Friday, November 07, 2008

An Open Letter to Barack Obama

Taken from here:

An Open Letter to Barack Obama


Alice Walker on expectations, responsibilities and a new reality that is almost more than the heart can bear.

Nov. 5, 2008

Dear Brother Obama,

You have no idea, really, of how profound this moment is for us. Us
being the black people of the Southern United States. You think you
know, because you are thoughtful, and you have studied our history. But
seeing you deliver the torch so many others before you carried, year
after year, decade after decade, century after century, only to be
struck down before igniting the flame of justice and of law, is almost
more than the heart can bear. And yet, this observation is not intended
to burden you, for you are of a different time, and, indeed, because of
all the relay runners before you, North America is a different place. It
is really only to say: Well done. We knew, through all the generations,
that you were with us, in us, the best of the spirit of Africa and of
the Americas. Knowing this, that you would actually appear, someday, was
part of our strength. Seeing you take your rightful place, based solely
on your wisdom, stamina and character, is a balm for the weary warriors
of hope, previously only sung about.

I would advise you to remember that you did not create the disaster that
the world is experiencing, and you alone are not responsible for
bringing the world back to balance. A primary responsibility that you do
have, however, is to cultivate happiness in your own life. To make a
schedule that permits sufficient time of rest and play with your
gorgeous wife and lovely daughters. And so on. One gathers that your
family is large. We are used to seeing men in the White House soon
become juiceless and as white-haired as the building; we notice their
wives and children looking strained and stressed. They soon have smiles
so lacking in joy that they remind us of scissors. This is no way to
lead. Nor does your family deserve this fate. One way of thinking about
all this is: It is so bad now that there is no excuse not to relax. From
your happy, relaxed state, you can model real success, which is all that
so many people in the world really want. They may buy endless cars and
houses and furs and gobble up all the attention and space they can
manage, or barely manage, but this is because it is not yet clear to
them that success is truly an inside job. That it is within the reach of
almost everyone.

I would further advise you not to take on other people's enemies. Most
damage that others do to us is out of fear, humiliation and pain. Those
feelings occur in all of us, not just in those of us who profess a
certain religious or racial devotion. We must learn actually not to have
enemies, but only confused adversaries who are ourselves in disguise. It
is understood by all that you are commander in chief of the United
States and are sworn to protect our beloved country; this we understand,
completely. However, as my mother used to say, quoting a Bible with
which I often fought, "hate the sin, but love the sinner." There must be
no more crushing of whole communities, no more torture, no more
dehumanizing as a means of ruling a people's spirit. This has already
happened to people of color, poor people, women, children. We see where
this leads, where it has led.

A good model of how to "work with the enemy" internally is presented by
the Dalai Lama, in his endless caretaking of his soul as he confronts
the Chinese government that invaded Tibet. Because, finally, it is the
soul that must be preserved, if one is to remain a credible leader. All
else might be lost; but when the soul dies, the connection to earth, to
peoples, to animals, to rivers, to mountain ranges, purple and majestic,
also dies. And your smile, with which we watch you do gracious battle
with unjust characterizations, distortions and lies, is that expression
of healthy self-worth, spirit and soul, that, kept happy and free and
relaxed, can find an answering smile in all of us, lighting our way, and
brightening the world.

We are the ones we have been waiting for.

In Peace and Joy,

Alice Walker


nneoma 10:20 am  

seems like you are a big fan of theRoot as well...

Anonymous,  5:41 pm  

Obama is truly going to change the world in a way no other human being has ever been able to do.

Anonymous,  2:35 am  

she had me until she mentioned the dalai lama

Ms. Piggy 3:15 pm  

That was almost poetic. I love the calmness and serenity of her tone. Much prefer it to Diran's.

How're things in Broda Jero's world?

Oluwabitchyola Xxx

About This Blog

  © Blogger templates Psi by 2008

Back to TOP