The Lynching of President Barack Obama – by Frank Schaeffer

The Slow Motion Lynching of President Barack Obama

 – by Frank Schaeffer – – December 14, 2013 

President Obama

President Obama

I’ve watched liberal and right wing commentators alike blame the president for being lynched. They say “he’s not reaching out enough” or “he’s too cold.” It’s the equivalent of assuming that the black man being beaten by a couple of thug cops must have “done something.”

I am a white privileged well off sixty-one-year-old former Republican religious right wing activist who changed his mind about religion and politics long ago.  The New York Times profiled my change of heart saying that to my former friends I’m considered a “traitorous prince” since my religious right family was once thought of as “evangelical royalty.”  

I’ve just spent the last 7 years writing over 200,000 words in blogs and articles in support of President Obama. My blogs on the Huffington Post alone would add up to a book in support of the President of over 300 pages. Weirdly, I just realized that through all my writing, this has been the first time in my life I’ve personally gone to bat for a black man. It just happens that he’s a president. But my emotional stake in his life is now personal.

So I’ve changed from a white guy who used to read news about some black man getting shot or beaten by cops or stand-your-ground types who assumed that the black man must have “done something,” to a white guy who figures that the black man was probably getting lynched. I’ve changed ideology but I’ve also changed my gut intuitive reactions.

I’ve changed because if this country will lynch a brilliant, civil, kind, humble, compassionate, moderate, articulate, black intellectual we’re lucky enough to have in the White House, we’ll lynch anyone. What chance does an anonymous black man pulled over in a traffic stop have of fair treatment when the former editor of the Harvard Law Reviewis being lynched?

One famous liberal commentator wrote a book on how Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil could disagree and still be friends. Why, he asked on many a TV show promoting his book, couldn’t President Obama be like that? Because, I yelled at the screen, those two men were white Irish Americans and part of a ruling white oligarchy.

Because, I yelled, you might as well ask why Nelson Mandela didn’t talk his jailers in South Africa into seeing reason.

Because, I yelled, the President is black and anytime he’s reached out he’s pulled back a bloody stump.

Because, I yelled, liberal white commentators have been as bothered by a black man in the White House, who’s smarter than they are as much as right wing bigots have been bothered.

Because, I yelled, President Obama has been lied about, attacked, vilified, and disrespected since Day One.

Because, I yelled, this country may have passed laws so blacks can vote and eat in a white man’s world, but in our hearts we’re stuck in a place more like 1952 than 2013.

We’ve been watching a slow motion lynching of a moderate brilliant family man, a father, and faithful loving husband. The Republicans in Congress are so dedicated to lynching the President they’ve been willing to shut down our government and risk the future of our economy.

Evangelical “Christians” have been so stuck on putting a rope around this black man’s neck they have denied their faith and been the backbone of the lying Tea Party who spawned the so-called “birthers” and the rest of the white people driving our news cycle.

Roman Catholic bishops have denied their tradition of helping the poor and been so eager to destroy this president they aligned themselves with white Evangelical bigots and tried to stop health care reform, all because the President wants to give women a fair shake. The bishops even called him “anti-religious” because the president wants insurers to pay for contraception.

This is a slow motion lynching of a black man who is so moderate and centrist that he favored Wall Street enough so that the Left is all over his case. He’s so “radical” and “leftist” and “hates America” so much, and “coddles our enemies” so much, that he killed bin Laden and used drones to kill our enemies. He’s such a “socialist” that he presided over the revival of our economy from the worst recession since the Great Depression, and led us to the present day stock market boom. President Obama is such a “Marxist” that he tried to give insurance – not socialized medicine – to all Americans.

President Obama never answered back to the disgusting southern right wing rubes from the former slave states that have tried to belittle, mock and stymie his presidency shouting “You lie” in a million ways, while actually meaning “You lie, nigger!”

And did the “enlightened” Left have President Obama’s back? No. They carp about his “failure” because a website was slow to get running! The white privileged “progressive” few were too busy blaming him for getting lynched and telling him how to craft policy while a rope was put around his neck again and again and tightened with each filibuster, each lie told on the radio, each self-defeating scorched earth action to stop him from succeeding, even if it meant taking us all down too.

We don’t like to admit who we really are. So we make excuses and blame the victim. I’m ashamed for our country, a country my Marine son fought for in two stupid wars this president has been working to end. And I’m still rooting for the best, smartest and most decent man who has been president in my lifetime. I pray for his health care reform to succeed. I pray for his immigration reform to succeed. I’m amazed he’s gotten anything done, but he has, even while the lynch mob gathers again and again to laugh, lie and spit and claim he’s “failed” while “liberal” commentators nod sagely and talk about his “mistakes” as if President Obama has been playing on a level playing field.

