There are no clean victories for black people, nor, perhaps, for any people. The presidency of Barack Obama is no different. One can now say that an African American individual can rise to the same level as a white individual, and yet also say that the number of black individuals who actually qualify for that… Continue reading My President Was Black
hat proved key for Barack Obama was not that he was born to a black man and a white woman, but that his white family approved of the union, and approved of the child who came from it. They did this in 1961—a time when sex between black men and white women, in large swaths… Continue reading My President Was Black
Obama was born into a country where laws barring his very conception—let alone his ascendancy to the presidency—had long stood in force. A black president would always be a contradiction for a government that, throughout most of its history, had oppressed black people. The attempt to resolve this contradiction through Obama—a black man with deep… Continue reading My President Was Black
He had an ability to emote a deep and sincere connection to the hearts of black people, while never doubting the hearts of white people. My President Was Black
But there is nothing “mere” about symbols. The power embedded in the word nigger is also symbolic. Burning crosses do not literally raise the black poverty rate, and the Confederate flag does not directly expand the wealth gap. My President Was Black
“Veterans Day often follows a hard-fought political campaign, an exercise in the free speech and self-government that you fought for,” he said. “It often lays bare disagreements across our nation. But the American instinct has never been to find isolation in opposite corners. It is to find strength in our common creed, to forge unity… Continue reading Obama Reckons with a Trump Presidency
How did he speak with his two daughters about the election results, about the post-election reports of racial incidents? “What I say to them is that people are complicated,” Obama told me. “Societies and cultures are really complicated. . . . This is not mathematics; this is biology and chemistry. These are living organisms, and… Continue reading Obama Reckons with a Trump Presidency
Had Hillary Clinton won, many of us would have moved on as if all was right with the world, but the world is very wrong, and the impact of that wrongness is on display for all to see. This is an opportunity to dig deeper into our imaginations and collective intelligence for solutions, to make… Continue reading Empathy isn’t a favor I owe white Trump voters. It has to go both ways.
The degree to which white, liberal, urban America relied on polling reports and FiveThirtyEight and the Upshot to tell them everything was going to be all right is incredible. I derived confidence from those predictions as well. We all stuck to those websites like a driver sticks to incorrect Waze GPS directions. Instead of driving,… Continue reading Empathy isn’t a favor I owe white Trump voters. It has to go both ways.
And then we act surprised when a master appears on the scene and shows us how to put all these pieces together in a brilliant coalition. The man who got into a Twitter fight with a former Miss Universe read the public better than any data analytics team. He hacked the media business model’s addiction… Continue reading Empathy isn’t a favor I owe white Trump voters. It has to go both ways.