Letter to President Barack Hussein Obama II

Dear Mr. President,

I meant to write sooner. I thought there would be more time.

But my problems never seemed to live up to what I imagined were the thousands of Americans who contacted you every day because they were at the end of some problem that they thought only you could solve. And so I waited because I didn’t want to waste your time.

Still, I dreamed that one day I might write a letter that could make it through the filters that must surround the president of our country. Perhaps you would read it one evening in the residence, sipping on your favorite cocktail, taking just a moment to connect with real Americans like me. But I waited too long.

You and I are not so different. A year younger than me, we both grew up with single moms and were influenced by strong grandmothers. Our mothers died too young of cancer and the men in our lives were fathers in name only. The women in our lives taught us to work hard, to live hard and that we could be whatever we wanted to be. You are one of us.

I don’t understand why some people hate you so. It can’t just be the color of your thick skin — I refuse to believe that. Some people around here think that with a white man as president it will all go back to the way it was. That will never happen.

America never stopped being great. We hold the door open for strangers — not because they are white, black, brown or purple — but because we are all in this together. As you said so eloquently in 2004, we are one people. If only that had been settled by our great Civil War 150 years ago.

While President Trump’s father was being arrested at a pro-Klan rally in 1927, my great grandfather was dying as a result of being gassed by the Germans in the Great War.

Wars rarely accomplish what they promise and you can be proud that you didn’t get us into any new ones even if we are still in Afghanistan and Iraq — probably forever. The scars of those wars, like the ones that came before them, will be with us and there’s nothing you could have done to change that.

Ten years ago, like a lot of younger people, I didn’t know I’d need healthcare, but eventually I did and the Affordable Care Act saved my life. You and I know the importance of healthcare because our mothers both fought insurance companies up until the day they died.

On the day that John McCain picked Sara Palin as his running made in 2008, my mother and I were sitting in a hospital in Oklahoma City waiting for her to have an outpatient surgery related to her bladder cancer. I remember how excited she was that a woman had been picked by Sen. McCain and I asked why she didn’t support you. She rather smartly said, “America isn’t ready for a black president.”

I nearly walked out on her, but I didn’t because I loved her and I appreciated all that she had done for me. I love my country, appreciate that I am its citizen, and I will never walk out on it. I don’t know know if America was ready for a black president, but we were ready for you. We appreciate all that you and your family have done for us.

Thank you,

Dennis Whiteman