I have a nagging fear that President Barack Obama will not be re-elected.
It's not a fair fight. He's got two opponents in this presidential campaign. Of course, he's locked in a contest with former Massachusetts Gov. Willard Mitt Romney. But there's another foe stealing support from the incumbent at every turn, in every state, in every county.
I'm not talking about Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate. She doesn't stand a snowball's chance in Hades, and will likely not even win a single precinct anywhere in the entire nation. Her campaign is a non-starter.
No, I'm not talking about the Green Party, or the Justice Party, or the Libertarians. No.
The president's opponent which is even more formidable than all the candidates with their names on the ballot is race hatred. White people just can't fathom the notion of a successful, intelligent, articulate Black man leading this country. Not for four more years. Sorry.
Not all White people are so blinded by race hatred and xenophobia that they will vote against their own best interests; just to knock a Black man down a peg or two. But in this 2012 contest, most of them are going to vote for Gov. Romney despite his having run one of the most error-ridden, untruthful, etch-a-sketch campaigns ever to come down the pike. And they are going to vote for him because he's The White Guy.
Conventional wisdom would suggest that President Obama should win re-election hands down. Love him or hate him, he has been moderately successful at every turn, domestically and internationally.
And his plutocratic opponents who love the rich and who demonize 47 percent of the population as freeloaders who don't want to take personal responsibility for their own lives, preferring to subsist on the government dole, those people demonize his signature achievement – the Affordable Care Act, health reform – because they really don't think Black people deserve any benefits from this society. They are willing to punish their own needy, just to make sure Black people don't get any government benefits because we don't deserve them.
Barack Obama incurs their wrath, not because he's one of the wretched of the earth, but because he is just the opposite, and far too many White people just can't stand the idea of a dignified Black man, especially not one who's in charge of everything.
Abolitionist Frederick Douglass told us about this, 129 years ago. In a speech to the National Convention of Colored Men on Sept. 25, 1883 he spelled out President Obama's dilemma, to a "T."
"Though the colored man is no longer subject to barter and sale, he is surrounded by an adverse settlement which fetters all his movements," Douglass said. "In his downward course he meets with no resistance, but his course upward is resented and resisted at every step of his progress. If he comes in ignorance, rags and wretchedness he conforms to the popular belief of his character, and in that character he is welcome; but if he shall come as a gentleman, a scholar and a statesman, he is hailed as a contradiction to the national faith concerning his race, and his coming is resented as impudence. In one case he may provoke contempt and derision, but in the other he is an affront to pride and provokes malice."
President Obama is all of what White people hate most about Black folks – "a gentleman, a scholar and a statesman." Never mind all of their pronouncements about respecting the content of a person's character rather than the color of that person's skin.
Why else would White people in Tulsa, Okla., burn Greenwood, the most successful Black enclave anywhere in the United States to the ground on May 31 and June 1, 1921, if what Douglass said 38 years before that wasn't true? Greenwood wasn't a slum. It was known as the "Black Wall Street."
Greenwood in Tulsa 89 years ago is like Obama in the White House today. Instead of Americans boasting about the remarkable system that permitted the president to succeed, they have conspired to make the Black president fail. He has been – in Frederick Douglass's words – an "affront to pride" and he has provoked their malice.
According to The Washington Post and the Associated Press, this election is shaping up to be more polarized along racial lines than any presidential contest since 1988, with President Obama lagging behind Republican Mitt Romney among White voters by 21 percentage points, a steep drop in support from four years ago.
Face it Black people. It's not the president's fault. White folks just aren't into us.