Expectations From State Of The Union

Youth Radio's King Anyi Howell says he has more than hope for the president's first State of the Union address. He has expectations, big ones, for Wednesday's address.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MADELEINE BRAND, host:

Finally, we thought we'd leave the experts and Washington. Youth Radio's King Anyi Howell lives in Los Angeles. Like many young black men, he's paid extra attention to President Obama's first year in office. And he'll be paying even closer attention tonight.

Mr. KING ANYI HOWELL (Youth Radio): After a full year of presidency, tonight is Barack Obama's chance to address the issues that are keeping Americans up at night, besides Conan O'Brien reruns.

I'll be tuning in from a local cafe, drinking something that has absolutely nothing to do with tea or tea parties, waiting for the president to drop some wisdom, something to ease my stress about the direction in which our county is heading.

You remember a year ago when 52.9 percent of Americans felt that our county's first black president was our white knight? People said that he brought the nation together. And those of us who attended the inauguration in D.C. last year might remember being crammed together. We froze our collective buns off that morning because we believed Obama possessed that certain something. The something that would lead millions of unemployed Americans to the light at the end of the tunnel, as opposed to leading us into the light of an oncoming too-big-to-fail bailout locomotive.

But a year later, no one knows if the bottom of our great recession is in sight. We're still fighting two wars abroad. And what the heck happened to health care for all Americans?

I'm uninsured because insurance costs too much. I think the country could benefit from universal coverage, but only if it's well managed. If public health care is run as marvelously as some of our other institutions, like public schools, I'll take my chances with death.

I'm also part of the generation of young people who were instrumental in ushering the president into the presidency. Obama called us too important to fail. And tonight I'd like him to do something most presidents haven't done and actually speak to us. These times are the toughest my age group has ever seen, and we'd like to know exactly what he's going to do about it and how we can help.

And finally, I want President Obama to address a different war on terror, the terror that's inside each of us who struggle to pay the bills or care for our kids. Sure, I want a plan of action, but he might have to do one better and holla at us. Mr. President, inspire me.

(Soundbite of music)

BRAND: That's King Anyi Howell of Youth Radio. And you can listen to the president's State of the Union speech at 9 p.m. Eastern, 6 p.m. Pacific on many NPR stations and at NPR.org.

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.