On Tuesday night, President Obama delivered his seventh and final State of The Union address. While it was his shortest on record (58 minutes and 49 seconds, to be exact), POTUS was able to pack in some pretty salient points before finally concluding that "the State of our Union is strong."
Admittedly, it wasn't unentertaining to watch Paul Ryan keep an abnormally straight face the whole time. The not-to-subtle digs at Trump were pretty enjoyable, too.
That being said, there were a few things missing from the President's address that are extremely relevant to the everyday lives of those in our union. Here's what POTUS didn't touch on, though we wish he did:
1. Reproductive Rights
From those heavily edited Planned Parenthood videos to the terrorist attack on a Colorado Springs PP clinic, this was an incredibly tumultuous year for reproductive rights. The attacks were legislative too -- in 2015, several states made efforts to limit access to safe, legal abortions and defund Planned Parenthood.
This year, the Supreme Court will hear its first abortion case in over a decade -- Whole Woman's Health v. Cole -- which centers around a Texas law that could potentially leave the state with just 10 abortion centers. Texas, BTW, has 27 million peole.
Clearly, this is a conversation we can't afford to be quiet about.
2. Race Relations
In the entire SOTU address, Obama had exactly one line that explicitly referenced race: "That's why we need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion."
Beyond that, there was no mention of some of the most pertinent issues in the conversation on race in America, including Black Lives Matter and the anti-racism protests on campuses that students led in 2015.
There was also no discussion of police brutality, which is proven to disproportionally affect black Americans. According to the Washington Post, in 2015, "police killed blacks at three times the rate of whites when adjusted for the populations where these shootings occurred. And although black men represent 6 percent of the U.S. population, they made up nearly 40 percent of those who were killed while unarmed."
3. Trans Rights
Though there have been great strides in the LGBT community during Obama's presidency, there's so much more to be done, particularly for trans people. In 2015 alone, at least 22 trans women of color were murdered. In Indiana, lawmakers have introduced a bill that would essentially make trans and gender non binary people criminals for using the bathroom. Trans teens across the country are fighting -- and even suing -- their schools for their right to use the bathroom.
There's also the issue of workplace discrimination and how unprotected trans people are from it. According to The National Transgender Discrimination Survey, "26% of trans people lost a job due to bias, 50% were harassed on the job, 20% were evicted or denied housing, and 78% of trans students were harassed or assaulted," and "trans people of color face higher rates of discrimination."
Last night, the President said that he wants to "focus on the future." We hope his successor will take all the aforementioned issues into account, as they'll be a big part of what that future looks like.