to the masses despite Herculean campaign efforts by an impressive cadre of supporters including President and First Lady Obama, her primary opponent Senator Bernie Sanders, VP Joe Biden and a host of celebrities, her lack of trustworthiness and most significantly, issues outside of her control such as the campaign waged by legislative Republicans with assistance from FBI Director James Comey, white women refusing to support her despite African-American women and African-American men enveloping her in love and support—Trump has been busy meeting with President Obama and the Republican leaders.

Now that all branches of the government–executive, legislative and judiciary—are in Republican hands, let us sit back and watch where they take the country that President Obama brought back from recession, the country that President Obama’s efforts resulted in universal healthcare, a country that is caught up in a cycle of racism and hatred, a country where intolerance and bigotry have been unleashed with abandon because the chief proponent of those divisive and ugly sentiments will now hold the top title in the land.

Yes, let us watch, let us support those who protest, let us have dialogue, let us learn to advocate for our issues, our agendas and our communities–OnPointPress-net– 

 

Selma’s Bloody Sunday revisited 50 years later with voting rights imperiled

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President Barack Obama and the First Family join civil rights icons Rep. John Lewis, Amelia Boynton Robinson (in wheelchair), US Attorney General Eric Holder, Former President and First Lady George W. and Laura Bush, and thousands of marchers in crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on Saturday, March 7, 2015.

By Carmen Glover

On Saturday, March 7, on the 50th Anniversary of the Bloody Sunday attacks unleashed on marchers supporting the right of African-Americans to vote in the United States, President Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American President, delivered a rousing speech at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, named for a Ku Klux Klan leader.

President Obama and Rep. John Lewis embrace in Selma, AL.

President Obama and Rep. John Lewis embrace in Selma, AL.

Speaking after Rep. John Lewis, who was brutally beaten at the same bridge 50 years ago when he lead a group of marchers, President Obama stated:  “Our march is not yet finished but we’re getting closer.” President Obama decried injustice in education, law enforcement, and the attacks on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 stating “If we want to honor this day, let Congress restore the Voting Rights Act this year!” But he also chided residents for the chronic low voter turnout despite the struggles of civil rights activists “who gave their blood” to win the right to vote. Click here for the full transcript of President Obama’s speech as provided by Time magazine.

A rapt crowd listens as President Obama speaks in Selma, AL.

A rapt crowd listens as President Obama speaks in Selma, AL.

After the speech, the President, joined by First Lady Michelle Obama, their children, former President and First Lady George W. and Laura Bush, Rep. John Lewis, US Attorney General Eric Holder, 100 members of Congress and thousands of enthusiastic supporters who came to bear witness to the 50-year commemoration of the march for voting rights, marched across the bridge in a poignant reflection of a journey that began decades ago and achieved numerous goals, with many unfinished ideals left to be realized. Meanwhile, in New York City, hundreds of citizens marched across the Brooklyn Bridge from lower Manhattan to Brooklyn Borough Hall in solidarity with the Selma 50 marchers

Peaceful marchers were left beaten, bloody and killed on March 7, 1965 as they tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in their quest to gain the right to vote.

Peaceful marchers, including Rep. John Lewis (center being beaten), were left beaten, bloody and killed on March 7, 1965 as they tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in their quest to gain the right to vote.

The march from Selma, to Montgomery, Alabama took place after three attempts, including Bloody Sunday, which occurred on March 7, 1965 when marchers were beaten with clubs, attacked by dogs and some killed, as they attempted to cross the bridge. After making an appeal for support, Dr, Martin Luther King, Jr., was joined by Lewis, Ambassador Andrew Young, Diane Nash, other civil rights activists and a phalanx of religious leaders from different faiths in making the 50-plus mile trek to the State Capital in Montgomery, Alabama. President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act later that year but recent changes have destroyed some of the provisions of the Voting Rights Act, leading to an increase in voter suppression incidents aimed at denying or restricting the right of African-Americans to vote.–OnPointPress.net.

9/11 Memorial Museum Dedication Ceremony uplifts, inspires

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President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Former NYC Mayor and 9/11 board chairman Michael Bloomberg, view the 9/11/ Memorial Museum with Former President Bill Clinton and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

By Carmen Glover

U.S. President Barack Obama led a high-powered contingent of politicians to dedicate the 9/11 Memorial Museum in Lower Manhattan yesterday in a ceremony that was uplifting and inspiring. Dignitaries, families of the survivors and viewers who watched the ceremony live on television or as it streamed online, were first treated to musical renditions from various choirs as the ceremony got underway. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, chairman of the 9/11 board of directors, took the stage to deliver a poignant speech.

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President Obama speaks at the 9/11 Memorial Museum Dedication Ceremony.

“We are here today to help dedicate a great museum, one that rises out of the bedrock of our city, our history and our hearts. In the years to come, the 9/11 Memorial Museum will take its place alongside fields of Gettysburg, the waters of Pearl Harbor and the Vietnam Veterans’ Museum as a sacred marker of our past and a solemn gathering place-a place where we can remember those who dies and honor acts of courage and compassion that saved lives and lifted spirits,” he said.

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President Obama began by describing the raw emotions felt by some of the survivors in the moments after the towers were attacked and the acts of heroism by one young man in particular.

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Visitors gather outside as the 9/11 Memorial Museum is dedicated inside.

“In those awful moments after the south tower was hit, some of the injured huddled in the wreckage of the 78th floor. The fire was spreading and the air was filled with smoke. It was dark and they could not see. It seemed as if there was no way out and then there was a voice saying he had found the stairs. They didn’t know his name but they knew their lives had been saved by the man in the red bandana,” he said, describing the selfless and courageous actions of volunteer firefighter Wells Crowther, 24, who worked in the south tower.

