Dear Mr. President…

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...

Dear Mr. President,

I figured that today would be as good as any to sit down and write you a nice letter. You have been on my mind, and I hope you are fairing well…or at least as well as can be expected in your current circumstance. It is on this day that the citizens of these United States take time to honor the births of several of our forefathers, some of the most revered Presidents in the history of this great nation. I think that one day, your name will be added to that list of greatness. Of course, no one sees what you’re doing now, because we’re in it, but ten years from now, I think we’ll all look back and owe you a great deal of gratitude.

Despite how I feel about this day being a slight distraction in the middle of Black History Month, you deserve a round of applause today. You sir, have fought on our behalf and made improvements that will impact Americans for generations to come, only to be berated with questions of your citizenship, your loyalty to your “black side”, and allegations of dog hatred…among other things. For these reasons, and many others, I’d like to apologize to you on behalf of my colleagues in the media, and on behalf of the population in general. We’re sorry. Honestly. Some of us just don’t realize what we’re doing, or saying.

Often times, especially in today ‘s society, we find ourselves wanting everything instantaneously. Food, fame, money, or whatever…if it doesn’t come quickly, we’re unhappy. You know what it’s like to sit back and feel like nothing is changing. I know this because I’ve read your stories about being a community organizer. Sometimes, the government and all it’s red tape just does not respond the way we want it to, when we want it to. When you’re expecting change and it doesn’t come in the time you expect it to, it’s easy to become discouraged. To an impatient people, it’s like kryptonite. Nevertheless, we sit back and blame everything on the nearest scapegoat, which in terms of governmental issues, is always you. Never stepping back to analyze the role we are playing in our own demise, we’ve gotten accustomed to placing the blame on others when in all actuality we have the power to shape our destinies. So many people who said they supported you have turned their backs on you… or even worse, offered you unsolicited advice on how you should do your job, quite possibly for their own notoriety. This is nothing new though. It’s happened to every great leader in the history of the human race. It comes with the territory, and you’ve handled it with dignity and class. What’s probably most unfortunate about this entire situation is that people have clearly forgotten about the 8 years worth of mess that was left behind by the previous administration for you to clean up. So while you may have had grandiose ideas about how you planned to change the country, you instead had to back track, and fix the areas that were broken…leaving some of your campaign promises unrequited. I’m sure it’s been a tedious task, especially knowing that the majority of the American people expect you to be some variation of a bi-racial Clark Kent…a super hero in regular clothing. The smart ones know that you are just a man, a great one, but a man, who has been charged with a task of leading a country out of an extremely dark period. The economy is in a rut, we’re quietly fighting two wars…and you are going grey and adding wrinkles to your forehead, trying to do what’s right for our country. Thank you.

You can not make everyone happy. Especially not black people. I can say this because I am black. I know. Everyone wants you to be the “Black President” but in all actuality, that’s not what this country needs. Separatism has created this weird, racist, slave mentality in our community, and while I am fully aware that there are still places that I am not welcomed because of the color of my skin, I am also aware that sometimes we use the race card as an excuse for self-inflicted mediocrity. One day, I hope that we are able to look beyond color, and just see PEOPLE. Recently a notoriously outspoken Princeton professor suggested that you haven’t done your part in speaking on race issues in this country. I guess he forgot about THIS speech or the heat you caught behind the Henry Louis Gates fiasco. I know you know that race is an issue. You and your family are constantly attacked. You’ve been called a monkey. Your wife’s posterior and take charge attitude have bore the brunt of many a joke, and your two beautiful daughters have been teased, by adults, about their hair. I don’t have to explain this to you, but just know. I’m in your corner. 

I’ll close with this. During the 2008 election season, I was in my junior year of undergraduate study at Hampton University. My friends, classmates colleagues and I campaigned, wrote stories, interviewed celebrities, and attempted to produce several live newscasts on the night of your election. Of course, all of that went south the moment you were projected to be the winner. Our excitement could not be contained. There were tears, screams, and every other expression of joy imaginable. We felt accomplished. You would have thought we were on our way to 1600 Pennsylvania…and in a way we were. Maybe not physically, but in our minds, you being in the White House was like us being in the White House. We finally had someone who spoke our language, understood our culture, and knew the struggles we were facing as young people…being not too far removed from the struggle yourself. For most of us, it was our first presidential election, and for some our first time voting at all. We didn’t have the Civil Rights movement…we had the opportunity to unite for change in our country, in the form of your election…and we won. With that being said, no matter how far you fall from the pedestal we put you on, I will be forever grateful for the intangibles that you have given us. Like, displaying the power of a strong family unit, or the importance of serving your community, or the idea that no goal is unreachable if you work hard. You’ve set the banner high for us, and now it’s time that we come up to meet, and then surpass you. 

On this President’s Day, President Barack Obama, I salute you, and all of your continued efforts to make this country better than it’s ever been. Thank you, and as usual…I’ll be praying for you.

With Love and Admiration, 

Andrea Brown


2 thoughts on “Dear Mr. President…”

  1. Absolutely astounding. You are a gifted, well-spoken writer that has a way to not only tell a story but i clearly “see” your thoughts and ideas. Keep doing what you are doing; I’ll be reading your stuff for a long time.

  2. Well said. It is frustrating that no matter what good he does, President Obama’s birthplace and religion keep being questioned. I worry about the 2012 elections. Indeed, such a great president, such undeserved criticism. He needs all the support he can get. I’m glad you’re giving voice to those of us who are behind him. Great post!

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