SOTU 2016: What We Can Expect


In approximately 4 hours, we will all be glued to our televisions listening to President Obama deliver his last State of the Union Address(SOTU) a joint chamber of Congress and the Nation. Tonight, will be symbolic and memorable as it is likely that President Obama will give a speech the may be a summation of his two terms in office, from 2008 until now. Tonight’s address will likely be optimistic and resemble the speeches Senator Obama gave on the campaign trail, when running for office in 2008 and 2012. We will hear about hope, change, and the courage of the American people.

There are three major issues that will undoubtedly be addressed—ISIS; the growing issue of Islamophobia, coupled with Xenophobia in the U.S.; and gun control reform. These controversial issues have permeated our media, culture, and ultimately are the major issues surrounding the 2016 election.

First, in discussing ISIS, it is likely that President Obama will discuss our international partners and world leaders who are on the forefront working to deconstruct ISIS, which has been labeled a terrorist organization. President Obama will discuss America’s role in the “fight against terrorism.” Naturally, this is a “hot topic” issue because of the recent attacks in Philadelphia, San Bernardino, and Paris that ISIS has claimed credit for. .

Second, President Obama will address the growing Islamophobia and Xenophobia that this country is grappling with. US-Muslim relations have taken a dark turn for the worst as, some 2016 Presidential candidates have vowed to ban Muslims and essentially immigrants from this country. These controversial comments, coupled with growing terror attacks around the world have created a less tolerant society fearful and; therefore more willing to embrace hate.  President Obama will likely remind Congress, and the American people that we are all immigrants to this land, that we now called home. The only people who are Native to America are the Native Americans or indigenous people who were here before America was colonized.

Lastly, tonight President Obama will address gun control. Mass shootings and killing have become a common occurrence. From movie theaters to schools, to churches and malls, Americans have been killed due to gun violence at incredible rates. The issue of mass killings as it pertains to gun reform will likely be a part of tonight’s address. The issue of gun reform is a hot topic issue in light of the many lives that have been lost. President Obama spoke about gun reform last week, and wrote a riveting article in the NY Times.  President Obama will echo his sentiments about how we need to keep our country safe from those who are most vulnerable in our society.

It would be great to hear President Obama discuss gun control as it pertains to the drug wars in urban communities, like in Baltimore and Chicago where everyday communities have become like war zones; police brutality and abuse against black and brown communities; and domestic terrorism. However, these are topics will not likely to be discussed.

In President Obama’s final address, we will hear him speak about the many things that have been accomplished over the last eight years and how we as a country have overcome adversity. It will great to hear President Obama echo his “hope” mantra, but we still have a long way to go with major challenges ahead of us. Tonight’s address will continue to set the tone for 2016 Presidential candidates, and each of their agendas.


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