Friends of Webster

Raised in the house, but field certified.

Congratulations, Mr. President! But can we talk?

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

              Re: Something to consider on your first day

 Dear President Obama,  

 I am really enthused to witness these times. I was and will be with you ALL the way. So will my parents and siblings (even though my father voted for Secretary of State Clinton in the primary).  As you know, many of your supporters are Christians.  Some devout, some young and impressionable and some born again…like me.  Well, even born again Christians feel that they are worthy to speak out about religious issues, when the times warrant them.  See, I strive for righteousness and to do the right things, even when they are unpopular. I am trying to walk the walk, I suppose you can say. You sound like that kind of guy, too. My name is Webster Smith and I have had a handful of life-changing experiences. I think God knew what he was doing. Because of a few of those experiences I want to go to law school at Howard University or GWU, next fall. I want to be a Civil Rights attorney (kind of like you); I want to work toward achieving the increasingly attainable goal: equal rights, for all. That being said, there is a group of people that we tend to exclude from the whole civil rights argument. Civil Rights should be about moving toward gender, socio-economic and racial blindness; it should be about decisions being made without considering preference or the comforts of familiarity.  

I was sort of hoping that you would reconsider your stance on Pro-Choice advocacy. Please pray about it, would you? The way I see it, it is a matter of spiritual faith.  People seem to give up on their lives when they are feeling an overwhelming sense of despair, unless they are at peace with the fact that their trials are for a reason and that God will get them through.  I am one of those that believe that God prepares us, if necessary, with struggle and pain. Analogous to precious metals and crystals being forged out of rock and carbon by heat and pressure. Take for example, my daughter.  For those that know my lovely wife and me, our ‘timing’ was not at all optimal. I was just getting on my feet again and my wife and I had the gall to work for the same failing company. Talk about frightening, some pay days had to wait three weeks. I was starting school again and I had some serious things on my mind. All of this is to say, I want every person to experience the amazing feeling that is God showing them favor in times of stress and duress. It is truly faith building! The birth of our daughter brought me closer to God because I observed God demonstrate His power during our tough times. Everyone deserves to feel the warmth of God hugging them and protecting them from the storm.   

President Kennedy, one of your most significant sources of inspiration, and our first Catholic President, was wildly opposed to the Government being involved in these issues. Perhaps, you can consider the same stance?  I want you to go down in history as the greatest President and you are more than capable.  I just don’t feel that it’s possible without God’s grace.  We can’t possibly call on God to protect us as a nation while facilitating an international movement that excludes 3,000 souls a day from that protection. 

In closing, thank you for all that you have done to lift the spirits of many of us. Americans have searched long and hard for the pride in this country that has dwindled since September 11, 2001. It seems that America is back!  You will surely encounter bouts of unfathomable stress trying to pull America back atop the proverbial mountain.  May I suggest that you let God guide you in ALL of your decisions? Let your relationship with God take precedence over special interest, friends, political ally or foe. You will feel at peace, you will stand tall when crowds jeer, you will smile in public when others are wondering how you could even muster the strength. By most accounts, your leadership and intellectual ability bests that of the 43rd president but take note of the peace that he had when it seemed the whole world was against him. If you exhibit that sort of discipline, resolve and comfort, that only God can provide, you will soar above all presidential legend. And our struggling country may land on its feet. 

Respectfully, 

Webster M. Smith

*Postmarked January 21, 2009

A few things to read in addition: 

 Founder of Planned Parenthood 

 National Review Online-The Life in the Time of Obama                     

   

January 21st, 2009 Posted by | We Can Do Better | one comment

Perspective of an Upper-Middle Class, Young Black Woman…

My younger sister, a senior at University of Texas-A, has made some very eloquent points. I felt like her comment on one of my recent posts deserved a post of its own.  Read below. 

WOW! You’re such a great writer and convey your message very well, Webster. Just thought I would get that out of the way.

