Dear President Obama,
I am not sure that you will ever consider my message -- I am just a college student body president and an average Joe. I do not envy your position nor do I have the requisite skills to criticize your administration. However I implore you to try exercising fair play when you go on national television and criticize Russia for their anti-gay laws, while ignoring the countries whose hands we hold. Some of our allies make Russia's anti-gay laws pale by comparison.
A recent Forbes column by Mark Adomanis aptly points out, "Obama's actions, and the actions of his government, conclusively show that he has virtually limitless patience for countries that mistreat gays."
Unfortunately Mr. President, Adomanis is correct. As far as I know, we are strong military and political allies with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates. Homosexuality is illegal in those lands and in some cases is punishable by death. Adomanis' report explains, "Gays in Saudi Arabia are banned from schools, thrown in jail, and even whipped simply for the crime of being gay. Despite this, the United States sells the Saudis tens of billions of dollars worth of high-tech weapons and, among other things, is working with them to overthrow Bashar al-Asad. Much the same can be said about the other Gulf Monarchies, which have been close U.S. allies for decades and which violently repress not only 'gay propaganda' but any expressions of homosexuality whatsoever."
What say you to that Mr. President?
I know how difficult it is to say all the right things. For example, as student body president at my college it takes a summit, an act of God, to get students together and aligned for any cause. I once was in a heated debate over whether or not we should serve certain kinds of vegetables at a function. It was trivial and petty, but it created dissent and it was troubling. There was also that time at a retreat when I was called a "dirty faggot," and instead of the college administrators addressing that issue head on, they questioned why my boyfriend was at the retreat and what role his presence might have served to put the college at risk. Suffice it to say, from one president to another: I know a slippery slope when I am on one.
And I only represent the voice of about thirteen hundred students to my college's administration, I cannot imagine having the nation's issues on my shoulders. I do not direct drone strikes, or decide who lives or dies. I do not bear the burden of the successes or failures of the United States of America. However, it does not take a Secret Service detail, being the leader of a free nation or being called Commander-in-Chief to see where the bear is shitting in the buckwheat.
Do you really expect Russian leaders to take your rhetoric seriously? I think not, Mr. President. Not until our country takes a stand and admonishes all countries that have draconian laws against homosexuals, especially those we call our friends. What about our own states? There are constitutional rights being denied in our own country. It is still legal to fire employees for being gay in many places. I submit that flushing out those facts is as important as throwing rocks towards Russia from the living room in our own glass house.
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