President Barack Obama delivered his farewell address in Chicago on Tuesday, bringing tears to the eyes of thousands of Americans who are saying goodbye to the first African-American commander-in-chief and hello to a president-elect who stands against Obama's message of progress, hope and equality.
Unlike previous presidential farewell speeches, Obama's address focused on the future, not the accomplishments of his administration – though there are several. He talked about hope and change, ideas that have defined his presidency since he campaigned for office in 2008.
“I leave this stage tonight even more optimistic than when I started,” the president told thousands of supporters in Chicago, the city where he started his career as a community organizer, professor and politician. “You changed the world. You did.”
Though optimistic, the president warned that economic inequity, racism and close-mindedness are still alive and well in the U.S. and that its continued presence is a threat to the country's democratic fabric.
“If every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hardworking white middle class and undeserving minorities,” he said, “then workers of all shades will be left fighting for scraps while the wealthy withdraw further into their private enclave.”
While looking ahead, Obama criticized discrimination against immigrants and reminded his audience that the future of our country is brown.
“If we decline to invest in the children of immigrants, just because they don't look like us, we diminish the prospects of our own children – because those brown kids will represent a larger share of America's workforce,” he said.
Watch President Obama’s full farewell address above.