On a serious note, this post has struck a nerve with me for a lot of reasons. For once in my life, I wholeheartedly believe that Mom has hit the nail on the head with her first comment. The main problems of this country are so fundamental and so completely obvious, it makes any presidential candidate who doesn’t address these issues look unfit for the job.

 

America has a cracked foundation to begin with. Our nation was built on 500 years of free labor. (Since we both know you are a very smart man, we don’t need to expand on that.) Based on our prior knowledge and perception, we could only imagine how other countries view us as a whole. We are not looked upon as the “Land of the Free” any longer. I believe that stopped after the Mayflower and the Pilgrims. From the Indians, the African slaves, and the illegal Mexican Immigrants, we can still see the nation has not grown from the signing of the Constitution. We have developed on the surface into an Empire, yet we’re basically imploding as each day passes.

Not only does the rest of the world see us in this light, but Americans still feel the divide all these years later. The tax cuts, aid, surges, bills, and act are all in vain at this point. Those are short term solutions to long term problems. We are repeating historymistakes, yet expecting completely different outcomes.

The prejudice displayed in your case is a prime example of this oblivion we live in. I began to believe that socio-economic class was more a base of discrimination than race would be. But in all honesty, we were raised in an upper middle class family, with upper middle class values, ethics, but more importantly, resources. Yet you were still figuratively lynched in 2006. When we stop walking around issues that are viewed as “taboo”, then maybe a change will happen.

Barack Obama is my candidate for one reason, and that is he has a way with the masses. He can ignite people to actually believe their voices matter. Clearly, there’s a long road to change; it might not even be in our lifetime, but this is a change to steer the nation into a new direction. Before I write too much, I read a quote in my textbook that states:

“Our Generation has had no Great war, no Great Depression. Our war is spiritual. Our depression is our lives.”

That is my honest opinion. We are a great nation with so much opportunity, but until we change the way we view each other and come together, our enemies will always remain.

September 30th, 2008 Posted by | We Can Do Better | no comments

We Can Do Better: The stereotypes that black ‘spokesmen’ impose on the rest of us

The infamous Ron Artest was recently traded to my home town’s NBA basketball team.   Before he opened his mouth, I accepted him with open arms. He is probably a good guy. He is a tough player with an endless motor.  He is also an idiot and he speaks in absolutes.

How does that affect me?  At the time of this post, there were over 200 comments on ESPN.com about this man’s cultural commentary.  While he may not be talking about black people as a whole, this is the type of figure that the media glorifies and exploits.  Leaving many minorities fighting stereotypes and overcompensating in the work-place or at school, just to seem compatible more compatible…less different. Upon hearing news that Ron Artest had been acquired by Rockets, Yao Ming made the following comment:

 

Yao.bmp

 

Instead of laughing about it and displaying any sort of maturity, he brings race into it.

Artestidiot.bmp 

Many young black and white kids are gullible enough to think that black people handle confrontation by reacting physically with complete disregard of their careers, livelihood, or reputations.  Hip Hop cultivates many of these negativities and is just starting to get back to the positive roots of the early 80′s. 

In a time when blacks are at the verge of collectively shedding victimhood for the responsibility approach to the Post-Jesse era of civil rights and equality, this is where a public figure should stand and denounce this sort of mentality.  It has to be someone more credible than the women on ‘The View’ and more understood than Bill Cosby. It can’t be Condi Rice or Michael Steele because ‘hip hop’ won’t listen. 

A positive, globally popular, family-oriented, decent politician should do the trick.  But no, let’s wait for our demise as a black-American culture to finally attack this issue.  There are dozens of public and influential ‘bi-racial’ or multi-racial blacks that we have had in the past century–some that many don’t even realize. 

 

Unfortunately, a bi-racial black man doesn’t count as being black for some. So don’t be too excited about a black president and potential role model to scores of Americans, Obama won’t count. We can wait another 25 years, right?

 

July 31st, 2008 Posted by | We Can Do Better | no comments

Pennsylvania Ave?