Letter to Obama: Reflections on a Wintry Legacy

Eight long years ago, a young black boy from Detroit—a descendant of slaves—saw perhaps one of the most amazing events in human history.

Dear 44,

Just like the elements of winter, memories of you are both beautiful and cold.

Eight long years ago, a young black boy from Detroit—a descendent of slaves—saw perhaps one of the most amazing events in human history. In fact, what that boy saw, many thought would never happen: a black man, you, 44, became president of the United States.

Like fresh white snow on Christmas day, your presidency was beautiful because it inspired that young boy from the Motor City to reach for his dreams. Your presidency showed him anything was possible, and proved that someone like him could be successful in America . . . heck, the leader of the free world! And for that, he thanks you; however, to be candid, not all of his memories of you are beautiful.

Some of his memories are cold, numb, and painful at times. Although originally a Democrat, the young boy grew to see the world through the lens of conservatism, as did Ronald Reagan and Lady Thatcher. Thus, some of your policies did not sit well with him. He vehemently disagreed with you on issues dealing with the sanctity of life, trade, and even parts of healthcare.

But despite your differences, now that the Twenty-second Amendment has retired you from the Oval Office, this boy is confused. How should he remember you; how should he resolve the love-hate dichotomy in his heart? Perhaps it is best to assume that he will separate 44-the-person from 44-the-politician. Or better yet, maybe it’s best to say: just as the elements of winter, his memories of you will always be both beautiful and cold.

Sincerely,

Tony Black, aka, “that little boy from Detroit”

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About Tony Black

Tony Black is currently receiving his Juris Doctorate at the University of Michigan Law School. He has written for the Washington Times and worked as a producer for the Hugh Hewitt Show. Learn more about him at tonyjblack.com and follow him on Twitter @tonyjblack.