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The Slow-Motion Lynching Of President Barack Obama

| January 10, 2014

President Obama in his office on Jan. 7. (White House)

President Obama in his office on Jan. 7. (White House)

by Frank Schaeffer

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 Review is 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 are 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.

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 on Amazon, Kindle, iBook and NOOK for $3.99, and in paperback. This column is reprinted with the author’s permission.

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56 Responses for “The Slow-Motion Lynching Of President Barack Obama”

  1. Sandra Reynolds says:


  2. Steve Wolfe says:

    Did this guy leave anything out? Is there one more slander of white people left? Any more digs he could take at people who happen to disagree with this president? Any mud left to sling? Any worn-out clichés left to be borrowed from the most rabid left-wing accusers? Any points left to score with his fellow Obama apologists?

    It seems as if he is trying to make everyone duck from the shame he thinks he can heap on everyone else. I assume no shame for daring to disagree with this president, and my disagreements have nothing to do with hatred. I’d like to have a beer with him, too. Hillary Clinton made it clear (in a hysterical voice) that, “I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration somehow you’re not patriotic. We should stand up and say we are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration.” If this nation was still mired in racism, Obama would never have won two terms. As for “hate,” I think the author mismanaged his little pills.

    The two-party system is the only thing left that offers a chance of continuing to make course corrections. Neither side can claim to own every issue, nor be guilty of every mistake. But the use of such vituperation by this author is a dishonest use of the space in public discourse. I think it’s even a little over the top for Pierre.

  3. Anita says:

    Thank you for your honesty, Mr. Schaeffer. You’re one in a million!

  4. Howard Duley says:

    He is a pedantic,pontificating,pretenious socialist, a billigerant looser, a worthless pile of cow manure,figuratively speaking.

    • A.S.F. says:

      @Howard Duley says–However, in his self- admitted (and repented) right-wing past, you would have called him “a true American Patriot”, a la Rush Limbaugh.

  5. Kendall says:

    Wow! Just wow! The best commentary I’ve seen about the state of this country.

  6. Diana L says:

    This gives me pause.

  7. Paul Anderson says:

    The fact that obamma is a greasy Chitcago thug who treats the country as something to rape and plunder appears not to matter to the progressive liberals.
    obamma has proved repeatedly to be a totally dishonest, unethical low life schemer. He is a buffoon and flim flam artist who disgraces the presidency and the country.
    obamma is going down in history as the most feeble, weak president in U.S. presidency. He has proven to be a huge MISTAKE and ERROR and is totally UNQUALIFIED to be president. That is a fact.

  8. Barb W says:

    “Bravo” from me, too. Very well done.

  9. Genie says:

    This is a man who blatantly divides Americans and refuses to work with Republicans in Congress. HE did this, not the country.

    I am praying for him, too, but hold no illusions as to him being one of our greatest Presidents. He is the worst.

    • A.S.F. says:

      @Genie says–Obama refuses to work with Republicans in Congress–You mean, the ones who have refused, time and again in a crisis (usually created by their own obstructionist behavior), to even meet with him, when he extends an invitation to do so? It takes a lot of gall to refuse to an invitation to talk with your commander in chief! I would say that attitude is not only divisive, but disrespectful to the office of the Presidency in general, as well as Obama in particular. It’s usually the child that misbehaves the most who wails the loudest and points their finger at others to deflect blame. Republicans in this Congress, so far, have been a prime illustration of this unfortunate truth. I am praying for them too.

  10. Dom Saint-loth says:

    Wow. I hope you are wrong, but I had the feeling this would happen from first day of his presidency. May God bless the United States of America.

  11. Jenny Hack says:

    If this is the first time you have stood up for a black individual you should question your own rational. I am also a white Christian. I try not to see color but character. I am tired of individuals that judge others. What gives you the right to say people dislike the president just because of his color. Many people I know voted for him because of his color. I dont care what color a canidate is as long as the person is qualified. I know I am not a well known author but I educate myself on political issues. I inform myself on both sides of an issue. The President maybe a nice person but he was not qualified to lead this country. To me the race card is very demeaning to black people. There are plenty of qualified canidates regardless of color.

  12. Jim says:

    [Comment disallowed. Gratuitously insulting of the author.–FL]

  13. Bethechange says:

    Bravo. Amen.

  14. Linda says:

    Thank you. I thought I was alone in feeling this way, and even used the word “lynching” in a personal communication to the President. Like you, I am very sorry, Mr. President. I am very sad.
    And I must add, can you imagine the glorification that would have occurred if any of the white boys club had gotten Bin Laden? It would have been over the top. It makes me sick at heart.

