Guilty of Being President While Black
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by D.T. Pollard
Paperback: 182 pages
Publisher: Book Express (September 22, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
"This book is an inspiration that came to me after witnessing the disrespect and venom expressed towards President Obama... people bearing signs depicting him as Hitler, a socialist or a tyrant. Something much deeper was at play and it centered on race.
One thing I know like the back of my hand is what it is like to be a
black man in America. I have been in that position all my life due to the
circumstances of my birth, growing up in a small town in the South. Obama:
Guilty of Being President While Black takes a unique look at the racism
faced by President Obama and how vestiges of Jim Crow laws infest the
thoughts of many people today."
—Excerpted from the Introduction (page 1)
Part of the daily burden of being Black in America are the frequent
reminders of your second-class status in a racist society.
And you don't have to try to hail a cab in the city or to rent an apartment in a lily-White enclave, you're humanity can be just as easily diminished in an instant by simply walking into a room full of strangers inclined to judge you based on your color as opposed to the content of your character.
This sad truth was ostensibly operating in the mind of D.T. Pollard when he reacted to all the irrational hostility being directed at Barack Obama since becoming President. Besides a 400% escalation in death threats reported by the Secret Service, he observed everything ranging from a website selling an Obama sock monkey to a photo-shopped portrait of the White House lawn filled with watermelons to a U.S. Congressman interrupting the President's speech by shouting "You lied!"
Worse than such insults have been the subtle calls for his assassination, such as the one leveled by Steven Anderson, a Baptist minister in Tempe, Arizona. On the day the President was coming to town, he informed his parishioners from the pulpit that he hated Barack Obama and wanted him dead, adding that "I hope it happens today," before asking them all to join him in prayer.
Yes, the Bill of Rights guarantees the fundamental Freedoms of Speech and Religion, but the incident makes you wonder whether we're being too open-minded when we let a preacher leverage Christ to send such a theologically-evil message of unalloyed hate?
As compelling as the author's recounting of the resentment of Obama is the chapter dedicated to quoting Jim Crow laws mandating the segregation of theaters, schools, libraries, trains, parks, restaurants, hospitals, bathrooms, cemeteries, mental institutions and even homes for the blind.
America is obviously not long-removed from that shameful legacy, when you hear the author testifying so emotionally aboutthe mental scars left by the mistreatment he experienced during his childhood.
A powerful reminder that the past isn't dead. In fact, judging by the color-coded dissing of Obama, it ain't even past.