Exactly How Black Was President Obama’s Final State Of The Union Address? » VSB

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Exactly How Black Was President Obama’s Final State Of The Union Address?

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Last night, President Barack Obama began the farewell tour of his presidency with his final State of the Union address. It’s already been established that he’s shrouded in a cloak of no fucks; his fuck-drained cape flapping in the wind as he breezes past for one final lap. And, by virtue of being the first — and probably the last for a while — Black president, everything he does at this point is demonstratively and unambiguously Black by default. The only question is the degree of Blackness.

Which brings us back to the State of the Union address. We know it was Black, but exactly how Black was it? On the Blackness scale from one (Rachel Dolezal) to 10 (Marcus Garvey), where did it rate? Let’s see!

It started late: The first Black president starting his last State of the Union on CPT is good for 3.5 Black points.

When he walked in and greeted everyone, I couldn’t help but think of the Key and Peele code switch meet and greet skit: Although President Obama didn’t actually do it, the mere possibility of him doing it — and how tickled that possibility made me — is good for 2.5 Black points.

Opens with a joke about keeping it short: The no-fucks-left Black president very obviously kept it short because he was trying to make it to last call at Marvin’s off U Street. This deserves 5 Black points.

Shots at Trump all night long without actually saying his name: This was basically the SOTU equivalent of the “SOMEBODY needs to act right before SOMEBODY finds a shank in their spleen” Facebook status message, which is good for 14.5 Black points.

Being extremely proud that gas was under $2 a gallon: Remember, President Obama isn’t just Black. He’s a middle-aged Black man. And no one has ever been happier about anything than middle-aged Black men get about cheap gas. This alone is worth 23 Black points.

Refers to the military as the finest fighting force in the history of mankind: This hyperbole was Black enough, but it would have been even Blacker if he threw a shout-out to Shaka Zulu or Grey Worm and the Unsullied in there too. This gets 1 Black point.

Literally says “Ask Osama bin Laden about me“: You know how Black it is to tell someone to ask a dead person a question about you? I don’t know either. But I do know it’s pretty damn Black, and worth at least 70 Black points.

Also says America has a long memory: In the words of Cardi B, if you have beef with America today, you have beef with America…FOREVER! 127 Black points were earned here.

Credits American doctors with single-handedly stopping Ebola and saving the lives of millions of people: Is this even true? Who knows? All I know is that this is the type of thing said by someone with AWOL fucks, which is good for 122 Black points.

A prolonged camera shot of Kim Davis happened during the speech: Since Darth Average herself, Abigail Fisher, couldn’t be there, it’s apropos that Kim Davis, the human equivalent of a month-old baby’s burp cloth, was there in her stead, reminding everyone of the prominence and deliciousness of White Tears. Although President Obama likely had nothing to do with this, this earns him 240 Black points by default.

Edith Childs was there too: Just in case we happened to forget how Black Obama’s presidency has been, the camera also focused in on Edith Childs, a woman who was a Greenwood, South Carolina, county council member. And also happens to be a conglomeration of everyone’s Black grandmother. She’s even your grandmother’s grandmother. Seriously, look at her!


To quote Luvvie, “Cranky, bedazzled and judging everyone. She’s sitting there like she wants to take a switch to Paul Ryan’s non-clapping ass.” Her presence is worth 1,200 Black points.

And First Lady Michelle Obama was there too: Our Black president is married to this woman:

michelle obama

This is worth 27,000 Black points.

He didn’t say anything about #BlackLivesMatter: His “The protester determined to prove that justice matters” line was an obvious nod to the movement. But a nod isn’t the same as a direct verbal acknowledgement. Some have argued a mention wasn’t necessary, which might be true. But, whether that’s true or not, it still didn’t happen, and that’s good for -15 Black points.

The SOTU address was a live-tweetable event: Both Panama and Shamira alluded to this already this week. But perhaps the thing I’ll miss the most about having the Obama family in the White House is how their presence managed to galvanize and inspire so many of us. Who else is going to turn a freakin State of the Union Address into an event that gets the type of coverage reserved for awards shows and Scandal season premieres?

This alone is good for 1.4 billion Black points. Which, effectively, breaks the Blackness scale.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • Wale opening has to be like + 2 zillion.

    • PhlyyPhree

      Waiiiitttt, wha?? I missed Bae???
      But yes, this sounds so black. so very very black

    • Cleojonz

      How did I not know this??!!! This is pretty historic! Good for Wale!

  • Pinks

    We only got to see the first half hour or so, but I was hooting and hollering to the hills when Mrs. Obama walked out looking like a perfectly chilled mimosa at the fleekiest of brunches. That made my evening.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      I’m re watching the PBS coverage right now and you can clearly hear someone yell “DAMB”” as she walks in lookin all good

      • Val

        That was me from home. Lol

      • I appreciate how it seems like she just gets doper and doper with time.

      • Pinks

        It was probably me through the TV. Hubby was like “you need to stop oggling his wife before O-Beezy come through and put dem paws on you”

  • Madame Zenobia

    I give it a solid 1st (read: Black) Aunt Viv.

