A Presidency Born of White Privilege

A Presidency Born of White Privilege


He has been President for six months. Hell, it feels like six years. Every evening, there is breaking news about this Administration.

Since last January, I have been wondering why I find President Donald Trump so offensive. What is at the root of my negative feelings about this particular president? I never felt this way about the previous eight occupants of the Oval Office since I started following national politics – Presidents Nixon through Obama.

It goes beyond his offensive and long-standing degrading behavior towards women, the disabled, and others. I have concluded that white privilege – and the annoying sense that his privilege is being thrown in my face – animates what and the way I feel about this President.

Despite having been only married once, being a good father with top academic credentials, and service in elective office, President Obama was repeatedly subjected to racism by many, including some GOP Members of Congress. Senator Mitch McConnell and Representative Joe Wilson immediately come to mind.

In 1980, President Ronald Reagan launched his campaign at the Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia, Mississippi. It was not too far from where the remains of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Mickey Schwerner were discovered in1964. That insensitive act showed African-Americans that we would not be a priority in his Administration. We were right. Despite hurtful policies to minorities, though, he publicly spoke kindly of others. He had grace and class.

As an African-American, I grew up being taught that I have to be twice as good as others. Since becoming an adult, I have experienced this philosophy firsthand. This is true for all African-Americans. The average breaks, passes or second chances given to whites are not given to me. I do not, for example, have the luxury of bad-mouthing law enforcement because I am having a bad day.

A visceral hatred of President Barack Obama by many contributed greatly to the election of President Trump. Indeed, it fueled his early candidacy and entire campaign.

If an African-American had not occupied the White House, Donald Trump would still be hosting The Apprentice, making business deals and inappropriately grabbing women. Nor would his candidacy have ever been taken seriously had a President Hillary Clinton been leaving office.

America has lowered its standards as a nation by electing him to the White House immediately after President Obama. For all of the progress in race relations we as a country made by electing President Obama, we regressed exponentially last November with the election of this president.

I respect that First Lady Melania Trump previously had a modeling career. However, had nude pictures of former First Lady Michelle Obama come out during the 2008 campaign, Senator Obama would still be representing Illinois in Washington, or would have lost his next election.

Had President Obama fired FBI Director James Comey, Republicans would have immediately convened impeachment hearings, despite the fact that his presidency was ending. Yet, the current President fired Mr. Comey and publicly admitted that he did so in an attempt to shut down any investigation into his relationship with Russia.

Personally, I was offended when former President Bill Clinton boarded then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s plane last summer. His arrogance in doing so, much less the optics, was horrific. The assumption of many on the right is that the FBI investigation of former Secretary Hillary Clinton’s emails was a topic of discussion. From the left, I was equally suspicious. Yet, those same Republicans, who were rightly critical of this meeting, are strangely silent on the President’s ties with Russia.

President Obama was forced to present his birth certificate due to the pressure imposed by his now successor. It was an attempt to quell racially driven questions about his citizenship. Yet, President Trump was elected without producing his tax returns.

President Trump rarely speaks in complete sentences. He addresses the world in refrains, lyrics and catchy slogans. Had President Obama spoken in this manner, he would have been rightly laughed out of the White House.

We have gone from professorial presidential speak to pre-school drools and babble behind the American presidential seal.

“Lock her up!” was a constant battle cry of the Trump campaign. Today, President Trump is exploring presidential pardon options for himself and family members. He demands the loyalty of aides to him before that of the American people. His affection for the President Vladimir Putin supersedes that of our closest allies. The President has no loyalty to anyone but himself.

How is this “Making America Great Again?”