Good Job Mr President
Before I get to the subject of the title, let me introduce my self. I am a male in my fifties, I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. I served over 22 years in the United States Army; 11 of them as a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO). After retiring from the military; I worked for 9 years with the United States Postal Service in Savannah Georgia, carrying the mail. In 2004 I resigned from the USPS to serve as a contractor in the Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Departments of several Forward Operating Bases (FOB’s) in Iraq. I am a widower after 23 yrs 10 mo 9 days, of a great marriage to an Englishwoman who served our country selflessly as my spouse, and was a great English patriot all the while; and I suspect was much like Mrs. O in respect to marrying down when they agreed to have us. But I digress; I mentioned all of the above, so you can gauge what I am about to say by the sum of my experiences.
First let me say, Good Job Mr. President! Your stepping out on Friday to say what you said at the press briefing was excellent and demonstrated, to me at least, a positive strength of character that is rare in the political arena. You recognized something that came out wrong and stepped up to the plate to fix it. Way to go Boss. Now I would be remiss if I didn’t also offer the following advice for you to close out this ‘teachable moment’ after you’ve had a chance to have the beer (by the way, great move that’s the Chicago way of resolving these issues and should be encouraged more often), with Sgt Crowley and Prof Gates. I also hope the key teachable moments are to SGT Crowley and the American public as a whole are that you, The President, support him in a difficult and dangerous job and add to his experiences that may help resolve a similar situation in a different way in the future.
I think the teachable moment for Prof Gates should be, (and has been for both my kids and privates in the Army) that there are plenty of good folks doing that difficult job, and get your race off your sleeve and follow instructions when police give them to you. If there is race behind what the police tell you to do, the time to explore that is later and it will come out in the wash.
Our society, while fraught with racial misunderstanding on all sides, has I think progressed to a point where if the actions by police are brought to the forefront and the authority figures acted inappropriately, then the ostracism will follow. Believe it or not, there are many of us AWG’s that heard Dr King at a young age and recognized his dream, was no more or less than what we are all owed under our constitution. However, if you want to be judged by the content of your character, then show them the best of it,(your character) not the worst. The effectiveness of Dr King's dream is I think demonstrated in a generational change in attitude that is now the norm. I didn’t say complete but is more the norm both in personal relationships, but even more so in institutional behavior of our law enforcement officials.
I hope the advice above helps you out Mr. President, I have more if you need it on subjects like Energy Policy, Health Care reform, and others: I would be happy to help if I can. I’ve spent my life asking what I can do for my Country and then doing it. So if you want to know what an average white guy independent voter (AWGIV) thinks let me know. I'll tell you straight up, just like the old NCO that I am; there’s more where this came from. Good Luck Mr. President, we want you to succeed, God Bless you your family and these United States…