President Obama,

I have to admit that sounds good to say out loud. I was moved to tears when you won both the primary and general elections. I actually met you and have pictures of a hug you gave me at an appearance you made in Santa Barbara, California in the summer of 2008. They are a source of great pride for me. I am Native American, Black and Mexican. My mother and father, children of the 40s and 50s, have been witness to America’s achievements and terrible fallacies alike. My mother called me the morning of the inauguration, as she did the day you secured the nomination of your party, overwhelmed by tears of joy, hope, and faith – faith in you.

Your platform and vision for change has initiated my belief in the greatness of this nation. Given this admonition, I stand opposite your policy governing U.S.-Israeli relations with great apprehension, and with utmost humility. I believe it is pertinent that we reevaluate this relationship. I would never suggest withdrawing support from Israel altogether, as it is a nation whose enemies are many. Yet we cannot, as Americans, condone the actions taken by the State of Israel in relation to the Palestinians. I’ve been to the West Bank and witnessed firsthand the Israeli army’s treatment of Palestinians. These people are not merely treated as chattel, denied their inherent right to be treated as human beings, but are subject to the last remaining apartheid regime; a policy entailing ethnic cleansing and dehumanization. The recent situation and practice of collective punishment is no less disheartening. How can we, a nation that parades itself worldwide as the vanguard of progress, fairness and leader in terms of human rights and freedom, support the nation of Israel in all its actions, without so much as an utterance of condemnation or chastisement? Our silence in matters where Israel is clearly overstepping its boundaries as a civil nation speaks loudly to the rest of the world and adds to the arsenal religious extremist and bigots worldwide use to justify hatred towards the United States and Israel both.

My vision for this country is one in which we treat all nations fairly through diplomacy and peace talks. Essentially, we are all humans at our very core and have the ability to relate to one another based on this quality alone. I understand our realpolitik to be one governed by lobbyists of various sorts; however, you made a promise to us, the people that blanketed you with unrivaled political capital. Change we can believe in. The dawn of a new day. A break from the isolationist, pretentious, normative policies that have shaped our past. You owe us. You owe us.

January 20, 2009, the history of the United States was altered, rectified and appreciated at the same time as we inaugurated you as the president of the United States of America. You made me a believer in your platform and vision of change. This is why I appeal to you, with all my sincerity and hope, to surround yourself, and thereby become subject to, officials and civilians that will provide you with an ecumenical, impartial, justice oriented and humanitarian view on all matters.

Thank you for being my president,

Aharon Ahmad Morris (Kicking Horse)