Dear President Barack Obama,
The last eight years have been formative for our generation. We’ve broadened our concerns from ourselves, family and friends to our local community, country and global collective.
As our eyes and minds widened, we began to see a world that didn’t match the storybooks of our childhood. But as the anxiety set in of living in a world so much larger and harsher than we had imagined, you were there.
Thank you for not only showing us what an excellent leader looks like, but also what an excellent husband and father looks like. Your partnership with the First Lady showed us strong collaboration and also the beauty of a strong and equal marriage.
Thank you for fulfilling your promise to expand health care despite constant pushback. Thank for not only showing confidence when entering office during the Financial Crisis, but also creating six million jobs.
Thank you for being vulnerable, and showing us that strength isn’t the absence of vulnerability. Even when we could see that you were scared, the fact that you were open and honest made us feel safer.
Thank you for being humorful and light-hearted even in the darkest situations. Thank you for showing that being a feminist isn’t a political stance but a human one.
Thank you for reminding us that even though the Leader of the Free World is black, America is still not free from racism. Thank you for telling us the story of your background and shedding a light on narratives that are often ignored. Thank you for beginning to thaw 56 years of tense relations with Cuba.
Thank you for marking a shift from previous administrations in your efforts to combat global warming, even if your accomplishments were limited. Thank you for treating the press as allies instead of enemies in a fight for truth.
Thank you for being an ally to people of color, Muslims, immigrants, LGBT+ people, and women everywhere. Even though we are far from a truly free America, it was incredible to have equality written into law in so many ways during your administration; legalization of gay marriage, prohibition of employment discrimination based on race and gender, and other actions confirmed our beliefs that we are all deserving of equal treatment and that our dreams can become realities.
Thank you for having the strength to exceed expectations set by your white predecessors while often being given less respect when you deserve infinitely more. Thank you for being a role model to children across the country.
Thank you for advocating for a peaceful transition of power despite personal fear surrounding the election result.
Thank you for providing hope. The fact that people like you and Michelle exist and work so hard every day to improve this world gives us optimism for the next four years.
The Editorial Board of the Jacket