19 May 2011
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
Special to the Tri-State Defender
(Alisha Kiner is the principal of Booker T. Washington High School)
My daughter, Amber, has the most beautiful eyes into which one could gaze. Her eyes have always been the most striking feature on her face and as a baby, when she would cry, I’d watch her eyes fill with tears and mistake those same eyes for an empty glass as it filled with water.
I saw her eyes fill like that again when she met President Obama on Monday, May 16, at Booker T. Washington High School’s graduation ceremony. When I found out that my daughter would meet President Obama, I decided not to tell her as I wanted to see her “knee jerk” response to this wonderful opportunity.
The President walked out of the room and over to where Amber and I were standing and after shaking our hands, no audible sound came from Amber’s lips – only the tears flowed. President Obama, with a paternal swag, walked over to my baby, shielding her from the camera’s gaze by placing himself between her and the camera, and with his right hand, gently wiped the tears that flowed generously down her cheeks. He (President Obama) then placed his arm lovingly around her shoulder and made small talk with her until she relaxed.
You ask what were my reflections of his visit?
My President ROCKS!
He (President Obama) not only rocks because of this gentle show of fatherly concern for my biological child, but especially because he chose to speak at Booker T. Washington High School’s commencement exercises. Dapper and down-to-earth, President Obama proved himself a man for real people – commoners, even. His charm and wit were only surpassed by his genuine concern for my BTW babies and meeting with them privately to share that they were his inspiration was priceless. When they were overcome with emotion on seeing him, he did for them, what he had done for my Amber, he wiped their tears and dotingly consoled them – giving each one of them careful attention.
Thank you, Mr. President.