President Obama: ‘Some Folks Don’t Like the Idea of a Black President’

1579853_10152174299152489_2093651237_nI’ve argued for a while now that in politics we need more “blunt moments.”  The problem is, as much as Americans say they want honesty, they really don’t.

Just look at the way we dissect everything these politicians say.  If one wrong word is used, the media is all over them and the American public is “outraged.”  The truth is, Americans want to hear the truth that they want to hear.  Which is what most politicians give us.  The staff for these politicians study polls, then figure out what does or doesn’t play well with the voters they need to be re-elected.

So when I saw an interview where President Obama was extremely candid about race and said a couple of things some Americans might not want to hear, I had to applaud him.

In an interview President Obama did for The New Yorker, the president took aim at why many Americans will disapprove of him no matter what he does:

“There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black President.”

A statement that I would say nearly every President Obama supporter (and many detractors) would probably agree with.  As I’ve said many times before, living in Texas, the blatant racism I’ve seen hurled his way has been absolutely disgusting.  And this racism hasn’t been done “behind closed doors,” it’s right out there in the open.

But then in a somewhat surprising statement, he also addressed another situation pertaining to voters and his race:

“Now, the flip side of it is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black President.”

Which is another absolutely true statement.  Of course there are those who’ve voted for him simply because he’s black.

But there’s a huge difference between these two types of people.  Voting against someone because of their race is different from voting for someone because of it.  Voting against someone because of their race displays a negative and hateful attitude toward whatever race they might happen to be.  Relating to someone, thus supporting them, is just a common psychological occurrence.  Obviously a vote should be based on more than the color of one’s skin either way.

And while I’m sure some people will say President Obama is “race baiting” with these comments, I found the blatant honesty refreshing.

Because while racial relations in this country have improved, to believe that racism is gone is absolutely ridiculous.  Just because “it isn’t as bad as it used to be” doesn’t mean that it’s not still a problem.  Which is something that’s been clear in this country since President Obama’s election in 2008.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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