Dear Barack Obama,
It appears that despite the monkey business with Curious George t-shirts, food stamp tomfoolery, questions over the authenticity of your blackness and paranoia over your assassination, my hope is after Nov. 4., you will be firmly seated behind that century-old timber desk in the Oval Office. It is also my sincere hope that you do not go the way of so many other politicians who sweet-talked their way into the White House, then break promises made to blacks by catching sudden amnesia when they are in a position to actually help them. Even John F. Kennedy, the man who you’ve been compared to so much throughout this campaign, is guilty of this. He was energetic about battling Fidel Castro and Nikita Khrushchev, but dragged his feet while Birmingham was literally going up in flames. Your platform has emphasized making college more accessible to Americans, early childhood education and reforming the “No Child Left Behind” campaign, so that teachers are not forced to teach standardized tests instead of their respective subjects. This issue is particularly close to me because when I graduated from Pensacola High School, there were many seniors at risk of not graduating because they had to pass the FCAT, and at age 18 they were functionally illiterate. It’s no coincidence that the majority of these students were black. TAll of these factors combined with the lack of parent involvement, which you have also discussed, have lead to higher dropout rates and lower numbers of blacks enrolling in college. Without quality education, our community is doomed to wither and wane until there is nothing left. Then there is the issue of getting us out this senseless bloodbath in Iraq. In a recent poll by CNN, 65 percent of Americans are opposed to the U.S. war in Iraq. These numbers show the disillusionment that Americans have with this war. We need a commander in chief that is going to act out of genuine concern for the American people’s wellbeing instead of settling his own personal scores. Sir, there is much work to be done in creating a more perfect union, especially since there are so many unwilling to work with you. But I implore you to be steadfast and confident in your decisions, and when it’s all over I’ll be ready to yell “four more years” until my little lungs collapse.
Sean BlackmonJuniorMagazine ProductionPensacola, Fla.