Dear Terence Scott,
I’ve been thinking about writing you for the last two weeks or so. But I’ve been trying to find the right words to answer the question you recently asked President Obama concerning people who hate him.
See, I think the President gave you an answer that in some ways sounded more like a father unready to tell his son about the birds an… well, never mind. You’re just a fourth grader, right? Yeah, you need to be concentrating on fractions, learning the capital of Wyoming and that you shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition. Yeah, anything but the unfinished sentence that began this paragraph.
Nor do I think someone your age should be too concerned with hate. But since you are, I’m going to give you an unfiltered answer to your query. It’s an answer you may understand about as much as you got President Obama’s answer concerning politics. But I figure that when the time is right, when you’ve studied and lived enough, you’ll get what you’re about to read.
Why do people hate President Obama? Because they fear most everything he stands for and believes. If I can make this make sense for you, if President Obama declared that blue were his favorite color, there are some people who love blue who might not ever where it again because Obama favors it.
Sure, there are some people who dislike or hate President Obama because they disagree with his politics and policies, too. There are those that fear the potential negative effects of his presidency on their lives. But there are more people who fear President Obama because of what he represents — a black man with more power than any other man in the world who also has the reverence of much of that same free world.
When you begin studying your presidents in the eighth grade, you’ll see that not even President Bill Clinton was the recipient of this much hate during his final two years in office. Now, I’m not going to explain any of that much further. It’s one of those things that you have to come to understand as you grow older and wiser. Just know that you will, just as I and many others have.
What I do want to make sure you get now is the seamless connection between fear and hate. President Obama glossed over it. It’s something many of your fellow Americans don’t get. Hate is born of fear, as are many of the problems of this world including greed and jealousy.
Fear is the ultimate immobilizer, Terence. It keeps people at odds. It keeps people from accomplishing their goals. It keeps our world from achieving so much. Yet, the more you steer away from a life of fear and hate, the sooner you’ll begin to understand love, that other big word you mentioned to President Obama. Moreover, when people hate or fear you, learn to love them anyway. You don’t fight hate with more fear-born hate.
Perfect love casts out fear. I’m not saying that you can’t be afraid of the unknown. You just have to learn to stand for that which you know you can do, even when things seem impossible. Fear makes the possible unlikely, while love makes the impossible probable. That’s a big reason why Barack Obama is your president.
If that still doesn’t make sense, trust that it will in time. Until then just live a fearless life when it comes to fractions.