Open Letter to the POTUS

I posted an open letter to the President and later decided to delete it. My indecisive ways  made me realize it was a decision made on impulse. Therefore, Enjoy.

April 7, 2015
Dear President Barack Obama,

Like many, I am very saddened by the recent events that have been in the media. I am even more disheartened by the actions or lack thereof, that have followed many of these events. I know that America has come a very long way, but also has leaps and bounds that we must still hurdle. I thought to write this letter to help build the America I hope to live in one day.

When I was in 11th grade, I went on a field trip to the courthouse with my all time favorite teacher, Dr. Moorman. I remember seeing eight young, black men all receiving guilty sentences from a black jusdge for what I had considered at the time “petty crime.” We were given a chance to ask the judge questions after he was finished and very nervously I asked, “Why were all of the people being charged black?” I thought “this judge is black, so he has to give me an honest and valid reason” instead, he told me I should become a lawyer. I was very unsatisfied and ultimately decided to become a teacher.

Which brings me to the reason I am writing this letter. I work in a school with a very high percentage of African American students. It terrifies me to think that the students I see everyday are expected to go to prison at least once in their lifetime. Expected is a heavy word, and I am not using it lightly. Now, I am going to propose an idea which I know take time and paperwork, and this might be absolutely crazy, but I know that you are also a very wise man who knows that some things that were once outlandish are not good and true.

There are many popular television shows where contestants are asked to sing in hopes of a contract with some big music company. My personal favorite is one where the judges are not allowed to see the contestants. This allows all contestants a fair chance, and allows the contestant and the audience know they are only being judged on one thing: their ability to sing. What if we brought that idea into our justice system? How many discrepancies regarding race could that solve in the most immediate and justifiable way? Aren’t we looking for a quick and speedy trial? By not allowing jurors or judges to see the person on trial but instead hearing their voice would eliminate so many bias’ that we are aware and unaware of. Seeing the demographics now, it is very clear that the data is disproportional. I think that implementing this proposal would cause a very obvious shift in those numbers allowing all Americans to feel that they live in the America you and I want our children to feel safe in.

I am not a politician, and you may see many flaws in this proposal  I just have the audacity to hope that you would consider my recommendation to understand how this not only makes Americans feel safer, but also holds a that heavy weight to a system instead of a demographic.

Thank you for reading this letter, and please contact me if you have any feedback. I appreciate the many things you have done for this country and once again, truly thank you for reading this letter.


Semhar Ghebreselasie


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