Dear President Barack, First Lady Michelle, and First Daughters Sasha and Malia,
It is with no disrespect that I address you using your first names…indeed it is because you have been so open, so fully human, in your roles, that I feel we could be friends. Yet at the same time, I hold you in highest esteem as I witness the sacrifices you have made and the hard work that you have all done for the sake of me and my fellow countrymen and women and children. I am honored to call you my first family, my President. You are worthy of this title.
Mr. President, your intelligence and ability to express your thoughts and ideas has been intensely refreshing. I feel when I hear you speak that you are a man who truly desires to make this nation and this world a more livable, lovable, and harmonious place. Your continued sense of humor and sharp wit in the face of intense obvious racism and knee-jerk hatred is admirable. Your perseverance in the face of unprecedented intention to derail your presidency shows that you are a bigger and better man than those who have risked their nation’s ruin just to keep you from succeeding or meeting your goals. I have never heard you respond in kind to the vicious attacks of those who would discredit you. It is a sad fact of this society we share that this magnificent event of the election of a mixed-race President has brought out the worst in many of us. Closet racists can no longer hide, they are screaming out their tirades as they insist they are not bigots but merely responding to some perceived affront to their rights. Absurdities are touted as truth as we witness the degradation of our media, fools rush in to repeat the hateful sound bites and gobble up new reasons to justify hatred. We have never seen anything like it. Yet, you continue to strive to accomplish your goals, to adjust policies to support working class Americans, though many of them consider you their enemy…what irony! I appreciate your appearances on TV shows and public events, you continue to show us that you are a human being with feelings and the ability to improvise. When you busted out singing ‘Amazing Grace’ at the Charleston pastor’s memorial, I cried and fell in love with you all over again. Thanks for being real. Somehow your humanity has survived the experience of being President of the United States.
Dear First Lady Michelle, you are beautiful and smart and wise and patient. You have worked to improve the lives of children, and to help our citizens wake up to the reality of the importance of what we eat, among other things. You are striving to move us into the 21st century, to take responsibility for our health and our children’s well-being. You are dynamic and motivated, setting a strong example of an independent woman, and you have properly ignored the haters and the blatant criticisms of those who can’t stand the idea of your family occupying the highest house in America…that’s the truth, though it be hard to say. Racism is not based on anything intelligent or logical or compassionate or realistic. It is ancient and primitive, and those who live in that state are not yet where you are in their personal evolution. You seem to know this, and perhaps to forgive them for they know not what they say or do. “They” are filled with fear, rather than love, and until they choose to change their minds, we are burdened with them and their endless negativity. How do I know they are acting from a sense of racism rather than real disagreement with policy? Because the way they speak of you and your husband and children is not the way we speak of our first family. Never before have insults and personal criticism been hurled like what we are now hearing. It is how we speak to those we consider inferior, those we feel no need to offer basic human courtesy or respect. Not our President. Unfortunately we have been reduced to a culture of Us and Them.
Sasha and Malia, it has been a pleasure catching glimpses of you both growing up so beautifully. Your parents have done well at keeping your lives as “normal” as possible, but the truth is, it cannot be easy to shoulder the responsibility you two hold. These have been such formative years for you both, eight years is a long time in the life of a child. Much has been asked and expected of you, and you have behaved graciously. Thank you for sharing yourselves with the entire country and developing your individuality and style as examples for other girls. Thank you too for sharing your dad with us, it can’t be easy having your parent be the leader of the free world.
The possibilities were so great…the hope and the thrill of the past two presidential elections have been somewhat dashed by the tireless placement of impediments every step of this president’s way. But nevertheless, history will remember this monumental time, and it will remember those who resisted change as well, as foolish bigots with very personal agendas. President Barack Obama, you will go down in history as the man who held his head high through the barrage of haters, continuously striving to improve the lives of Americans and make the world a safer place. You have not always done what I wanted you to do…no president has…yet your heart is good and your smile is genuine. I trust you, I trust your inherent goodness, and you have my deepest respect and gratitude.
What the Obama family has endured has been a gift to all of us. The entire world has benefitted from this presidency, all eyes are on the USA. Regardless of the haters and the barriers placed in the way, it can never be denied that we did this, we elected this man and his family, and he was strong and good and positive and filled with light. Our nation is in many ways more stable than in decades. In other ways, we have been rocked to our core by the intensity of negative emotion which has erupted in response to the simple appearance of racial equality. We are all human, all emanations of the divine, regardless of our skin color or religion or who we love. Even the haters are divine emanations; they are lost, but with time will find their way.
Mr. President and your beautiful proud family, perhaps you knew when you accepted this burden that you would be sacrificed, but you accepted anyway, as your destiny dictated. By taking this first step, you have paved a way for increasing enlightenment in our faltering nation. I will forever hold you in highest esteem, with deep gratitude for your part in this great human drama.
Salle Webber, citizen of the USA