Mr Obama’s recent letter to his daughters is expected to appear in the press worldwide over the weekend. An extract of this very touching letter recently appeared in at least one national newspaper in the UK. In it, Mr Obama explains:
“When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me − about how I’d make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world, with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. Suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn’t seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours… And I realised that my own life wouldn’t count for much unless I was able to ensure you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfilment in yours. In the end, that’s why I ran for president − because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation… I want every child to have the same chances to learn and dream and grow and thrive that you girls have… That’s why I’ve taken our family on this great adventure… I am so proud of both of you. I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace and humour as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House. Love, Dad.”
When I read this extract, it brought to mind two speeches made in 1963, by Martin Luther King − the “I have a dream” one, made in Washington, DC − and the “I’ve seen the Promised Land” one, made in Memphis, Tennessee.
Barack Obama was then a toddler.
One hopes Mr Obama’s wishes for every child − black and white − would be fulfilled.