Opinion

Thanks, Obama: Remembering the 44th president for hopeful message

I was 12 years old the day of Barack Obama’s first inauguration. Through a campaign of hope and change, Obama galvanized tens of millions of citizens with promises of a better and more inclusive America. Although I was too young to vote or know much about politics, I felt just as optimistic as anyone else during the historic event.

I decided to stay home from school and watch the inauguration with my parents. We were enthralled by what he said to the nation following years of war and economic strife. My mother watched his inaugural address in tears, overjoyed by the prospects of a man that had quickly become a beacon of hope for so many immigrants across the nation. He spoke eloquently, commanding a sense of dignity and patriotism that filled us with hope.

In the small gaps of time between family life and school, I observed a rapidly changing world with the rest of the country in the news. I recall when the Affordable Care Act was passed. I recall seeing the country cheer when Osama bin Laden was killed. I recall seeing the country weep when 20 kids were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I recall the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on same-sex marriage. I recall seeing protesters in the street when Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson.

The past eight years were productive and controversial, inspiring hope and political rancor from both sides of the aisle. There were several aspects of Obama’s vision that became reality, while certain issues were too sensitive to resolve. I was disheartened that immigration became one of the most contentious subjects on Capitol Hill, where the unwavering ire of nativism remains a stubborn force. Nevertheless, I appreciated the president’s efforts to speak for a minority group that has been neglected for too long.

In a country where millions are left in the dark under the constant threat of deportation, Barack Obama was the single strongest voice in the fight for comprehensive immigration reform. This is the Obama I’ve respected and admired for so long – an empathetic man who demonstrated time and time again how a true leader should act in the face of criticism and adversity.

Even after his party’s crushing defeat in the 2016 election, President Obama committed himself to assisting the new president in the peaceful transition of power. To me, that’s what class is all about. Thank you, President Obama. Thank you for giving me, along with tens of millions of people of all ages, a reason to hope.

Israel Aragon is a sophomore majoring in psychology.

Featured image courtesy Flickr user Valar Mathi

January 25, 2017

Reporters

Israel Aragon Bravo


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship schedule is set. The No. 4 seed Miami Hurricanes ...

The first regular season of Gino DiMare’s head-coaching era ended Saturday at Mark Light Field. But ...

The Miami Hurricanes’ hopes for hosting an NCAA regional were damaged a bit on Friday night by a 12- ...

It took a long time for Dewan Hernandez to reach a point of acceptance for what happened to his juni ...

The life of a fullback isn’t always glamorous, even 15 years ago before the position was essentially ...

The University of Miami is shaping the future of education by using innovative approaches that drive ...

Six short films created by University of Miami film students will be screened in Los Angeles this we ...

Researchers from 16 Latin American and Caribbean countries, hosted by the Institute for the Advanced ...

Two University of Miami a cappella groups, Tufaan and BisCaydence, celebrated big wins in different ...

After Alabama’s governor signed into law the most-stringent anti-abortion bill in the nation, UM exp ...

The Canes are the top team in Pool D, joined by No. 5 North Carolina and No. 9 Virginia. ...

The matchups are set for the NCAA Singles Championship and NCAA Doubles Championship at the USTA Nat ...

Chris McMahon struck out six over five shutout innings to earn his first win since April 6. ...

Miami's Second Varsity Four earned a bronze medal at the 2019 ACC Rowing Championships Saturday ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team is the ITA Southeast Region Arthur Ashe ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.