Imagine life as a short, white woman

President Barack Obama asked me to imagine life as a black man, and he told us about his own experiences. I now ask him to imagine life as a short white woman. I have felt apprehension, even fear, at being alone in an elevator with a person, or group, regardless of color or ethnicity. My reactions have had much to do with others’ demeanor and with behavior.

I might have locked my car door or walked behind the mall security officer in Obama’s presence before he became a senator, or before you changed your behavior and image from a pot-smoking kid to a shirt-and-tie-wearing campaigner.

My request to Obama is for words and actions stemming from both sides of his heritage – that teach all the citizens of this country and lecture to none.

Ann McCoy Harold


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