Obama's "Strong Man" message

Virtual Deaf Church   February 20, 2019 in ASL


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I was so inspired by Barack Obama's message about "Strong Man" that I have translated it into ASL.

Image description: Justin with brown Derby hat, purple dress shirt, orange-gray bow tie, and dark brown blazer jacket. The background is light green with a painting of a lake.

Video transcript: A black screen with white letters - Obama's "Strong Man" translated into ASL by Justin Dean Vollmar

Barack Obama gave a speech at a men's conference last Tuesday. I was so inspired by this powerful message for all men. I wanted to translate his message into ASL. What does it mean to be a "Strong Man." It means to "LIFT UP." As in "support & encourage others." That is what man's strength is for.

Unfortunately, some men thought "Strength" is for "PUT DOWN." As in "dominate & intimidate" others. No, that is not the right definition of strong men. That is actually "Toxic Masculinity." It actually means "harming and putting down others." We need to disown that outdated notion of strong men.

We the proud, strong men need to rise up and uplift others! We need to be compassionate, caring, responsible, nurturing... ... kind, respectful men. Those traits show STRENGTH!

When we saw the "#MeToo" movement... ... where many women came out about acts of sexual assault,... ... abuse, violence, intimidate, etc. by the men. We, the strong men, need to weep and join them in solidarity. Why? Because they are our mothers, wives, & daughters. We should be outraged that the weak men has harmed them. Being strong men means to support & cherish all women.

We need to change what it means to be a strong man. Being a strong man means being a good human being. To use our strength to uplift and support others... a contrast to the weak men who are arrogant, boastful, ... ... intimidating, manipulative, oppressive, etc. We need to disown those negative traits. For example, some men hide their insecurities... ... by overcompensating by being boastful or egotistical... ... by surrounding himself with 'eight women' to exploit and use. Would you call that a strong man? The answer is NO.

The strong men demonstrate self-confidence, respect, loyalty, ... ... care for, and cherish their relationship with their woman. We, the strong men needs to show the difference between ... ... toxic masculinity, deny and disavow the old notion of Men... ... and show what the strong men's strength look like through... ... uplifting and supporting others.

We, the strong men, altogether ought change the viewpoint of... ... toxic masculinity to dignified, respectful, strong men! The strong men will be successful!

Two images come up. First one is Barack Obama speaking into the microphone. The second one is Obama seated on chairs with the NBA basketball player Steph Curry on the stage.

A black screen with white letters - "Barack Obama and Steph Curry Take on Toxic Masculinity and 'Being a Man' in 2019." (Men's Health, by Eric Lutz, Feb 20 2019)

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