Happy Birthday, Barack Obama!
President Barack Obama's two terms haven't been perfect with lethal overseas drone strikes occurring more than not and gun control is still an issue. However, he has achieved something even the most optimistic Americans thought would never exist: being the first black U.S. president. Obama turns 54 years old today (Aug. 4).
After making his mark as an eloquent senator in Illinois, Obama became the Democrats' 2008 presidential candidate after beating Hilary Clinton. His story resonated with many black Americans. Obama didn't come from money -- he worked his way from Honolulu, Hawaii to Harvard Law School. It was an American story and many who related felt vindicated when he defeated John McCain to become president in 2009.
Obama also became hip-hop's first president (although many would give Bill Clinton that honor). He openly considered himself a fan of Jay Z and considers The Wire -- a big reference point within the culture -- one of the greatest television shows of the past decade. At last, people from the inner cities of America had a president they felt they could directly relate to.
He's been on a particular roll throughout the summer after being criticized for his silence last year following the turmoil of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner's cases. Obama bluntly spoke about racial relations in America during an appearance on Marc Maron's WTF, where he caused controversy for saying, "n-----" (even though it was to illustrate a larger point). He also endorsed the Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage and commuted the sentences of 46 drug offenders who were unjustly punished for their crimes.
Obama doesn't have another election to win. Without the need to appease right-wingers, our first black president should go out swinging.
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