We have a lot to do to heal this country of the damage done by the right wing Obama-haters and the Left wing know-it-all pundits who did not have his back because they don’t have the honesty to admit that we still live in a backward racist swamp of prejudice. Maybe in 50 years our country will be worthy of someone of President Obama’s forbearance again. For now we can just hope that the hatred of the Republican Party for our first black president doesn’t drive us to the brink of ruin again as they strip food from the mouths of the poor, and try to get people to not sign up for health care, just to get even with the black man they swore to destroy from the day that “uppity” black who is smarter than all of them put together took the oath of office.

God bless you Mr. President. I’m praying for you. I am so very sorry. But take heart, in the long reach of history the door you opened will stay open for the millions of Americans of all colors, genders and beliefs who will follow you. They will bless your name. So will history.

Follow Frank Schaeffer on Twitter:

Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book — And God Said, “Billy! exploring the roots of American religious delusion, and offering another way to approach true spirituality, is onKindleiBook and NOOK for $3.99, and in paperback.

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  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On January 13, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    There is hope for America when a white privileged male can speak truth to fellow whites.

    As a brown-skin female immigrant, I’m disillusioned with the lack of progress made by the white-skin members of our species in accepting equal human rights of respect and dignity for the majority brown- and black-skin peoples of Planet Earth.

  • Henry Horton  On January 14, 2014 at 3:08 am

    sorry to disappoint you but your so-called “black President” is just like any of his white predecessors, perhaps worse in that he promised a change! It appears that we are living in different worlds but which wars has he been “working to end”? He was about to start another terrible conflagration in Syria, but for the intervention of the European public, who had no stomach for further wars based on lies and hypocrisy. Let us hope that in another 50 years your country will have an honest broker as we in the civilized world could do with a rest from the horror of your country’s foreign policies. In addition, all those young African Amercian men disproportionately represented in your prisons must be longing for a change in domestic policies that would offer some transformation in their lives from cradle to grave.

    • Thinker  On January 14, 2014 at 5:43 am

      No US President can bring about drastic change. Big Business runs America and gradual change is the most that can be achieved in two terms. Congressmen themselves need to depend on deep corporate pockets for re-election. Many US families are glad that more of their sons/daughters did not have to be sent to Iraq or Afghanistan for starters. The situation in Syria involved fear of radical Islamists getting too much power if the US supplied arms or got involved directly after Assad used chemical weapons. Lessons were learnt from Afghan and the rise of the Taliban after the Soviet withdrawal. Obama’s smart move was to call on the very Congress to take a stand. So let’s not overate any stand by some nebulous European public. Even on Libya Obama was initially very hesitant so let’s not give the impression that he is a warmonger. Needless to say, the President alone cannot change domestic policy. Since most prisoners are guilty of drug offenses, the change has to come from other sources. Colorado is one such example. The US President does not have as much power constitutionally as the British Prime Minister. If you are one of the radical Guyanese Horton brothers, I suspect England is where you are living so you might be in a position to compare.

  • Clyde Duncan  On January 14, 2014 at 4:34 am

    As they say in Guyana and the Caribbean: ‘Now that the Backra-man’s said it, perhaps, those who think otherwise will agree.’ – Frank Schaeffer stated: “We’ve been watching a slow motion lynching of a moderate brilliant family man, a father, and faithful loving husband. The Republicans in Congress are so dedicated to lynching the President they’ve been willing to shut down our government and risk the future of our economy.” – But, this had already been said back in October 2013, here:

    – Here is An Open Letter to Dr. Cornel West, a black academic who is critical of President Obama and his accomplishments in office, written in May 2011, I may add, before the 2012 elections: – and if anyone on this blog believes that President Obama was going to start another war – the song that comes to mind, by The Doobie Brothers: – ‘… What A Fool Believes He Sees; no wise man has the power to reason away’.

  • gigi  On January 14, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    I read this on another forum and I was crafting and editing my comment to post there when Robert Gates book hit the media and stalled my response because I’m now hearing a lot about the president’s involvement concerning Syria, Iraq, and US interference in recent Afghan elections (sounds familiar? US interference in a sovereign country’s elections).

    One thing I do want to say is that MLK is often quoted as a decent and holy (him being a preacher) family man, only to find out years later he not only had a weakness for prostitutes, but he also had a sadistic streak for beating them up too. Luckily for me I’m not white — although my father was I prefer to identify with my mother’s East Indian race. Something I have in common with Jews — so I’m not afflicted by the white man’s guilt.

    Good people don’t generally run for political office. Politicians like lawyers – and most are usually lawyers – are not only extremely narcissistic, they are also psychopaths or sociopaths. And the difference between the two is that sociopaths haven’t killed, yet.

  • Clyde Duncan  On January 14, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    gigi, you come across more like your father than anything like your mother – this nonsense seems to me like a white man’s tantrum!!

