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Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons

Posted: July 23, 2010 06:32 PM

Mr. President, If You Don't Come Out Fighting, You'll Not Only Lose Elections, But Respectfully, Also Your Soul

What's Your Reaction:

Dear Mr. President,

Yesterday, was a sad day in America. One of our nation's heroes was told he was not allowed to do his job of protecting our country because of his sexual orientation. Lt. Dan Choi honorably served this nation at war in Iraq and now, at great misfortune, has become a casualty of war that still rages in our homeland; the war for equal rights for all Americans. For the sake of your legacy and the legacy of one of our nation's greatest attributes, its tolerance of diversity, Mr. President, it is now the time to put the security of our nation first over the intolerance of others and re-instate Lt. Choi to his National Guard duties.

One day we will look back and realize how incredible your accomplishments have been. We will look back, as we have done on the abolition of slavery, the women's right to vote, the civil rights movement, the mission to put a man on the moon, and so many other critical moments in the history of our country and realize that your compassion for all of humanity was a gift we fully appreciated. We will look back at these first eighteen months of your presidency and recognize the sacrifices you have made to ensure that every Americans' future is bright, not just those that voted for you on November 4th, 2008. We will say that we cannot believe that we passed health care reform. We cannot believe that we passed financial reform. We cannot believe that we appointed the first Latina Justice to the Supreme Court. We cannot believe that we gave cash for clunkers! Ok, we can believe that. But, in all seriousness, Mr. President, your accomplishments are tremendous and when we look back, we will be proud of the work that we have done.

However, Mr. President, despite these accomplishments there are still many people who do not want you to succeed and have done everything they can, including dirty media tricks, to stop you from being the President we all want you to be. We will not accept only legislative victories during your presidency, as we know you have a lot more to offer than that. We will not accept the continuation of the destruction of our planet and the abuse of our animals, as we know you have compassion for all that is living. We will not allow you to be any ordinary President, as there is nothing ordinary about you. As it is important to focus your attention on delivering your legislative promises, you must retain a watchful eye on the most vulnerable Americans. We expect you to protect people like Lt. Dan Choi, Shirley Sherrod and Van Jones, even when they might seem like distractions during your efforts to reform our government and policies. It is this compassion that you have for humanity that inspired us all during your campaign. And it is your intellect and strength to stand-up to all of the negative noise that allowed us a victory on election day.

Mr. President, the time has come for Barack Obama to be Barack Obama. When you know things are not right, we expect you to fix them. We have already lost Van Jones. We might lose Shirley Sherrod. Let us not lose Lt. Dan Choi.

If you don't come out fighting, and take the fight to the right, you'll not only lose elections, but respectfully, also your soul.

 

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