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Partial view of the 9/11 Memorial Museum in Lower Manhattan.

Crowther’s mother, Alison, was later joined onstage by one of the women he rescued, Liang Young.

“My husband Jefferson and I couldn’t be prouder of our son,” said Alison Crowther, as she described her son who saw everyone in the world as “being connected.”

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President Obama, Former President Bill Clinton and Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg tor the 9/11 Memorial Museum with their partners First Lady Michelle Obama, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Financial Executive Diane Taylor.

Obama shared that while touring the museum earlier with First Lady Michelle Obama, it dawned on them the importance of being able to “recall, reflect and reaffirm the true spirit of 9/11: love, compassion, sacrifice and to enshrine it forever in the heart of our nation.” Biting his lower lip in his trademark style, he paused and said:

“No act of terror can match the strength and character of our country. Nothing can ever break us, nothing can change who we are as Americans.”

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Damaged fire truck from the fateful day that is now enshrined in the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

Among the other attendees were: Former President Bill Clinton and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, NJ Governor Chris Christie, Former NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani; Former New York Governor George Pataki and a contingent representing the Port Authority, firefighters, police officers, families of the victims and survivors. Some of the politicians had their spouses or significant others with them at the event.

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Security detail at the 9/11 Memorial Museum Dedication Ceremony in Lower Manhattan.

The 9/11 Memorial Museum will remain open for the next six days exclusively to the families of the victims and survivors. It will open to the public officially on 5/21/2014.–OnPointPress.net

Women of soul showcase talents in rousing White House acts

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Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin made a point of keeping herself aloof, sending an unmistakable message that she has no equal.

 

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Patti LaBelle brought the guests to their feet with strong, solid and powerful performances that delighted, thrilled and inspired.

By Carmen Glover

While basketball lovers were glued to their television sets on Monday night to watch the UConn men’s team thrash Kentucky for the NCAA championship, PBS aired the Women of Soul special, which was taped at the White House in March to honor Women’s History Month. Those who missed the one-hour special lost out on the chance to enjoy a real treat of performances by the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, entertainer extraordinaire Patti LaBelle, Jill Scott, Melissa Etheridge, Janelle Monae, Tessanne Chin and Ariana Grande. The repeat broadcast will air on PBS on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.

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The First Family was represented by President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle and her mother Marian Robinson.

The night got off to an engaging start with President Barack Obama welcoming the guests and sharing why the gathering was convened.

“This is really a good lineup and I want to thank our performers for this evening. They are fantastic,” said the President. “Soul music makes us move. It makes us feel. Tonight we are in for a healthy dose of truth from some of the finest voices there are. I can’t wait.” The excitement emanating from the President’s voice was palpable. He then introduced Patti LaBelle as “a real American treasure.”

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President Obama did not hide the joy he felt after being treated to Patti LaBelle’s rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” which awed and thrilled at the same time.

Addressing the President and First Lady, LaBelle said. “I want to thank you for the five years you have been in this wonderful home. You have taken us somewhere we’ve never been before.” She then sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,’ soaring to heights that were impressive, confident and smooth.

Jill Scott made it clear she was there to party when she sang and danced to Franklin’s hit “Rock Steady” before returning to perform her own hit “Golden.”

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Soul Singer Jill Scott performed her hit “Golden.” and Aretha Franklin’s hit “Rock Steady.”

Franklin, the ultimate in diva-like behavior, was the only singer to perform with her own band and backup singers. All of the other performers were accompanied by the house hand. Franklin did not disappoint, belting out “Never Loved a Man,” while the President rocked back and forth to the catchy number, smiling delightedly as the Queen of Soul brought the house down in a flawless performance. Franklin ended the show with a stirring rendition of the gospel classic “Amazing Grace,” that paid homage to her roots.

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Patti LaBelle commanded the stage while guests look on in rapt attention.

But the night unquestionably belonged to Patti LaBelle who was warm in her interactions with the other singers, even joining them onstage in performing a tribute to Tina Turner while Franklin was noticeably absent.

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All of the singers except Aretha Franklin paid tribute to the indomitable Tina Turner.

LaBelle belted out her staple “Lady Marmalade” later in the evening, reaching notes that were as incredible in their range as they were thrilling to hear. She danced, pranced and delivered a spectacular performance that would put singers more than a third of her robust 70 years to shame.

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Janelle Monae was a ball of energy and movements as she sang and danced.

The diminutive Monae was a ball of energy as she leapt from one end of the stage to the other while delivering the notes to Shirley Bassey’s James Bond theme song  “Goldfinger” in a voice as clear as a bell. Monae later performed “Tightrope” from the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” album. She enjoyed performing and at one point she knelt on stage, directly in front of the first family, eliciting rapturous smiles and dance moves from the President and First Lady, as they rocked in their seats.

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Rocker Melissa Etheridge sang her classic “Only One.”

By the time Melissa Etheridge came to the stage to sing “Only One,” the guests needed no encouragement to make their appreciation known. While Chin lapsed into Jamaican patois as she gave some background about how deeply her love for music is steeped into the cultural mores from the land of her birth.

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Tessanne Chin waves to the guests as she walks to the stage .

Chin sang Donna Summer’ “Last Dance” and got into the spirit by dancing to the beat as she moved easily on stage and brought the song to life a style reminiscent of Summer herself.

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Ariana Grande was nervous but once she began to sing the jitters fled.

Grande acted every bit her age, greeting the first family with “What’s up. How y’all doing. You okay?” causing them to burst into laughter and acknowledge that yes, they were doing just fine. Grande sang “I Have Nothing,” in honor of her late childhood icon Whitney Houston.

If you are unable to catch the re-broadcast when it airs on Saturday afternoon, set your television sets to record the special. You will not be disappointed.–OnPointPress.net.