Letter for Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016

• President Obama overcame barriers to work wonders

Very soon our 44th president of the United States will leave office and he will leave as one of the most popular presidents we have ever had.

Consider that against all odds he was the first African American in history to serve eight years as the leader of the most powerful nation on earth.

What this brilliant man accomplished in eight years would have probably made him eligible for a space on Mt. Rushmore with our other greats if he had been white!

But to have accomplished what he did with his opposition trying to block every move he made, not only because of his policies, but because he was black, was miraculous.

Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball and I was privileged and thrilled to have played with him. I saw how he had to be not only a great, talented ball player but who had to be someone who could tolerate being called every racist name in the books and without reciprocating.

The legendary Branch Rickey not only found a person with these qualifications, he found someone who went far beyond all expectations.

As a sign of the respect and admiration future generations of ball players had for Jackie, his number 42 has been retired and on a day to honor him every team and player who plays against the Dodgers wears number 42 — never done before and will probably never be done again.

And today I would hope that every citizen in the U.S. — white, black, brown or yellow — could, without prejudice, find it within themselves to appreciate and honor Barack Obama for what he has done for his country.

Again, against all odds (the race card always being an underlying factor that no other president had to tolerate) this man got us out of the worst depression since 1929; the stock market climbed from 11,000 in 2008 to just under 20,000 today; unemployment dropped from over 10 percent to 4.6 percent today; Obama promised that he would bring our troops home from the Iraq war and kept that promise; he got health care passed and though it is not perfect, 20 million more people have health insurance today than ever had it before, which no other president accomplished; he went after and killed the No. 1 criminal in the world, Osama bin Laden; he saved our auto industry and the thousands of jobs that went with it; he put regulations in place to prohibit the crash of 2008 with the loss of homes and life savings; and his diplomacy with Iran has given us inspection rights to their atomic bomb activities.

And with all our problems and the turmoil in the rest of the world, this country is still the best place on earth to live in, and Barack Obama can leave office proud that he had a hand in making it what it is.

Mr. Trump now has the torch and his tenure will be judged on what happens in the next four years.

Glenn Mickens

Kapaa

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