    • Thinker  On January 14, 2014 at 10:17 pm

      I once asked Gigi what exactly is his intent on Guyana Online. I have always wondered whether he was a white racist pretending to be Guyanese: e.g The Guyana flag is too African because of its colours, Indians are the true “Aryans”, a false story about a black man shooting a white man in the back and going free, nonsense about Blacks keeping their slave names because they want to be white, the “barbarism of African civil wars” while no word is said about wars elsewhere. The latest, out of the blue (when Obama was the topic of discussion) is the reported violence against prostitutes by MLK. An inordinate interest, it seems, in giving out the worst about all Blacks. I am the only person to systematically challenge him on his deceitful utterings and I have long wondered how many black people actually read Guyanese Online. Whoever you all are, read Gigi with many grains of salt. Lots of charismatic leaders attract women and being made of mere flesh and blood, they willing pursue and receive sexual favours. Ask Clinton or the present French President. Ask some past Popes or a French Cardinal who had a heart attack in the arms of his lover a few decades ago. Ask Mahatma Gandhi about his habit of lying naked in bed next to his niece to test his spiritual powers overcoming lust and had some sort of homoerotic relationship with a German friend. I could go on and on but the truth about.MLK is to be found below. Gigi’s stuff probably originates in the rumour mills of the neo-Nazi groups. Being violent to white prostitutes would have been used by the FBI to discredit JFK completely.

  • Thinker  On January 14, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    “To discredit MLK completely”. But I should have also mentioned the Kennedys. What about the past lovers of Jacques Chirac’s (French President) wife. Black leaders are not the only ones who like sex, Gigi. Ever heard of Profumo???

  • Thinker  On January 15, 2014 at 3:54 am

    Not Chirac, Sarkosy. America would have never stopped talking about Michelle Obama if she was anything like Carla Bruni in her sexual history. The other strange bit Gigi mentions is that he identifies with his mother’s Indian background – something he has in common with Jews. What is that all about? Do Jews have an Indian background? And what white man’s guilt is he talking about?

  • william wallace  On January 16, 2014 at 8:45 am

    97% of americans via 24/7 media brainwashing live in
    the TWILIGHT ZONE / you being but one of the many.

  • bonnieux  On March 26, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    Thank you Mr. Schaeffer for expressing my views so eloquently.
    I feel passionately for our President Obama and marvel at his ability to carry on despite all of the horrible injustice that has been dealt him by the hardcore Right Wing and the Left Wing who are never satisfied until their own specific agendas are 100% attained.

  • walter  On March 27, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Very good article,I would not like to be in the president’s place, some of his worst problems stem from his party members(high ranking) in the pockets of big business.People,with the most to gain,not out on the streets defending health care.God bless Canada.

  • Clyde Duncan  On April 8, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    I was looking for a suitable posting to share this comment and the only one I could come up with is this year old thread. Check this out:

    The “Special Snowflake” Syndrome of American Conservatives by Rachel191 – Daily Kos [in part]: The “religious freedom” debacles in Indiana and Arkansas have illustrated a lot of important points lately. The big one, of course, is that we as a society are moving past the point where it is socially acceptable to harbour animus toward another human being because of their sexual orientation, and try to find refuge in the law for discriminatory impulses that arise from that animus.

    But there’s another important one that should not be overlooked. It’s the religious far-right’s “special snowflake” syndrome. That’s really what the entire conversation is about: conservative Christians thinking that because they believe God sanctions their particular brand of bigotry, they are special snowflakes who shouldn’t be retrained by human decency, much less the pesky laws that the rest of us are obliged to follow. If you hate hard enough, the rules don’t apply to you.

    Because you are a special snowflake, who really, really believes in what you’re doing; your feelings about something make you so special that the law just ceases to apply to special little you.

    All animals are equal, but animals who profess a strongly held belief are more equal.

    Or so conservatives, and their overly broad interpretations of religious freedom, seem to have convinced themselves. And then along comes the Indiana skirmish, and all of a sudden this isn’t a given any more. Along the lines of “your right to swing your fist ends where the other fellow’s nose begins” people, it seems, are not willing to make the same allowance for belief when it impacts people beyond the believer as they are when it concerns just the believer.

    In other words, people still haven’t lost sight of the only sensible view of religious liberty there is: we should all be free to live according to our consciences, up until the moment that those consciences drive us to impose our beliefs on another person. In a world full of competing, often contradictory ideas, this is the only view of religious liberty that is feasible, or could possibly be evenly applied.

    And it’s a far cry from the special snowflake syndrome conservatives seem to be suffering from…because, at the end of the day, none of us are, or should be, special snowflakes in the eyes of the law; and none of us should have a trump card to use at the expense of our neighbours.

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