Monday, January 19, 2009

Dear President Bush

Tygrrrr Express posted their own letter to President Bush:

Dear President Bush,

As you prepare for your final day in office, it almost seems unfair that you have to share it with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Yet given how incredibly gracious you are, I suspect you would let us know that you would be honored by this, so I will accept that speculated explanation.

Dr. King was a much better speaker than you. His oratory soared. Yet even he would admit that while powerful words matter, deeds are what count in the long run. Despite attempts by some who try to rewrite history for their own gain, I want to thank you for your many accomplishments, beginning with everything you have done to secure Dr. King’s vision of a truly colorblind society.

Nobody has hired as many black Americans to as many prominent positions as you have. You made Colin Powell your Secretary of State. You appointed Dr. Condoleeza Rice to be your next Secretary of State after a stint as your National Security Advisor. You hired Larry Thompson to be your Deputy Attorney General under John Ashcroft. Rod Paige was your Secretary of Education.

These people were not hired because they were black. They were hired because they deserved the jobs based on merit. You did not make token appointments. You hired good people who happened to be black. That is colorblindness.

Many people blame you for the current housing crisis, which has hurt black people disproportionately. What these people fail to mention was that for most of your Presidency, black home ownership was at an all time high. Black Americans were a larger share than normal of new homes, so it would be totally statistically normal for them to get hurt in larger percentages when the economy changed. What will not ever change is that you gave them access to the American dream. It is hypocritical that some blame you for the fall, yet refuse to credit you for the rise.

Some will forever blame you for the perceived slow response to Hurricane Katrina. That was an unprecedented crisis, and as you mentioned, nobody seems to give you the credit for the 30,000 people rescued off of rooftops. A rap singer even stated that you did not care about black people. You were too dignified to give that the response it deserves, so I will say that the claim is baseless garbage.

You looked past skin color to try and enact policies that helped all people. You did not care about the color of the skin of the people you helped. You considered that to be irrelevant, which is exactly what a colorblind society demands.

The lies about your economy being bad for 8 years deliberately misrepresents that your economy was very good from 2002 through 2007. Yes, 2008 featured a spectacular collapse, but that does not change the fact that for most of your Presidency, the Bush economy was better than that of your predecessor. This led to the lowest levels of black unemployment in history.

Your insistence on tough crime policies were not racist. They reduced black on black crime. Decent black Americans, like decent non-black Americans, hate criminals. They want to feel safe. You sided with the rights of innocent victims, and not their tormentors.

Even your harshest critics are now grudgingly admitting that you were the best friend that Africa has ever had. You committed billions of dollars to Africa to help fight Aids, malaria, and poverty. You gave your word, and the continent of Africa knows that you kept it.

Your faith based initiatives program was a Godsend to religious institutions. Black Americans are more religious than their white counterparts, and black churches help strengthen black families in ways that governments cannot.

Yet you were the President of all Americans. What benefits all of us will benefit black Americans. I would be remiss if I did not again thank you for helping all Americans where it mattered.

You rallied this nation after the worst attack on American soil since 1941, and perhaps ever. As you reminded us, others may have gone back to normal after 9/11. You never did. You led two wars, and turned Afghanistan and Iraq from brutal dictatorships led by madmen into functioning secular democracies.

You freed women in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are no longer physically beaten for leaving the house unchaperoned. They even have positions in government.

You understood that freedom and liberty are gifts from Almighty God. Human beings want to be free. Black people fought through slavery and Jim Crow laws because no human being should ever be the property of another. Eastern Europeans fought and died trying to climb over a wall that eventually could not contain their human desires. Freedom gives people life. It gives them dignity. Millions of people in the Middle East are praying that your vision succeeds.

The War on Terror was not completely won during your Presidency. It might not even be fully won in your lifetime, or even in mine, 25 years your junior. Yet we have made astounding progress in a short amount of time. Some accuse you of shredding the Constitution. What you did was help save all of our lives, so that your critics could have the freedom to criticize you at the top of their lungs. That does not sound like censorship to me. It sounds like democracy and liberty.

You appointed first rate judges. Justice Sam Alito is a fine legal mind, and Chief Justice John Roberts might be one of the greatest intellectual titans the court has ever seen. It is strict constructionists that respect the Constitution the most, by simply obeying it.

As a Jewish person myself, I know that your support of Israel has never wavered. Yet you also made sure that Arabs and Muslims in America were treated with dignity. Your support of Israel was more than just perfunctory acknowledgment of a democracy surrounded by dictatorships. You gave full throttled support of Ariel Sharon to crush those that are spreading terrorism. Beyond the nation of Israel, your deep respect and warmth towards Jewish Americans can be found in your annual White House Hanukkah parties, and your warm wishes to us as we light our candles....

This is a wonderful letter to the outgoing President, and I suggest you go here to read it all.

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