In honor of the 44th President of the United States and his farewell address, I pen this letter to him.
Dear President Barack Obama,
As you just finished your farewell speech, I struggle with your leaving office. Without me ever actually meeting you, you have managed to inspire me so profoundly that I am crying writing this. You have given us so much over the past eight years that I would be remiss without leaving a couple of words for you.
First, I want to thank you for your service. You have tireless fought against outside opposition, partisan politics, and global threats. I am proud of your immense grace under pressure and far-reaching wisdom. When the world weighed down on you, you held your head high and proudly. You proved that a black man is not only capable but can surpass any and all expectations.
Looking back at your term it is shocking realizing how historic it has been. It’s amazing because every Black American subconsciously feared for your life almost eight years ago. We thought someone would hate your success so much that your star would be forcefully faded. Thankfully, that didn’t happen as you have redeemed America in the eyes of the many. Tonight, I can joyously compare your pictures to Election Night and be amazed by your metamorphosis into my favorite president and leader of modern time.
You reinvigorated me. Since I was young, I hated how dirty and horrible politics seemed. I was fearful of the deceit and corruption that laid in wait. Growing up in Detroit, I saw politicians make promises they never intended on keeping and watch their charges idly fall to the wayside. You were different to me.
When you spoke, I felt it had integrity, charm, and a familiarity that reminded me of long conversations with my mentors. When you cried, I cried. When you were fed up, I felt it. Every smile that crept across your face and every tear that hung in your eye. When things did not come to fruition, I wanted to learn why instead of soaking in disappointment. I saw myself in your shoes and really reflected on what I would do instead of commentating from the balcony seats. I started to empower myself by learning and I changed.
I became infuriated by the failure due to obstructionism and political compromise but I was not dissuaded. I no longer feared the unknown because if you made it this far, God could easily do the same with me. People ask me what I want to be, I saw I want to be president, because of you. You made it seem possible.
By your sheer existence, you made me believe in things I’ve never seen. Every day, photo, interview, video, and appearance reaffirmed your importance to me, not just as the 44th President of the United States, but as a Black man. You never seemed off your game. You always seemed well thought out and focused. Your relationship with your children made me believe in family. Your relationship with the First Lady made me believe in love.
You are my role model and starting point. You are the manifestation of centuries worth of prayer and I promise to carry the torch. All of the hard work you’ve put in, it has not gone to waste. You have changed many lives forever.
With all that said, you were not perfect. We did not agree on every policy or action, but that’s the purpose of a politician, to make the hard decisions and to bear the cross. I never wanted perfect. I already have a perfect role model. I wanted human. I wanted someone who represented me to seem like someone I could actually meet in my lifetime. It is your humanity that let’s me know to give it my best shot to change the world. For that, I say thank you Mr. President.
Miles Michael Angelo Spann
Future Leader of the Free World