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Letters to President Obama


Sophia Glanton, Saint Louis, Missouri

April 16, 2015

Dr. Sophia Glanton


Saint Louis, Missouri

Dear Mr. President,

I have achieved what some would call the american dream. I am the daughter of a single mother on welfare and I have become an academic surgeon. I went to the one of the best colleges and medical schools in the country-Stanford. I am the wife of another physician. I am the mother of 3 beautiful little girls, but all of that means nothing when I am stopped by the police. You see I am a black woman, raising black daughters in america. Every time I see sirens I fear for my life. Every time I take my children to school, I wonder if they will be picked on or discriminated against because of the color of their skin. I wonder if they will be judged more harshly. I warn them every day they will not get to make the same mistakes as their white peers. They don't get to be kids, they need to be on guard. While I realize you can not change the prejudice and discrimination in this country, I beg that you sign an executive order that would make it easier to prosecute hate crimes. While you are president of america you have done very little to help the people who defend you, and go to bat for you every time some idiot decides to defame you. I know you probably don't care, since you have no more elections to run for but please, please do something to protect our children from the harassment and fear of dying with each encounter with law enforcement.

The President's Response

Sophia –

Thanks for your letter. The notion that I don’t care about discrimination in law enforcement because I have “no more elections to run” is pretty hard to understand, since I love my black daughters and nieces, and nephews, and uncles, at least as much as you love yours.

And the notion that I have “done very little” to help the people who defend me seems to leave out the millions of African Americans who now have health care, or jobs, or Pell Grants, or homes, because of my work.

I know you may be frustrated; I get frustrated too. The work we are doing to improve policing will take years, since it involves changing habits and practices built up over centuries.

But please don’t suggest I don’t care. I’m here fighting for your daughters every single day.

– Barack Obama