President Barack Obama,
“Let’s be vigilant, but not afraid.”
My entire life I heard you can be anything that you want to be. Can I be President? No, not that, anything but that, I meant doctor, lawyer; you know, typical excellence. Not President. Thank you for proving them wrong and my millennial sense of optimism correct. I don’t want to be President, but I believe my goals to be just as ambitious. Thank you for giving me HOPE that the impossible is indeed possible.
The Fall of 2008 was special for me. I remember it vividly, I was doing some work in preparation to join my fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, and I glanced at the television: Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States of America. Tears were about to fill my eyes, tears of joy and optimism.
You have given me hope. You showed a young black man born in Saginaw, MI, son of immigrants, that it is possible to ascend to the highest levels of society, business and leadership without sacrificing an ounce of character. You demonstrated that it is okay for people not to like you, but it is not okay to collapse under the weight of their oppression. Not liking is putting it lightly; they hated you. Some of that hate being visceral, probably for the color of your skin.
Many never consider your eloquently spoken words because they couldn’t get over their inherited and inherent racism. Believing that a black man challenged their sense of worth, sense of white, sense of right.
You were a Muslim. You were an Ape. You were a Racist. You were a Nigger. You were a Military hater. You were a Treasonist. You were a Communist. You were whatever their minds and tongues wanted you to be. And under the cumulative sum of their falsehoods, the exemplification of perseverance in the face of adversity is what you displayed day in and day out, gracefully.
President Obama, you were the first president that I could vote for, and I do not regret either of my ballots cast with your name. Were you perfect? Obviously not, I’m sure you would say so yourself. But, (BIG BUT) your character never wavered. Your foundational principles never lost their footing. How rare is it to find a person of noble character, let alone a politician; that in and of itself proves that I did not waste my votes.
Thank you, President Obama, for be an inspirational force in my life and a generation of people who think like me. You were magnificent, vigilant, but not afraid!
P.S. I wish you would have said “Obama out” again at the end of your Farewell Address.
Thanks, Obama – President Obama.