an open apology to The White House

(This letter was delivered direct to The White House on 12/16/16. On the same day, I also posted it on LinkedIn; my first personal opinion post ever. I received a  response on 12/28/16 from The White House which is pasted at the bottom of this post. This is not an Obama fan letter. This is an American fan letter. This is not a “political view” post nor is it an invitation to a political debate. This is an invitation to civility and unity. It is on LinkedIn because it is the only social platform with the most diversified professional minds who CAN make a difference. This does not defend President Obama. It defends America. Please read the P.S. at the bottom of this letter before getting sucked into an emotionally charged political vortex.)

Dear Mr. President:

I am not a Republican or a Democrat. I do not belong to an organized religion. I do not represent or belong to any special interest groups. I am not an advocate for any specific political view albeit I respect those with one. I am an American. An ordinary immigrant who came to the United States (legally) back in 1980. Today, I am the owner of a small business here in Washington D.C. living in the Maryland suburbs with my wife and kids appreciating the blessings daily.

Today, by coincidence, I watched in shock and disgust some of the ugly social media commentary against you and your family members following your final press conference. I read commentary no American could read without horror. Commentary no American can or should shrug off and move on. It was another infuriating reminder of how we have become boundary-blind. We may not agree with your policies. We may not agree with your rhetoric. We may not like the way you wear your hair or the way you manage a foreign affair. We may even think you are the worst president in history. That does not entitle us to posting abusive comments in social media, or anywhere else for that matter, about the President of the United States or the First Family. Because, for me, it has never really been about who is in the White House. It is about what the White House stands for. Thanks to the exponential growth of disrespect for things we hold sacred, all of which is justified by “Freedom of Speech” or “Freedom of Press,” we are now a society with no restrain, no filter, no lines. Anything is acceptable to say to anyone in any place about anything. Now, it is okay to disrespect the National Anthem. It is okay to disrespect religion. We are now inadvertently teaching our children that kindness is old school and anger is trending. This is a form of civil war between the uninformed and the civilized. You, your family and those who read this letter must know we the civilized Americans are still here. We are not moving to Europe or Canada. We are not giving up on America. We will wholeheartedly support our next President. I will be just as angry and certainly write a similar apology if insults, inappropriate comments are made about him and his family when he is leaving the office at the end of his term. I do not believe in insults. I do not believe in violence. I do not believe in racism, discrimination or division. I believe in America. Because, while the definition of “Americans” may change America does not. I will not let my love affair diminish with that beautiful lady holding up the torch relentlessly on Liberty Island whose invitation brought me here 36 years ago.

So, on behalf of the civilized Americans, inclusive of Republicans, Democrats, Independents, blacks, whites, gays, the poor and the rich, I apologize for the uninformed and thank you for your service, for yours and your family’s sacrifice over the past eight years and for all the positive things we shall remember you by. I am confident history will be kinder and more respectful to your legacy than today’s angry, misguided noise.

May God bless America, now more than ever, and guide our new President as He has the previous 44.

With Gratitude and Respect,

Yaman Coskun

P.S. (A few weeks after posting this letter on FB and LI I had to, inevitably, post the below post script in lieu of the comments)

I have been reading the parade of comments to my post since December 16th. Some with pleasure, confirming my sentiments. Others, in pain, confirming my fears. Therefore, I would like to make the following three clarifications to ensure Peace On LinkedIn:

1-) This is not a letter to promote a political debate. Because, it is NOT a political view post. If you are getting fired up to unleash some commentary about Obama vs. Trump or whites vs. blacks, STOP! That is not what this letter is about. To those who actually read it in full and understood that it is NOT defending the President but rather the Presidency, I thank you for your kind comments, support and confirmation that I, indeed, was talking on behalf of many. Many, like me, who are sick and tired of remaining silent in the face of moral atrocity spreading across this beautiful country like advanced cancer.

2-) To those who oppose my choice of LinkedIn as the platform for posting this letter, I ask, is it as inappropriate as protesting outside a fallen soldier’s funeral? Is it as inappropriate as kneeling down during the National Anthem? Is it as inappropriate as burning our flag? Is it as inappropriate as verbally attacking the children of our President with despicable social commentary? Didn’t think so! But, within the boundaries of reason and respect, I bent the rules to be heard on a platform designed to improve our thinking personally and professionally versus a platform, like Facebook, where cat tricks and food photos project a faux world where everybody lives happily ever after. That’s why I chose LinkedIn. This is a stage to receive and give inspiration. Personal and professional. That’s why this post is fast approaching 600 thousand views with over 39000 likes and over 9200 supportive comments. That’s not inappropriate! That’s awesome! These are not my connections. These are my fellow Americans, my sisters and brothers on whose behalf I will speak up on any platform any time.

3-) And, to those very few, whose toxic, profane and threatening comments I have already reported and removed, you are the reason why I had to write this letter. You hear without listening. You read without comprehending. You protest without knowing. You speak without thinking. You hurt without intending. With the power of the First Amendment comes responsibility; learn to exercise it. I cannot reason with you. May God show you the light at the end of your Ignorance Tunnel before you self-destruct.

On January 1st, we opened our eyes to 365 brand new gifts presented to us. I hope we choose to make great use of every one of those gifts by loving, respecting and embracing one another. Because, those choices are not debatable on any platform.



The response from The White House on 12/28/16 is pasted below:

Thank you for writing.  Your reflections on the progress we’ve made together mean a lot to me.

Messages like yours underscore that America is at its best when people from all walks of life add their voices to our national conversation, and when we all come together to shape our country’s course.  Once I leave the Oval Office, I’ll rejoin you as a private citizen of this great country of ours—a stronger America that has progressed further and reached higher than many thought was possible.  And while there are milestone moments we will always remember, I want you to know that messages from people like you have touched my heart and informed my Presidency.  They’ve stayed with me and they’ve kept me going—and they always will.

Again, thank you for writing to me.  Our brand of democracy is hard, and we are a constant work in progress.  But I promise you that as long as I’m President and long after, I will be right alongside you, as I always have been, working to ensure our Nation lives up to our highest ideals and remains a beacon of hope and opportunity.

All the best,

Barack Obama


4 thoughts on “an open apology to The White House

  1. Thank you for expressing what every American should already know and believe. This election was about respect for American Democracy which millions of people died to protect, but the candidates and the media, be it television, reporters, social media or press, issued everyone a license to be rude, cruel, and disrespectful. I know God didn’t create us this way !

  2. You have restored my faith in the goodness of people at large. Love / Respect will endure & prevail.
    May GOD continue to Bless you & your family abundantly ! M

  3. I hope your words reflect how the large majority of people truly feel. I am not an American. I am Canadian, more specifically a Newfoundlander. Our strategic Island location in the cold North Atlantic gave us the benefit of having America build naval bases on our shores. It was a mutually beneficial alliance and the bond will continue as over 30,000 of our daughters married Americans during that time. We affectionately called it the Friendly Invasion.

    As a Canadian who cares what happens in the United States of America, I thank you for your letter, and I hope it inspires more acceptance, inclusion and respect in both our countries.

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