I am no one special in the great scheme of things. However, I do like the saying that even the smallest piece of thread within a tapestry is important. I know my single vote didn't make you win, but I believe it was just as important as the weight of the masses. My two eldest children are now of age to vote and I will ensure that they vote in the upcoming election. When I informed them of this, my daughter asked me why she should vote. I told her that, she must have a say in who her leaders are. Otherwise the choice will be made for her. To do otherwise, is irresponsible and allows one more voice among many to go unheard. Anyway, I digress...
I remember when you first ran for office. I was assigned the task of writing a paper on you in college. I remember fearing for your safety and realizing that despite my "one love" Jamaican ancestry and diversity of friends, racism was real. For the first time in my life, my black skin started to feel like a scarlet letter written on my chest. I witnessed such blatant contempt, disrespect, criticism and hatred directed towards you. Though it was directed at you, it indirectly impacted me as well, because it wasn't hard to see that racism was the root of it. Sure there were whispers of racism around me growing up, but I never saw it like this.. out in the open for all the world to see.
Suddenly, the slurs hurled at you vicariously wounded me and reminded me of who I am. No matter how educated you are or how elegantly you spoke, you were attacked without reason. I watched you rise with grace, poise and intellect as your shield; and though impressed, I still feared for your safety. On the morning of your win, I wept. Not overtly and without control. It was brief, but filled with a deep sense of the kind of validation that was long overdue.
Fast forward to present day and your time as President is coming to an end. I do not indulge much in the political circus that has the media and masses entertained. I do not engage in political banter on social media or comment on the continued attacks on your presidential ability (which is clearly racism cloaked in the disguise of politics). Instead I pay attention to your job well done. I pay attention to your tremendous ability to run a country well and the love you show your wife and beautiful daughters. All while rising above the naysayers and racist attacks and despicable disrespect which you have been shown. No other president has been treated this way...ever! Whether they did their job well or not.
Nevertheless, I did not want to remain silent anymore. For every voice should and has a right to be heard. That is what our country prides itself on, is it not? Well then, with that being said: I would like to thank you President Barack Obama for all that you are, all that you have done, and all that you have not done. I am so very proud of you. I pray for God to continue to keep you and your family close to him, protecting you always.
Andrea E. Munroe