Thursday, July 29, 2010

An open letter to President Obama

Dear Mr. President,
I did not vote for you, but I support you, I really do. I want you to succeed in making this the best country in the world in so many ways. I don't so much care about your legacy or your party affiliation or what you're best remembered for, as you must, but I care very deeply about this country that my father fought for, this country whose national anthem I stand and sing every time I hear it, even when I'm singing alone with a tinny recording, for a country that I believe has a divine purpose that we all have the opportunity to perpetuate.
So let me tell you about some of my concerns.
Just today, in your speech that I watched on CNN, which I assume is not the cable TV to which you referred so derisively in said speech, you talked about not jumping to conclusions in regard to Shirley Sherrod and how it was wrong for cable TV to levy accusations of racism that were both unfair and inappropriate. My caveat: I totally agree. My issue: Fox News or Andrew Breitbart didn't unfairly fire Ms. Sherrod. You did. You jumped to the conclusion based on some scandal that came from Fox News. Fox News! I can't remember the last time I believed something that "news" station reported, and I'm not at war with them. So why would you believe it? I bet it would have taken five minutes of research for you to get the whole story. You didn't. You should have. You should also now be accepting full responsibility for what happened.
But you're right, we shouldn't jump to conclusions. You shouldn't either, especially on issues as sensitive as race. I'm white, so I won't act like I've experienced racism. But I will ask you to step above it. I don't see you as a black president. I see you as the leader of my country. Please stop forcing skin color to the front when it's not what I see.
I know you're worried about your job. Really, who's not, in this day and age? I'm sure November is looming large -- that whole referendum on the status quo thing -- and I'm sure the first Tuesday in November seems scarily close to you. I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for you as a politician, but I understand that you're concerned about keeping your job. But your job includes being the point where the buck stops. You. Are. In. Charge. That means you get both the good and the bad. I struggle when I hear you blaming others for things. First of all, blame doesn't do anything but make one side look bad and the other worse; we actually need solutions. But more importantly, I don't care who's at fault for the oil spill. I care that it gets plugged and cleaned up and the appropriate measures taken to stop another similar event. I stopped caring why the economy is in the garbage long ago; now I want to know how we as a country are going to make it better. I don't care what George W. Bush did. I wasn't thrilled about knowing what he did while in office; I definitely don't need a rehashing of his activities. I want to know what you're going to do. And I want to see you make strides to do it.
Thanks for what you're doing, President Obama. I sincerely believe that you are a good man. I sincerely hope that you are a good leader as well.

1 comment:

  1. He won't read this. He's too busy appearing on The View.