MY LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT


 

MY LETTER TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
By Uriah J. Fields

                    P. O. Box 4770
                    Charlottesville, VA 22905

November 20, 2012

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20522

The President:

       Congratulations President Obama on your 2012 reelection as President of the United States.
       When you were elected four years ago and took office as the 44th President of the United States in January 2009 you inspired the world. The Norwegian Nobel Committee was quick to decide that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 would be awarded to you for your extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples and attached special importance to your vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons and for having created a new climate for international politics. As I write this letter you are on a three-day tour of the region taking in Myanmar, (also known as Burma) Thailand and Cambodia. I am reminded of the name change of black Americans in the 1990s from Negroes to African Americans. The point is: people are free to choose their name. Since 1989 the name is Myanmar, not Burma.
     President Obama, like many other Americans, I am grateful to you for your extraordinary accomplishments during the last four years, despite strong opposition from the Republicans in Congress. They included: Preventing a 2nd Great Depression, $789 billion economic stimulus plan, Rescue of General Motors, Chrysler and loans to Ford, U.S. financial and banking rescue plan, Wall Street Reform - The Dodd-Frank Act, Universal Health Care Law that extended health care to 32 million more Americans, appointment of two Supreme Court Justices which currently has three women, instructing all federal agencies to promote transparency as much as possible, ending the Iraq War, currently closing down the unpopular over a decade-long Afghanistan War and providing financial loans, including pell grants for more young people to attend college. As impressive as this list is, it is only a partial list of the achievements of your presidency.
      Mr. President, I want to take this opportunity to share with you some information about myself. Let me state, I supported your presidential election in  2008 by canvassing, singing, donating and voting for you. During the 2012 campaign I canvassed, wrote messages, did speaking and worked as a greeter at the polls on the day of the election to help you be reelected president. I am pleased to say that I was one of the 62 million-plus people who voted for your successful reelection that gave you 332 electoral votes to your opponent's 206 electoral votes.
      My involvement in the political process goes back to 1954 when I first became a registered voter in my native state of Alabama. Although I had served four years in the Military, including two years during the Korean War,   it was difficult for me to register to vote in Montgomery, Alabama. Only a few African Americans were aloud to register to vote. In Montgomery County and in the adjourning Wilcox County where 65 percent of the population was African Americans there was not a single African American voter because Caucasians refused to let them vote. It was my courage and persistence that enabled me to become a register voter eleven years before the Voting Rights Act.
      I was a student at Alabama State College (now University) and pastor of the Bell Street Baptist Church in Montgomery when I helped to lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott. On December 5, 1955, four days after Rosa Parks was arrested for violating the segregation laws of Alabama by refusing to give her bus seat to a white man when ordered to do so by a bus driver, the day of the trial, she was found guilty of violating the segregation  laws of Alabama by City Court Judge John H. Scott, I was in the court room. On that same day African American leaders of Montgomery organized the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) to provide an organizational vehicle for transporting the bus boycott. At that meeting Martin Luther King, Jr., was elected president, I (Uriah J. Fields) was elected secretary and E. D. Nixon was elected treasurer of the MIA. Later during that evening the first mass meeting of the bus boycott was held. Some 3,000 people gathered in and around the Holt Street Baptist Church to greet Rosa Parks and receive further instructions as to what they should do with regard to the one-day old bus boycott which leaders had called for two days earlier. At that mass meetings I read the Scripture lesson, a portion of the 34th Psalm. The people attending the mass meeting approved a resolution that called for continuing the one-day old bus boycott until acceptable arrangements could be made with City and bus company officials regarding the treatment of African American bus riders.
      This was a difficult period for African Americans living in Montgomery.      I recall several members of the Bell Street Baptist Church were fired because  they refused to ride the bus and a bullet penetrating the door of the station wagon I was driving that transported bus boycotters just as I opened the  door to exit the vehicle.
       Soon after the Supreme Court ruled that segregation on Montgomery buses was unconstitutional, the 381-day old bus boycott ended. In a last ditch effort to prevent desegregation on Montgomery buses in the wee hours of January 10, 1957, die-hard racists bombed four churches and two parsonages. Bell Street Baptist Church was one of those churches. In his book "Parting the Waters" Branch Taylor writes, "Bell Street Baptist Church, suffered the most destruction on the night of the bombs." (p. 200). Bell Street Baptist Church
was rebuilt under my pastoral leadership and sixteen months after the church was bombed the congregation returned for the first worship service in the new edifice.
       Mr. President, I am aware that these things occurred before you were born in 1961 but they are the things that played a significant role in giving birth to the modern Civil Rights Movement that helped to make possible for you to be the 44th President of the United States and the first African American to be elected to that office.
       Most African Americans have confidence in your leadership and believe that during the previous four years you have acted with wisdom and compassion to the extent that was feasible. It is true as you have said that you are the President of all Americans, those who voted for you, those who did not vote for you and those who did not vote. Given the nature of American politics your actions and inactions, relatively to the concerns of African Americans have been met with approval by most African Americans.
      Now, that you have been reelected with African Americans supporting your election in a greater way than any other ethnic group African Americans expect and demand more from you during the next four years. They want you to address their concerns specifically and forthrightly. For they have needs unlike any other ethnic group in America resulting from a history of being enslaved and discriminated against. Unemployment of African Americans is   in double digits, twice that of Caucasians, their incarceration rate is ten times that of Caucasians and more than a quarter of them live in poverty. The legacy of slavery, segregation, racial discrimination, disfranchisement and unequal educational opportunities have adversely impacted African Americans. Special help for African Americans is needed. Call this assistance they need and deserve what you may, affirmative action, quotas, preferential treatment, reparations, favoritism, It doesn't matter what you call it. What matters is that during the next four years African Americans become a priority focus of your presidency with the objective of leveling the playing field, so to speak, for Blacks to be on par with Whites. Of course, stating unapologetically, this means favoring Blacks. For 400 years white Americans have been favored, often at the disfavoring and expense of black Americans. Mr. President, prior to entering politics with you having been engaged as a community organizer in Chicago you are very aware of the black predicament.
     Enclosed is a copy of a song I have composed celebrating your reelection victory "Obama Is Still the One." Another song I composed, "The Answer My friend  is  Barack Obama" was sung by  some  people  who worked in your campaign. I recall  this  song  being  sung at a campaign event of Virginia's newly elected Senator, Tim Kaine.
     This has been a long letter but Mr. President I wanted very much to share these things with you.
      Again, congratulations! With confidence I trust that you will do the right thing. Let me close with this prayer on your behalf:
      O gracious and Holy God, on behalf of all Americans,
       I offer this prayer for guidance for President Barack
      Obama during the next four years of his presidency.
      Give him wisdom to acknowledge you, intelligence
      to comprehend you, stick-to-it.ive.ness to trust you,
      patience to wait on you, a heart to mediate on you,
      a life to glorify you. And discernment to demonstrate
      that ultimately it is all about you, through the power
      of love and the spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Respectfully,

