By Jasmine Washington
Whether it’s participating in protests in response to police brutality, or speaking out against racial injustices in his music, T.I. has been known to use whatever platform is available to discuss social issues.
The Family Hustle star recently penned a gracious and lengthy letter for President Barack Obama ahead of his departure from office. T.I.’s letter, that’s featured in The New York Times, is the first of a series of open letters the rapper plans to use as communication tools with President Barack Obama, President-elect Donald Trump and the American people.
T.I. began by his letter by acknowledging President Obama’s charismatic personality and the impact he’s had on the American people. “You entered humbly into our worlds from the streets of the South Side of Chicago and galvanized a generation. You resonated from the barbershops to the airwaves to the streets of every hood across America. Many of US did not know your name, nor did we truly understand the impact you would have on the world in the years, months and days that followed,” he explained.
Praising President Obama for his diligent work and promising to uphold his legacy, T.I. continued, “For years you fought to keep this nation from the very thing we have now become. For years, many of US failed you because, as I’ve said before, we were not all ready for the change you wanted to bring about. But rest assured that we heard you. Rest assured that we felt you and rest assured that your legacy will live on long after your presidency. Not only did you impact a nation, but you defined a culture and you shook up and woke up a generation.”
Highlighting the fears many feel in the wake of the recent presidential election, T.I. added, “A generation that unfortunately fears more than ever being further wounded, overlooked, abused, neglected and having to fight for what we now understand is not such a basic right and that is the plight for equality and basic human dignity.”
T.I. went on to express gratitude to the president for his many efforts while owning up to his own personal shortcomings. “We thank you for helping US face and focus on the very issues that plague our communities and diminishes US all. While I, too, responsibly admit to engaging in the behaviors that further perpetuates the negative stigma in our communities, I wanted to thank you for looking beyond our shortcomings,” he wrote.
Acknowledging the sacrifices made by the first family, T.I. concluded, “We will forever be grateful to you and your family, the graceful intelligent compassionate first lady, Mrs. Obama, as well as your beautiful daughters Sasha and Malia for their collective sacrifices for US. WE will continue to stand with you and alongside those who make a personal investment in US. We will continue to remain committed to causes that are bigger than ourselves. We will continue to remind ourselves that, Yes, We still can!”
Click here to read T.I.’s full length letter to President Barack Obama.