I’ve spent the day posting a timeline of President Barack Obama’s presidency on June 14, the birthday of the current occupant of the White House.
Today has been a wonderful journey back through time when we had a President who was compassionate, funny, inspiring, wise, loving, appropriate, professional, commanding, beloved, respected, honored, passionate, engaging, unassuming, intelligent, focused, reassuring, comforting, driven, moral, tempered, thoughtful, generous, humble.
President Barack Obama—I miss this voice, this cadence, this most affective leader.
Throughout Barack Obama’s Presidency, there was an unusual alignment of key events and anniversaries that corresponded with the American struggle of racism, fascism, terrorism and gun violence—50th anniversaries of Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, Bloody Sunday in Selma, the March on Washington; the death of Nelson Mandela; mass shootings in Sandy Hook, South Carolina, Orlando; the 10th anniversary of September 11 and death of Osama bin Laden; the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
President Barack Obama invited, worked with, came together for and reached out to President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush many times for events when the country needed comforting from national tragedy, commemorate important anniversaries and deaths, to check in now and then as previous presidents have done all throughout American history, something that is desperately missing under this one.
The successful completion of two terms of President Barack Obama is the ultimate American success story. Don’t ever forget that. It took over two hundred years for us to get to this point, but it happened and should be celebrated. But, there is so much more work to do and it requires all white people who voted for Barack Obama to step up their game, step up their advocacy, step up their activism. We as white people must take ownership of all of it and pull up our sleeves and get to work.
I promise to put in the hard work to push for change.
I promise to use my voice to educate, advocate and inspire other white people to work toward ending systemic racism.
I promise to write, to call, to meet my leaders in my own community to change racist policies and norms.
I promise to be an advocate for those who cannot speak and help those voices be heard.
I promise to learn and grow and read and educate myself to work toward ending systemic racism while I am alive.
I refuse to quit, give up, fall apart, or give in to despair.
I refuse to believe that we cannot continue the progress we have made just a few years ago, and push to meet the challenges of this world.
We can do this again. We can choose forward not backwards, equality over prejudice, a stable healthy planet, a sustainable economy that works for everyone and work toward the eradication of systemic racism. We must.
We cannot allow the despair, the disillusion, the hate, our painful past to usurp the ‘will of the people’ from forging through this birth canal in this moment. Our survival demands that we stand together, to embrace ALL of humanity, to love and protect ALL of humanity.
I refuse to give up on this American experiment. The skeletal system is there and we can once again, fill it with a vibrant and healthy body.
One vote. One world. One humanity. One planet. One cause.
Vote in 2020. Vote in all future elections. Vote always. Vote no matter what.