Uriah J. Fields

Addendum

Victory song for Obama, America and the World

OBAMA IS STILL THE ONE


Triumphantly                     Words and Music
                                           By Uriah J. Fields

O - bam- a has been scan - al - ized __ and as - saul - ted
by  fiend - ish   id - e - o - logues;   His char - ac - ter and
A- mer- i - can cit- i - zen- ship have been ques - tion- ed.
They done tried to make him stop fight - in', stop lov - in',
stop lead -  in', -- But we all can see,  "He's still the one."

Now that he has been re - e- lect- ed to serve an- oth- er
four  years  as  the   Pres - i - dent  of  the  U - nit - ed
States he's gon-na shine bright-er for us than the North Star.
They done tried to make him be an - gry, be  venge - ful
be fee - ble,  -- But  we  all can  see,  "He's still the one."

O - bam - a we trust you and be - lieve in jus - tice for all
just  as  you  do  and  we  pledge  a - new  our sup - port
to  help  move  A - mer- i - ca to - ward  jus - tice  for all.
They done tried to make him stop fight- in', stop lov-  in',
stop lead- in',-- |:But we all can see, "He's still the one.":|


{Recite  this song  aloud or sing it  according  to how you
feel when you say aloud these lyrics.} Music for this song
is
available upon request. To request music for this
song send six (6) postal stamps to:
Uriah J. Fields,
P. O. Box 4770
Charlottesville, VA 22905

Copyright 2012 by Uriah J. Fields
     
 




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