Dear President Obama

Dear President Obama, I still remember coming home from a full day of filming and turning on the TV. I was gripped by disbelief as I watched you and Michelle slow dance , while Beyonce sung ” AT LAST.” I got teary eyed, and every cell of my body was full of euphoric excitement. . I remember a CNN reporter cutting to Spike Lee asking him how he felt about that moment, to which he replied. “Only in America. Yup, Only in America. ” Tomorrow I will again, be gripped by disbelief but in a very different way. For weeks after the election I asked myself . ” Is this really happening?” Well I have, since then escaped my denial. I can go on and on about your many significant accomplishments. Several of them deserve praise and applause. There was not one terrorist attack under your watch. You kept us safe, as you promised. You are the only US President to insure that all Americans have fair access to affordable health insurance. Under your guidance the Supreme Court passed marriage rights for the LGBT Community. You have provided new and broader resources for Native Americans. Buttressing them like no other President in my life time. And you got Bin Laden. You got him. That took courage and disciplined precision. Not to mention , you turned our stagnant economy around. I had 8 friends and family members who were unemployed in 2007, they are all now full time employees. But for me , your legacy, resonates in my heart on a much deeper and more personal level. I am an eye and ear witness to the transformative power inspired by your philosophical approach to humanity. Since 2003 I have been teaching filmmaking to incarcerated youth. After you became president in 2008, I began seeing a flicker of light , and a sliver of hope in the eyes of not only young black men, but also young latino men. In fact all young men of color who I encountered in youth corrections facilities were transformed your rise and triumph. I should mention too, that the young men I worked with in Hawaii and Guam were highly energized by your becoming POTUS. Your Presidency empowered, uplifted, and emboldened them. They all stood taller. They all began looking at me directly in my eyes with new found purpose and pride. I thank you for being a profound example of dignity, integrity, and effectual leadership over these last 8 years. I will miss you and Michelle, and I know most of us want to continue to hear from you as we face volatile and uncertain times. Thank you President Obama’s for eight inspiring years.




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