One day his grandmother, while waiting for a bus to take her to work, was accosted by a panhandler. She gave him a dollar, but he aggressively demanded more -- and she was scared because he looked like he might hit her.
When Obama learned that the panhandler was black, he said the news hit him "like a fist in my stomach." Obama objected to the fact that his grandmother was "scared of a black man," and his resentment at her (not at the panhandler) was such a big deal that he referred to this incident repeatedly.
Obama immersed himself in the writings of radical blacks: Richard Wright, W.E.B. DuBois, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin and Langston Hughes. Obama's favorite became Malcolm X.
Obama scarcely knew his father, yet he wrote: "It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa, that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself, the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela."
Obama described his happiness in going to Kenya: "For the first time in my life, I felt the comfort, the firmness of identity that a name might provide." He felt he "belonged" and had come home. Apparently, the only other place he felt at home was in Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church in Chicago.
Obama rejects racial integration because it is "a one-way street" with blacks being "assimilated into the dominant culture, not the other way around." Does he think America would be a better country if whites were assimilated into African culture?
There is absolutely nothing in this book that expresses pride in or love of or appreciation of America. In 442 pages of introspection extending over his life as a teen, undergraduate and law student at prestigious institutions, community organizer and working adult, he doesn't say anything positive about American government, culture, society, freedom or opportunity.
Obama's refusal to wear an American flag pin on his lapel sounded too trivial for a campaign issue. But since there is nothing in his book about respect for the flag, or the republic for which it stands, maybe the flag-pin flap does indicate his disdain for patriotism.
In his autobiography, Obama accepts the view that "black people have reason to hate." His later book is called "The Audacity of Hope," but his autobiography, which he has never disavowed, should be titled "The Audacity of Hate."
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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