Barack Obama Says He’s Questioned If His Blackness Was The Reason Trump Won In 2016
Former President Barack Obama has admitted he’s questioned whether his Blackness was the reason why current President Donald Trump won the 2016 Presidential Election.
In his new memoir, A Promised Land, Obama reflects upon his life and political career, which of course includes his two terms as President of the United States.
Obama has long been known for his poetic way with words, and his reflections in A Promised Land are eloquent, thoughtful and questioning.
For many, Obama’s time as US President marked a turning point in US history. As the first Black President, Obama seemed to herald a new age of optimism and opportunity.
But then, in 2016, America took a shock turn, with brash businessman and TV personality Donald Trump loud-mouthing his way to the White House on a soapbox of populism and nationalism, along with his slogan of ‘Make America Great Again’.
Trump’s surprise election victory appeared to be a very odd twist in America’s fate; a step backwards rather than forwards and, at times, a mirror into the uglier side of American society.
Much ink has been spilled over exactly why and how Trump ended up in the highest office in the land, especially when he had been up against somebody as highly accomplished and experienced as former First Lady and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
Now, Obama himself has opened up about his thoughts on what exactly happened back in 2016, as revealed in a passage from A Promised Land, published in The Atlantic.
Reflecting upon the events that unfolded four years ago, Obama wrote:
It was as if my very presence in the White House had triggered a deep-seated panic, a sense that the natural order had been disrupted.
Which is exactly what Donald Trump understood when he started peddling assertions that I had not been born in the United States and was thus an illegitimate president. For millions of Americans spooked by a Black man in the White House, he promised an elixir for their racial anxiety.
Obama also went on to speak movingly about his enduring faith in America and the American people, writing:
What I can say for certain is that I’m not yet ready to abandon the possibility of America – not just for the sake of future generations of Americans but for all of humankind.
I’m convinced that the pandemic we’re currently living through is both a manifestation of and a mere interruption in the relentless march toward an interconnected world, one in which peoples and cultures can’t help but collide.
In that world – of global supply chains, instantaneous capital transfers, social media, transnational terrorist networks, climate change, mass migration, and ever-increasing complexity – we will learn to live together, cooperate with one another, and recognize the dignity of others, or we will perish.
This timely extract has been published mere days after Obama’s former vice-president Joe Biden won the US election, an event that has once again restored a feeling of hope among so many.
You can pre-order your copy of A Promised Land at Waterstones.
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