Saturday, May 16, 2009

An Open Letter To President Obama

I supported President Obama in the campaign. I was, like many others, a volunteer leader in a very rural and conservative part of Michigan. Believe me it was not easy to defend the candidate because I dealt with many people who refused to embrace his philosophy and politics. I firmly believed in what I was telling them and spent a lot of time debunking lies and talking about the real Obama. Now I find myself at an impasse. First, Senator and candidate Obama sought to provide help to the telecommunications companies that invaded my privacy (I am an At & T customer) when they were in a spot because of it.
Then he tells us that he has no plans to intervene in the discharge of gay soldiers from the military, a repugnant, antiquated and government sanctioned policy that is nothing more than back-door bigotry.
Now he is trying to fight the release of "interrogation" photos that would shine an unmistakable and much needed light on one of the most heinous criminal acts of modern American history.
I understand the need to look forward to repair America in our eyes and the eyes of the world, but, in my opinion, the only way to do that would be to hold those responsible for these crimes up to the judgement of the world. We need to air our dirty laundry and prosecute those who did this. That's the only way to get the stink out of the house. When the toilet overflows and there is human waste in the bathroom you don't move into a shiny new house you fix the bathroom and throw away the parts you can't repair.
We have stopped the sewer from flooding the house, but there is still a lot of clean-up left to do.
President Obama, in order to repair America and bring us back from the brink of the destruction of our the values we all strive to have as a nation you cannot simply overlook the immoral and disgusting behavior of our past.
Gay people are not just sideline jokes to be poked and prodded when votes are needed. I understand that the climate in America is one that does not make providing gay people the same rights as other Americans an easy subject to embrace, but to not do so is disheartening to me. I pay my taxes and I try my hardest to support what I think are the best ways to move forward and help all Americans despite my being boxed into being a second class citizen by the laws and people of the country I was born and raised in. While not politically advantageous, it is the right thing to do. Fight for me to be able to take part in the American dream just as wholeheartedly as any one else in America can. In a time when gay people are confined to the corners of the rooms of American life to pointed at and laughed at by our fellow Americans yours could be a truly influential and powerful voice in the fight to put us on equal footing. To pass this opportunity by without so much as a real foot on the floor stomp to wake this sleeping and weary country that has become complacent to it's civic duties would be the real tragedy of your Presidency. Torture and government sanctioned bigotry should not pushed to the back burner of your time in office to appease a public that is not ready to deal with the mistakes of our past. We all hold responsibility for what has been done in our name, but you have an opportunity, with the bully pulpit, to do more about these heinous issues than most of us could do in a lifetime. Please do not let the legacy of your Presidency read that your fixed our wallets, but wouldn't help us fix our souls.



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