My Fellow Americans:
It has certainly been a while since I have spoken with you all in a forum such as this; and I thank you for the opportunity to again stand before you, as your humble servant and friend. This past year has been a tough one for us all on so many levels. We have had personal and economic losses, we have been ridiculed locally and internationally and we have seen too much death. Terrorism, despite our best efforts, has continued to plague our shores, as it has those of our allies. We have had to endure the unmasking of a demoralizing and damaging sexual epidemic that strikes at our hearts even as it attacks the heart of one of our industrial mainstays. Those we had held in some esteem have let us down in ways we could not have imagined and from which we will struggle to recover. And, those we expect to uphold the highest examples of morality, integrity and decorum in public office, and in whom we place the well-being of our citizens and our country, have failed us in ways too numerous to mention. So yes, this past year has indeed been a tough one for us all. Therefore, I stand before you today.
I am here to remind you of who you are. Who we are. To reinforce in all of us despite what we are being told, shown and victimized with, the strength of a people that endure. We endure not in spite of; but because of. We endure because we are imbued with an indomitable will that is built to withstand blows, knocks, disasters – both natural and manmade – ridicule and incompetence. We endure because we are from a people who have endured and died to give us life. We endure because we rest our strength not on the will of man; but on the unshakeable will of God.
In the past year, while you have been wondering just what twist of fate has brought us to this place, I ensure you those of us you have trusted and supported in the past, those of us you have let into your homes, your families, your work and social places… those of us you have let into your lives, have been doing what we can to mitigate the damage others seem destined to inflict upon us all. I ask that you continue to trust us. That you continue to be patient in the face of seeming hopelessness. I ask that you continue to respect and believe in our constitution and know that it will work. Remember how long it took for us, the brave, strong, worthy and deserving black citizens of this great nation to get exactly what was due and owing to us… and be patient. Remember that just ten short years ago millions in this country and around the globe ridiculed and doubted a black man would ever occupy that great white house… and be patient.
I have never lied to you and will not start now when we are being constantly barraged with lies. So, I will admit that at times it is difficult for me to remain optimistic. There are days when our children look to us for answers, with the same looks of dismay I imagine yours do, and we fumble for the answers to explain. There are nights when I cry, because I give in to despair at just how badly things have gotten. Then I pray. Because I remember that even as man will fail me, my God never will. Despite what it looks like. Despite all who use His name in vain. So yes, there are nights I worry. But miraculously, daylight comes and renews my strength and my faith; in myself, my family, my nation and in you. I wake with a renewed purpose to continue doing what I can do; and I ask you for the same. Keep on doing what you do. What you can do. Keep on putting one foot in front of the other and I promise you, I will match you, step for step. And, if you stumble, I promise you I will be there to catch you, or cushion your fall.
Maya Angelou said, “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated…” I ask you to hold on to those words. Keep them wrapped in those secret places you look to when times get so tough you think you may break, but don’t. Tuck them away for safe-keeping and only bring them out when needed. Let them remind you that others have and do feel what you do. Find comfort in the strength in numbers.
Yes, this past year has been a tough one for us all; but we are a tough people. So today I stand before you, but in absolute solidarity with you, to remind you, my fellow American mothers, wives, sisters, survivors, aunts, caretakers, husbands, partners, educators, seniors, tweens, teens, LBGTQ community, military, young ladies and men and the immigrants on whose hard work and personal sacrifice we all depend and benefit, we got this!
May God continue to bless America and us all.
I submitted a final paper (13 pages) for one of my English classes. My thesis? I decided to explore the success of, when one writes, whether he is able to completely divorce himself from the text; or, whether ultimately we all leave fingerprints along the way. My other thesis question focused on the success of ghostwriters; whether one is truly able to write in the voice of another and be successful/convincing.
I submitted the above letter in my paper as my attempt to speak as another. Was I successful?
PS. Have I ever told yall my desire to be a professional speech-writer some day?