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June 30, 1984
Ms. Odelia Hall
My letter concerns an issue that I feel should fall under the category of Civil Rights, although it also could go under some other categories too, and just as appropriately.
I would like to see the name of our nation's capitol or "White House" updated or changed to reflect an inherent meaning to all of this country's citizen, meaning not just a select few. "White House" is the wrong name for our Nation's Capitol if this country is truly the `Land of the Free'. White is the only color in the spectrum devoid of any color, and whatsoever is without color is not alive. Think about that.
National legislation needs to at the very least address this question, and public Opinion should also be polled.
I suggest that the Presidential Residence be called "The People's House" or "The Nation's House".
This original name "White House" was established under former "Jim Crow" laws, and has gone un-addressed up to this present time. This is long enough. The name change will create a greater awareness for the entire populace, not to mention the world, and furthermore will undo the stigma that presently radiates from its inherent meaning.
I will tell you why the name "White House" evokes its aura of separateness, and this is also what motivated me to write to both of you gentlemen. This is a true story:
I frequented a local elementary school a few weeks ago. And I came upon 2 children, 2 young boys to be exact. And these boys were talking about their futures and what they wanted to be when they grew up to adulthood. Their conversation soon went
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Cranston & Hawkins
national as one of the boys said that he wanted to be the President of the United States. The other boy had made a prior choice preceding the boy who said he wanted to be President, but when he was reminded about the Presidency from the other child, he said he wanted to be President too, but probably couldn't because he couldn't live in the White House. The boy who wanted initially wanted to be President of our U.S. was a Caucasian child. The other child who couldn't live in the White House because it was the White House, was a child of color.
Both the boys and I are citizens of this Country. On behalf of both of them, myself, and all the citizens of this country, we ask for a national proposal addressing this question of nomenclature change. Would both of you gentlemen send me your thoughts on this matter?
In closing, I am a constituent of both your respective districts, and I love you both as each of you have been a beacon light to our districts. I pray now though that you give the essence of this letter serious thought, and not just pass it to one of your many assistants to be shuffled back and forth to oblivion. I took more than a moment to compose what is a true and continuing story about our country. Please consider this and write me personally, including your thoughts on what I've said and any further information you can supply me.
God Bless you both.
Very truly yours,