Dear former President Barack Obama,
Wow, I’ve said that out loud a few times today and it still doesn’t feel right. For the last eight years I’ve known you as the President, as THE man, the Commander-In-Chief. I’m penning this letter out to you because I want you to know you are appreciated. I watched you handle yourself like a gentlemen in front of the whole world, I never saw you react out of emotion. That’s what I most admire about you, the class and elegance you posses. You taught me to think before I speak, but most importantly you taught me to listen to understand, not just to reply.
You managed to show the world it is possible to think of someone other than yourself. Your compassion and heart made you special, it was never forced compassion, I could always tell it came from the bottom of your heart. Because of you our brothers and sisters of the LGBT community’s marriage are considered legal and most importantly, equal to everyone else’s.
You never went corrupt, you never turned your back on the people you vowed to serve back in 2008. There was times when I would look at President George W Bush during his tenure and think to myself, “You know, I could do his job.” I mean, how could anybody mess that up any more, right? But it was different with you, I never looked at you and thought that. You were like a super hero out there sometimes, regardless of how people felt about your politics, no one could ever question the type of man you are at your core. Your decency can never be questioned.
From day one you were the most challenged incoming President ever. Republicans vowed to never pass anything you proposed and they made it a priority to make sure you wouldn’t get re-elected, they failed miserably at both. The amount of resistance you faced for no reason what so ever was unprecedented and you made it eight years without a sniff of scandal. They threw the birther movement at you, tried to paint you as a radical Muslim. They tried to make sure you failed and you out smarted them all. Republicans were playing checkers while you were playing chess. I’ve never seen anybody be three steps ahead of everybody and making it seem effortless.
You were a product of Columbia and Harvard University. The President of the Harvard Law review, law professor, Senator of Illinois, nobody had seen anything like you. You had the ability to speak to two worlds, but not only could you speak to them, you would connect. With your endless amount of wisdom you became one of the great orators of our generation. With your voice not only did you speak to America, you changed America.
You were the first person of color to really frighten white America since Martin Luther King Jr. He had a dream, you were the dream. If he could only see you now and all that you have done in his memory, because without him, there is no you. You frightened the establishment so much that they were more interested in seeing your birth certificate, rather than Trump’s tax returns. Your impact will live on no matter how much the new administration will try to erase your name from the history books.
Because of you I honestly feel I can do anything I set my mind to. You gave millions of Americans hope and for that we are eternal grateful. If you can overcome everything you faced while in office, then what I’m going through is minuscule.
You used your privilege to combat prejudice. You tried to do more than discuss the problem, you tried to implement solutions. In your farewell letter you said, “all that I’ve learned in my time in office, I’ve learned from you. You made me a better President, and you made me a better man.” From me and millions of other Americans we want to say you’ve taught us more than you could ever take from us. You taught us how to be better Americans. You taught us how to be better people.
Thank you for your service to your country. Thank you for teaching me how to be a better man. Thank you for teaching me that if your dreams don’t make you uncomfortable, then your dreams aren’t big enough.