As we prepare to say goodbye to President Obama during his final few months left in office, I ask you, Mister President, what will your legacy be?
Will history remember you as the president who promised to "have the backs" of the Native America People, and kept his word? A president who saved our water from being poisoned that made a final stand to put our citizens before corporate profit? Will you be remembered as a great defender of the American people and justice?
Or will you be remembered in history as the man who could have stood up and said something, done something--when it was not only morally imperative, but your responsibility--and chose not to?
President Obama, you MUST go and make a stand for the people of Standing Rock; immediately.
You must speak up. You must show up.
You must for the people who are out there right now, in sub zero temperatures fighting to keep our water clean and protect sacred earth. You Must make a stand for every American who values clean drinking water; not only for themselves, but for their children. And you Must make a stand against the human rights violations, and violent atrocities that are happening right under your nose, to your American people, by our own police...on your watch.
Your silence is deafening; the shame and disgrace that hovers over you and stains this country, is growing by the minute.
Mr. Obama, the people are watching...the world is watching, and quite frankly, we are getting tired of waiting.
While our brave citizens, most of whom are Native Americans--were being sprayed with fire hoses in sub zero temperatures, shot in the face with rubber bullets, pepper sprayed, dragged, beaten and arrested for peaceful prayer and protest; we watched as you smiled for cameras and pardoned two turkeys on Thanksgiving Day.
I watched some video footage of the White House Christmas party you hosted a day ago, with your beautiful family, which would be really heartwarming, if we didn't know that there were people being strip searched, battered and beaten, freezing who could possibly die, just on the other side of the country. No amount of gingerbread or Christmas lights will distract us from the stench of shame and injustice that hovers over our nation at the moment, and I am not feeling very festive. We will not look away.
This peaceful assembly has been going on for over eight months now. The people have been fighting to protect our water, which is something that you should be doing.
Remember Flint, Michigan? I do. So do the parents whose children drank our poisoned water.
We really don't want our kids drinking poisoned water, so, I think it's a pretty good idea to try to have stuff like that not keep happening. Perhaps you weren't aware of the fact that in the last five years, our country has experienced over 3,300 pipeline "incidents" of leakage into our waters and soil. http://www.foreffectivegov.org/blog/map-displays-five-years-oil-pipeline-spillsThis happened on your watch.
Is leaving behind a legacy of toxic water for our children, something you're cool with? Because, that is what people will remember. We will remember that you had a choice: our children, our people, what little sacred land our Native Americans have left that wasn't stolen from them--or corporate greed. That should not be a difficult decision.
This has gone far beyond an environmental issue, this is a humanitarian and moral crisis, one which requires immediate leadership, from our president, to intervene and end.
Mr. Obama, at one point, I believed that perhaps moving some oil around in the United States might be better than the sinister relationship we have with the Middle East. Imagine my dismay when I learned that although Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline, has said that this oil will "support 100% domestic consumption" I find it troubling that they also lobbied Congress to to have a 40 year ban on crude oil exports lifted last December...and won. We do not have history on our side that corporations will put people before profits, and so we look to you, to stand for us...because our policy makers simply have not.
It seems very much, as evidenced by ETP 10k filings and notes that are public record, https://theintercept.com/2016/09/01/dakota-access-export/ that this pipeline will not serve the public interest, yet we will suffer the consequences and pay the price for generations to come as our water is compromised, and our children get sick. Who is protecting us? Who is protecting our Native Americans, who have been pushed around, slaughtered, stolen from, and denied basic civil rights? Our government has failed us, again.
Where are you, Mr. Obama? What do you stand for and who do you stand with? You are either on the side of justice and truth, or you are on the side of corporate greed. Plain and simple.
I know that admitting the latter sounds shameful, but as time passes, the people will come to their own conclusion and the truth always finds its way. I urge you not to leave behind this disgrace of a legacy. We will not forget.
Americans are opening their wallets and hearts to try to help keep these peaceful warriors warm and help with basic survival needs, while our government does nothing. Millions of Americans are speaking out and taking a stand, while our government sits in cowardly and complicit silence. Our brave veterans, have organized by the thousands to self deploy and stand with our protesters; to stand up to a militarized police, and the horrific injustice of nothing short of using unnecessary excessive force, violence and assault, on peaceful unarmed Native Americans and citizens. Our government is even trying to block journalists from reporting the TRUTH, under the guise of "protection from the elements" a "state of emergency evacuation".
Is that some kind of joke? The Native Americans have braved the elements for centuries, it is the people they have to worry about...not snow. Journalists report from war torn countries, I don't think they need your "snow protection". What needs protection is free speech, the right to peaceful protest, and their lives from the thugs in police uniforms and riot gear out there with guns aimed at them...all in the name of "protection".
This is all happening on your watch. How can you look away?
I ask, how, on any level, is this even partially acceptable to you? How can you sleep at night seeing the images coming out of Standing Rock? Is your heart not brave enough, your moral sense not strong enough, to in these final hours of your presidency, STAND UP and SPEAK UP for what is right, and denounce what is wrong? How can you, not only as our leader, but as an American, a father and a human being, live with yourself for not doing or saying...anything?
In 2008, I stood up for you. I stood out in the freezing rain in New York, seven months pregnant, for eight hours at a time, asking people on the streets to vote for you. I stood up and drove to Pennsylvania while I was nursing a newborn, to knock on doors asking people to vote for you. I was a maxed out donor. I made videos asking people to vote for you, while my little brother served in Iraq. I did this, because when you used the word "Hope" I thought that you meant it, and I believed in you. I believed you when you said that you would fight for us.
You are not the man I stood up for right now; but you can be. You can stop this.
We all know the history of General Custer and his "last stand" in the Battle of Little Big Horn against the Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne Indians. It is a shameful stain on the history of the United States, and as we know, it did not end well for General Custer. What a great opportunity this is, to add a new chapter to our history, by seeing our President make a last stand--with dignity, strength and moral purpose. As a protector, not a thief...as a hero, not a coward. A new "last Stand" for the people of the United States, for our Native Americans, and for justice.
I am pleading with you, Mister President, to show the world, during these dark days, that the United States of America protects its people, protects sacred land, and protects its resources. To show the world that the United States finds the abuse of power and violence against peaceful protest not only unacceptable...but morally reprehensible.
I am urging you, Mr. Obama, to save yourself from the disgrace
and shame of letting even one more minute of this atrocity, happen on your watch while you sit in silence. Please show the world, and show our country, that we still stand for things that matter. We need it now, more than ever.
Or perhaps you will be remembered as fondly as General Custer, which is to say, not fondly at all.
Just another bought and paid for empty suit politician, who stood for nothing, and did nothing...when America needed him most. Please, Mr. Obama, I still have faith that you are more than this: we are ready for some of that "hope" you promised eight years ago. I'd like to cash mine in now please. We will be watching and waiting.