Last year on September 6, 2012 I attended a Democratic National Convention watch party. While the president was giving his re-election speech on TV within a host's living room, a senior citizen woman looked up at me to whisper asking a question. Barely at five feet, Kala Rehm, a petite white woman then about 74 who had always been crazy about Obama since volunteering for him in the fall of 2007 had asked me, "Why do some people hate him?"
The quick easy answer would be President Barack Obama's race. It's there. No getting around it. But some may not call it outright hate for him to not be identified with hate-mongers, but hate for his policies. But it is there, and it's deep and visceral while sometimes cloaked behind the outward respectability of that person who may wear a suit, man or woman. And the reasons are from some truly believing he's not American-born to believing he's a socialist dictator so on so forth.
But that night I gave none of the obvious answers to Kala, for besides she knew all of that. Still, what I actually ended up telling her was that I do believe envy is also behind it all, as the living room was full of people watching President Obama on TV giving his speech just after former President Bill Clinton concluded his rousing speech that night.
I do believe some hate President Obama also out of envy. Why? Because his rise to power was undeniably meteoric! Because we in America like fast in this country, fast everything. And for those who have tried, some more than once, to see him accomplish it on his first shot to become the most powerful person in the country and in the world, it galls them.
The Dec 2012/Jan 2013 issue of VIBE has the actors Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, and Leonardo DiCaprio shown on the cover, all starring in the film Django Unchained. And within the cover story article on page 74 Jamie Foxx said that when then-Senator Barack Obama became president-elect in 2008, the newspaper in his hometown did not even print the news on the front page. So yes part of the hate is about race. But I also think it's about envy.
So having answered Kala on that night, that was then. Obama won it and time has passed. Since then I've come to another reason why some hate Obama. And to give that reason since I do like science fiction films as long as they were done good, not caring if the films are classic as well as contemporary, let's all step into a time machine to go back in time.
Now we could go back in time to be in the operating room in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961 to watch Barack Obama Jr.'s birth from his mother, the former Miss Stanley Ann Dunham. But this is not to answer the birthers. We will travel back in time in the month of August, but the date will be the 16th and the year 2008. For I now also believe another reason why some hate Obama is because of how he thinks.
By now the question may be asked, what the hell do you mean by that? Don't worry and bust a gut. It's coming. For on August 16, 2008 we will watch the Presidential Candidates Forum that was televised live from the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. And it was truly a civil forum, not a debate, hosted by revered Pastor Rick Warren for the presidential candidates then Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain.
Before continuing I want to make it clear I'm not implying the Saddleback Church audience all hate Obama. There could be some. But I wish to give the audience the benefit of the doubt. For I'm only interested in the televised audience, at home, or wherever else they may be.
Both Obama and McCain were not to share the stage to answer the same questions. A coin was flipped and Obama went first while McCain was elsewhere. Of all the questions asked by Rick Warren, one made it very clear to me on how each man thinks. And that question was what to do about evil.
Warren: Does evil exist? And if it does, do we ignore it? Do we negotiate with it? Do we contain it? Do we defeat it?
Obama: Evil does exist. I mean, I think we see evil all the time. We see evil in Darfur. We see evil, sadly, on the streets of our cities. We see evil in parents who viciously abuse their children. I think it has to be confronted.
Obama then goes on to say evil has to be confronted squarely, and although we may not be able to banish evil from the world, the rest is God's task. Humility has to be there on our part, for we just may unintentionally cause evil in trying to confront it, in the name of good. After Obama exited the stage, then came McCain who after several questions answered the same about evil.
McCain: Defeat it. A couple of points. One, if I'm president of the United States, my friends, if I have to follow him to the gates of hell, I will get bin Laden and bring him to justice. I will do that. And I know how to do that. I will get that done.
McCain then goes on to say no one should take thousands of innocent American lives, talks about the challenge of confronting al Qaeda, and ended by honoring the nations young men and women currently serving in uniform.
Both gave good answers by their different life script. Obama was a community organizer in Chicago's South Side before going to Harvard Law School. McCain went to the U.S. Naval Academy, and heroically endured nearly six years as a POW in Vietnam before his release. During Obama's answer, the audience listened quietly. Yet during McCain's answer, he was applauded as I had counted five times. Don't believe me? It's all on YouTube. The transcript is also very easy to get on the net.
I saw Obama's answer as sincere yet thoughtful, whereas McCain's answer as sincere yet blunt. Keep in mind Obama never said he would do nothing, for he did say evil has to be confronted, it's just that McCain's answer was all about the doing. Obama mentioned evil exists both foreign (Darfur genocide) and in our nation, yet McCain's answer was all about the foreign.
America likes action, in our TV shows and action films. And professorial answers only have their place in lecture auditoriums in our colleges. And yet three years later on May 2, 2011, who ended up risking his presidency by being compared to former President Jimmy Carter, by giving the kill order to the Navy SEALS to kill bin Laden? And before that on August 1, 2007 during a campaign stop who was it that said, "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf (Pakistan) won't act, we will."
Taglines help sell Hollywood films. The famous tagline, A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far, Far Away helped launch Star Wars. One of the taglines from the sci-fi film Outland starring Sean Connery ( a remake is in the works) says, Even in space, the ultimate enemy is man. If we were to have a mining colony on Io (eye-oh), the innermost moon of Jupiter as in the sci-fi film, evil can very well follow. If we were to build vast habitable cities beneath all the seven seas, evil can very well follow. And this was the kind of answer Obama gave at the Saddleback Church.
Yet some among the televised audience gave harsh responses to his answer about evil on the net the next day on August 17, 2008. By their responses one would have thought they thought Obama had committed treason. So yes I do believe some hate Obama not only out of envy, but also of how he thinks. So, do you hate President Barack Obama born from the state of Hawaii?