Posted by: Lawrence D. Elliott | October 24, 2008

Thank You Barack Hussein Obama!

Dear Senator Obama,

We are less than two weeks away from our historic election and I find myself with mixed feelings about the month November of 2008. Not only are you on the verge of reaching a goal that I never thought I would see in my lifetime, this will be the month my mother has surgery for breast cancer. This moment is definitely filled with the bitter along with the sweet. With a full staff of great doctors—and the help of tons of prayers, I know my mother—the strongest person I have ever known—will get through this! So, for the moment I will concentrate on the sweet.

When you initially announced you were running for President, the first words out of my skeptical mouth were, “This country will never elect a black man as President! Period!” I admired your guts, but I felt it would end as so many other campaigns—in defeat. Well, you are close to making me a big, fat liar!

The restraint and discipline you have shown is something to be admired. Although you breathing the air of the heights none of us has reached, it is similar to the path others greater than I have had to take and you have proven worthy to have your name written beside theirs in history. When your opponents and their supporters use your middle name in the same tone and manner as they would when hurling the most profane insult, you maintain your composure. Are they aware any black man in America—including me—could have been named Barack Hussein Obama, if their ancestors weren´t brought here as slaves?

You were steady when you were attacked because of people you knew or whom you met. It´s as if two people who have shared the same air or patch of earth are somehow compelled to share the same thoughts. I think we´d all be surprised if we knew the background and history of every person we crossed paths with.

And when they questioned your religious beliefs, it seemed to infuriate me more than it does you. Could they not see the hypocrisy? I mean, we are fighting a war against terrorists who have warped the meaning of their religion in order to destroy people who are different than they are. How do some fellow Americans act when someone different tries to reach for a lofty goal? They warp the meaning of their religion to destroy that person. Not exactly the same as the terrorists, but closer than America should be in the year 2008! This is just more proof that fools come in all shapes, sizes, colors, genders, and religious beliefs.

And you didn´t change when they tried to label you as an elitist. A kid born to a single mother who struggled to make his life better by stressing education can be an elitist? I never understand that one. And to top it off, they tried to make intelligence and eloquence into a four-letter word. I guess they´d be happier if you stood at the podium speaking Ebonics and grabbing your genitals. I promise you, you wouldn’t have my vote if you had.

They even mocked you as being just a celebrity before finally getting around to attacking your ideas. That´s fair game, but my question is this: Why was that the last thing on their list to attack, instead of the first?

All Americans—not just black Americans—should be very proud of your perseverance, of the accomplishment you are close to achieving, and of the sacrifice you and your family have made for almost two years. You have done a great service for our country.

Obviously, my wish is for you to reach your final goal. But win or lose, I would like to thank you for a few things.

Thank you for placing the indelible picture in the minds of every young black kid that anyone has the chance of becoming President, just as Sen. Clinton and Gov. Palin have done for young girls. I am envious of them because it was not something I could envision at their age.

Thank you for the images of the enthusiastic crowds filled with the smiling faces of every race, creed, color, and religion we have represented in this great country. We knew the country had progressed, we just didn´t know quite how far. You´ve actually been able to quantify that progress.

I would like to thank you for allowing my 84-year-old grandmother to be able see a black man rise to such heights. She is someone who is very important—along with my mother—in shaping me into the man I have become. She was also born into a segregated America.

Thank you Barack Hussein Obama for what your candidacy has meant to America as the world looks on with baited breath.

With all of my heart, I pray that your wonderful grandmother will be allowed by God to see you reach the finish line. But if she´s not allowed to see it here on Earth, she´ll probably be watching from Heaven.

You and I are the same age (give or a take a month or two) and connected to the same race. Yet we are different because you saw this was possible, where I could not. That makes you a true visionary!

Our prayers to you and your family. And, of course, God bless America!


Lawrence D. Elliott

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