    It was direct and to the point. Contained the right amount of admonishment and love. It was agile and lean. He put the right people on blast and killed them with phrases like, “We didn’t deny Sputnik was up there…” He had the right amount of dark skin bass in his voice, but used it to distribute knowledge. He was eloquent, but it was easy to read between the lines when he was clapping at phuckbois. His cut was fresh, that line was tight so he looked good whilst telling y’all aint nobody done it like him. Ain’t nobody gonna do it like him again.

    Basically these presidential candidates wish they could do it like Barack Hussein Obama, but they can’t. There is only one Barack Obama and without him America ain’t nothing but a nation in search of a Barack Obama.

    I loved it. Solid 1st Aunt Viv. Solid.

    • Robbinesque

      Speaking of 1st Aunt Viv…she was ON IT yesterday!!!

  • Robbinesque

    You had me at “the human equivalent of a month-old baby’s burp cloth”. I have officially lost all chill in my office….

  • miss t-lee

    “Shots at Trump all night long without actually saying his name:”

    Yup. TI’s “I’m Talking To You” came to mind. A song about a ninja and you ain’t actually said his name once, and everyone knows who you’re talking about? That was POTUS’ speech.

    “And no one has ever been happier about anything than middle-aged Black men get about cheap gas.”

    LMAO This is my Pops, all day. He will literally call me to tell me what he paid for a gallon of gas, and where he got it, so I can also go fill up the car…lol

    “Literally says “Ask Osama bin Laden about me“:

    When he mentioned bin Laden and all the other dead dudes he’s had taken out? I literally yelled out, “OH SH*T!” at the tv.
    That was a “you really don’t wanna fcuk with us” moment. Goodness gracious.

    Ms Edith Childs gave me all of the life! She is literally every older Black lady you’ve ever known in your life, and she was front and center in full regalia! YES MA’AM!

    Shelly O slayed in that tangerine. Wooooo!

  • Courtney Wheeler

    If he did a hard pose with Kendrick Lamar and Joe Biden after the speech…1.2224 billion black points

  • Pinks

    Also, the bit about Wall Street greed and NOT food stamp recipients causing the financial crisis was particularly juicy, shade-ridden, and distinctly black.

    • MysteryMeat

      i yelled “COME ON” at the tv

      • Squish

        That definitely got a “COME THRUUUUUUU, PRESIDENT OBAMA!!!” from me as well.

        Obama was snatching wigs like

    • Kameron Washington

      I felt like I was at church, come on preacha!!

  • Henry Minton

    I spent time this morning mulling over the President’s words from last night’s SOTU address, and one vignette made me look askance at him. Did anyone else notice last night how he omitted the words “Black Lives” at the end, and substituted them with the word “justice” before he praised the police? His exact words were, “The protester determined to prove that justice matters, and the young cop walking the beat, treating everybody with respect, doing the brave, quiet work of keeping us safe.” I found that juxtaposition and omission to be quite unsettling.

    • lilylawyer

      I didn’t find it upsetting at all. Everyone with any sense understood what he was saying and why he was saying it. And I thought the juxtaposition actually added legitimacy to the BLM movement. It says, “we know it’s not all cops, but that doesn’t mean the problem isn’t real.” The moment you demonize any group in its entirety, cops included, you lose potential allies in the fight.

      • Henry Minton

        I have problems with it precisely because he is a Black president. Especially, seeing as how we (the Black Community) are, for the most part, his most unabashed and staunchest supporters. And to my recollection, I don’t think that he has ever uttered the phrase “Black Lives Matter.”

        • Val

          For me it’s not even that he’s a Black President. How could any Democrat who is President not mention BLM by name considering all that’s gone on over the past year and all the support Black folks give to that Party. The only reason not to mention it is because White folks would get riled up. But it doesn’t matter since most Black folks will make excuses for him not mentioning it anyway. So.

          • Henry Minton

            I agree with your assessments, and now, more than ever, believe that he just doesn’t have it in him. I keep forgetting that (for the most part) he was not raised in the crucible of racial antagonism. He may have understood it in the abstract, but he has never felt it enough to express it. He has cemented himself, to me, as being more Jackie Robinson than Muhammad Ali.

            • MysteryMeat

              You just nailed it brutha.

            • blogdiz

              well said

        • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

          This is my thing with him…which despite me loving the swag and FLOTUS flyness…he’s not a “Black” president. As he should be (and he made this very clear), he’s a president of all of the American people. And insofar as the interest of American hegemony abroad run parallel and concurrently with ideas of American exceptionalism and (let’s be honest) white supremacy at home, everything he says and does has to be taken with a grain of salt.

  • Keisha

    …and the White House now has a Snapchat! Will probably stop following them once President Obama leaves office…but for now, I am here for it!

    • I don’t see how that could possible go well.

  • Robbinesque

    You had me at “the human equivalent of a month-old baby’s burp cloth”. #DEAD

    The Slayage that was FLOTUS alone makes this final SOTU the Blackest thing this decade. The mic drop of “Ask Bin Laden”? DAYUM…just DAYUM!!! So much so that Uncle Joe (the Blackest White man since Bill Clinton) gave POTUS that “That’s my ninja..” finger…

    • Junegirl627

      Seriously! That wasn’t black. That was straight chicago gangster Black! We went THERE.

    • Digital Puppy

      For me, this was the Blackest White man moment of the night. I love that ninja Uncle Joe!

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