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Monday, December 1, 2014

Dear Mr. President: A Letter From Tef Poe

Posted By on Mon, Dec 1, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Page 2 of 2

I have never looted or violently struck a police officer. We do lift our voices to yell, and yes, we often use profanity. We are more aggressive than protesters in the past, primarily because we are in a state of emotional disbelief. Mike Brown spent four and a half hours in the street, baking and bleeding on the hot summer pavement. We know you know this is wrong, so the disconnect between your words and your personal convictions has raised many questions in the black community.

Now we are organizing against you and members of your party as though we didn't vote for you to begin with. This saddens me, because we rooted for you. We love you and want to sing praises of you to our children, but first we need a statement of solidarity from you to the young black people facing the perils of police brutality. We will not get this statement, and we know it.

I wish you could remember your days as a grassroots organizer in your own community. I beg you to find time to reflect back and remember when you were in the same position as we are. You are a career politician, so your opinions may not have been as radical as mine, but remember back to when you were organizing at this level.

If not for the protection provided by their last name, your beautiful black daughters could also be considered human targets. If the malice of Darren Wilson would've left Sasha in the middle of the street with a bullet in her head, would you have responded to this matter with such a passive, unemotional tone? Would you go on camera and applaud the National Guard for attacking the citizens of your own neighborhood for demanding answers for the murder of your daughter?

More protests in St. Louis. - BRYAN SUTTER
  • Bryan Sutter
  • More protests in St. Louis.

Have you heard the sobs of our mothers as they suffer through these atrocities? What if Michelle had to look into a casket with one of your daughters inside it? What if a careless police officer attacked your family in this manner, and the only line of defense you have is the community?

Me and my friends are young. We voted for you because initially you spoke our language. We believed you would be more of an activist than a typical suit-and-tie teleprompter politician. Are you not outraged by the treatment of your own people by law enforcement? Why is it so difficult for you to display a moment of honesty and reflection to the public about your own blackness?

Your children will grow up with black skin. They have black parents. We will want to champion them as honorable reflections of the black American experience. Will your decisions to not address these issues play a role in their acceptance into the black progressive community when they are older?

I address you respectfully and with great admiration for your accomplishments. As a black man talking to another black man, we can no longer afford to allow you, as our highest voice in the highest office, to remain idle on the issue of race and equality in America. We can no longer allow you, as one of the most respected and admired black men on the planet, to ignore our cries for help. Most of us don't have the privilege of the Oval Office. Even with that privilege, at the wrong place and time, you too can become a victim of this violence. Please help us fight these monsters. The right side of history awaits you. I love you and respect you, like a younger brother watching his older brother from the bleachers.

I am simply asking you to help us.

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