“Now, the flip side of it is there are some black folk and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black President.”
In both elections, Americans of all colors voted for Obama precisely because he was black. In 2008, the vote was historic for whites and blacks. Whites finally felt comfortable with a black candidate who had all the right credentials (education, family, US Senator) to become president. Voting for Obama allowed whites to absolve themselves of pent up white guilt from the pain of slavery and segregation whites had inflicted upon blacks for centuries.
Remember Democrat Senator Harry commented the country could elect Obama because he was “light skinned . . .with no negro dialect unless he wanted to have one,” (Game Change, p. 36). Then presidential candidate Senator Joe Biden observed January 31, 2007 in a New York Observer article Obama “was the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” (Game Change, p. 336).
Blacks voted overwhelmingly for Obama both times (over 90%) because they wanted to finally elect then re-elect black president for the first time in history. Despite Obama’s first term disproportionately impacting blacks with higher unemployment and diminished wealth than whites, black Democrat politicians and celebrities like Tom Joyner told blacks they had to vote for Obama again in 2012 because he was the country’s first black president. For that reason alone he deserved a second term. Former Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver admitted race was a factor in the CBC not holding Obama to the same level of accountability as they would a white president.
While Romney won 60% of the white vote in 2012, more than Senator John McCain in 2008, many white liberals along with other groups voted for Obama again in 2012 because they believed Obama needed four more years to do his job because he was black. Can anyone imagine the same thing being said about a white president like President Jimmy Carter? Give him more time to make things worse?The New Yorker article reveals a president coming to terms with the reality of his failed presidency. Obama shows us while he’s willing to pin his failures as a president on his race, he’s unwilling to take responsibility for his presidency for the same reason. How ironic Obama chose the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday for the story’s publication. King fought and died for blacks to stand as equals to whites in every facet of American society. Yet Obama stands cowering from King’s dream.