Life, Politics

An Open Letter to President Obama, “Stay On the Course.”

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Mr. President, On November 5th you met with Al Sharpton and other Ferguson Civil Rights Leaders in the White House to discuss political strategy after the mid-term elections. Reportedly, you advised Al Sharpton to “stay on the course” in Ferguson, Missouri. Really? What course would that be?

Robert Jordan in his fantasy series “The Wheel of Time” creates a society of very powerful and strong willed women, “The White Tower.” Their culture centers around seven societies with different purposes and functions and is steeped in political machinations for influence and control. The leader, who is elected by the heads of each of the societies, is elevated from one of the groups to become the “Amerlyn” or head of the Tower. Once elevated, she loses her membership in her previous society and is called to serve all members of the Tower and forgoes previous alliances and what is essentially “party politics.”

Similarly, President Obama, you were elected by representatives of each state to be the President of the United States. As Lincoln quoted in the Gettysburg Address “of the people, by the people and for the people.” Within this assembly of states we have Native Americans, naturalized citizens and illegal immigrants. There are citizens with roots to the Revolutionary War and immigrants still struggling with a new country. We have Yale graduates, Harvard graduates, graduates from hundreds of different state and private institutions. High school graduates and dropouts. We have accountants, teachers, welders, crane operators, lawyers, etc. We have policemen. We even have people who cling to their god and their religion.

Who within this great melting pot do you serve? Harvard graduates? Pot heads? People from Chicago? Hawaii? Liberal democrats? Or, do you represent and serve us all? Do we not all deserve your attention and service? Can we not all expect to have your consideration? Or is that reserved just for those who voted for you?

I ask again, “stay on the course” to what? Civil protest against the very institution whose laws you are sworn to uphold? “Stay on the course” to protest the Justice that you represent? Stay the course to convict in the court of public opinion a citizen who you should be representing? Or is there a more sinister play at work here? If you see a wrong within our society that needs redress, you have the platform to do so without disruptive civil unrest.

Mr. President, the actions of Darren Wilson, a white police officer, was reviewed by a Grand Jury in accordance with the laws of this land; Laws which you have sworn to uphold, and was found to have acted without error.  Mr. President, Officer Darren Wilson and the community of Ferguson need a “President” too. I ask you to “stay on the course.” A presidential course.

Samuel Waen Jensen

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