Dear President Obama:
I perhaps have been a bit too understanding. I understood because you were always caught in the middle. You woke up each day remembering you were the President for the whole country and not just one segment. You continued to the end to reach out to those who openly conspired against you. And I understood.
You carried the burden of being the first Black President. As such, you rarely did anything to overtly benefit only Black people; perhaps because of the optics, or the “Whitelash” which would invariably come. And I understood.
You withstood their slurs with grace. Absorbed their attacks on your character, your person and your family. Never returning them with anger because to do so would raise the specter of the “Angry Black Man.” And I understood.
You saved the economy. Made healthcare available to an additional twenty million people. Oversaw advances on behalf for women, gays, dreamers and more despite the resistance of those on the other side of history. At the same time you deported more Hispanics than anyone else in history, perhaps needing to appear tough on Immigration. And I mostly understood.
You started to make efforts to address hyper mass incarceration. You began reducing use of private prisons to house Federal prisoners. You began addressing sentencing for nonviolent crimes and looked the other way when States began passing laws to legalize marijuana. I knew that in the early moments of your first term. Lost in the pages of your stimulus plan were funding for cities to buy tanks and military equipment and pay for arrests of drug users which added to mass incarceration. I knew you didn’t write the stimulus plan. It may have been a compromise to get votes. A necessary evil that I tried to understand. You later tried to fix those efforts which helped me set that aside. So I ultimately understood.
You made some comments disparaging HBCUs. Perhaps your Columbia and Harvard background didn’t enable you to fully appreciate the significance past, present and future of these institutions. I didn’t understand but in the overall picture it was a small thing. I remain hopeful that enlightenment in this area will reach you.
Since the election of Donald J Trump as your replacement. You’ve more than fulfilled your obligation to the peaceful transition of power which is a hallmark of Democracy. You handled yourself with grace and honor despite the feelings you must have towards the dishonorable, vile man who harassed you for years. You put Country above Party above Self. And I understood.
I speculate now… I think you still engage with President-Elect Trump in false hope you can influence his behavior. He leaves a meeting with you and talks about the good parts of Obamacare he’d like to preserve. Then he appoints a man in charge of HHS who wrote bills to repeal it over sixty times. You encouraged him to be a President for the whole country. Then he appoints Jeff Sessions. You take his calls and offer guidance. When your call concludes, Steve Bannon White Supremacist sweet nothings in his ear.
Mr. President, your efforts are having no effect. Worse still, you are helping to normalize him and make him more acceptable by those who should never accept him. You are giving him the cover of normalcy while every action he takes highlights the abnormal and his desire to make America something again that was never great. This I do not understand.
Respectfully I ask you to draw a red-line and say, “This Must Not Stand!” You should tell the nation what you’ve seen up close and make clear that the conspiracy theory spouting, racist meme tweeting, tax evading liar-in-chief is exactly who we thought he was. Speak without anger. But clearly articulate the clear and present danger that is Trump. Don’t speak as a Democrat in partisan ways but as an American because he endangers us all. Don’t go softly into the night. Use the bully pulpit one last time to make the record clear. Make us all understand.
Feature Photo: youtube.com