  15. m&m says:

    The start of this article says the black man was beat up because MUST have done something. Well this is not the case with Obama. He’s done NOTHING but run the mouth.. All show and NO go..

  16. Blotter says:

    [Commend disallowed. Offensive.–FL]

  17. Karen Duffy says:

    Fantastic article.

  18. Sgt Steele says:

    [Commend disallowed. Offensive.–FL]

  19. karma says:

    Race has nothing to with this President, Its his poor leadership and governing. The race card is used to give him a pass. Jimmy Carter was equally as bad an yet you claim he had white privilege.

  20. tom jack says:

    This love fest of an article is full of more crap than the Christmas goose. A typical left wing attack against any and all that might have legitimate concerns in a President that never leads from the front but rather from behind, a situation commonly referred to as following. What a piece of drivel.

  21. Bill says:

    a brilliant,(ok maybe) civil, (only on camera)kind,(?) humble( thats a laugh), compassionate(with other peoples money), moderate(another laugher), articulate(yup but mostly when on teleprompter), black (yea so) WOW how the extream far far left view this guy. any who do not agree with 0bama, his far left agenda and the rest of the extream left are racists to them.

    Linda: could not get much more over the top then how he and his administration used our brave military when ?0bama? got UBL.

    • Jim R. says:

      Bill——- Can you fill me in on this far-left agenda of Obama . Please don’t tell me the ACA is left wing , turning the healthcare system over to the Insurance companies and forcing people to buy cheap and lousy insurance plans is not left wing it’s a gift to the insurance companies.
      Is there anything he has done that would indicate he is far left other than some fancy speechifying , he couldn’t even take a firm stand on extending unemployment benefits. Left wing my ass, He’s just like the Clintons, liberal talk but right wing actions.

  22. Steve says:

    I used to be aggravated by the constant barrage of criticism directed at President Obama. Then I realized this was coming from the opposition party, and it is their job to criticize the President. I also noted that the majority of voting Americans supported the President and voted him into office – twice. I think this puts the rampant criticism into a proper perspective

  23. Lynn says:

    Bravo. It’s almost as if people, when evaluating this presidency, have next to no recollection of where this country was in late 2008. By any objective measure, he’s done more than could have been expected. To have done so with the non-stop noise in the foreground, pretty remarkable. The Republic isn’t crumbling, despite the noise. The divide is disturbing, to be sure.

  24. confidential says:

    Thank you for the courage of your words that describe the reality endured day in and day out by our honest compassionate, family man, head of State, peace embracer, highly educated and knowledgeable American President Mr. Barack Hussein Obama. Thank You Mr. President and Commander in Chief for you relentless embrace of peace in the world and safety for us all at home! Kudos to the author Frank Schaeffer! You have all our support!

  25. Cheryl H says:

    Yes it is the opposition party’s job to criticize the President. But the personal and rabid nature of the criticism seems far beyond what is useful. And the automatic no to even considering anything the President proposes (even if originally the opposition ‘s idea) is just crazy.

  26. mrfrd says:

    “brilliant, civil, kind, humble, compassionate, moderate, articulate, black intellectual we’re lucky enough to have in the White House.”…is there someone else in the white house we haven’t seen yet?

  27. barbie says:

    It’s not just about race anymore. We demonize poor people and it is sick. Other than that, great article! Too true. Sadly, the pushback you’ll get will be from people who “demonize” so easily it’s like breathing to them.

  28. Jim R. says:

    Obama is a tool of wall street, the MIC and all corporate interests. The harm he has done and will continue to do outweighs any small attempts he makes to benefit the 99%. His efforts to that end are pitiful compared to the damage he does in his support of trade deals like the coming disaster of the TPP and the keystone pipeline just to mention two. Drones and now our presence in Africa only point out his willingness to attack small countries and kill their citizens to further the aims of the Empire

    • A.S.F. says:

      @Jim R. says–Because we all know that Republicans are NEVER tools of all street and corporate interests and none of their focus is ever centered on benefitting the 99%…So, who, exactly would YOU suggest for President. Someone like Mitt Romney?

      • Jim R. says:

        It’s the fantasy that there is big difference between the D % R that keeps the scam going.
        They vote as one on Trade deals that cause outsourcing of good jobs, and give other countries a pass on labor and environmental laws .
        They vote as one when it comes to giving Corporations and the rich tax brakes.
        They vote as one to go after any programs the benefit the poor and unemployed, while ignoring the fact that major corporation making Billions pay no taxes.
        They vote as one to continue the Empires meddling in other countries, which includes killing innocent civilians,( called Collateral Damage)
        So is continuing to vote for a R or D going to change anything?
        We have a one party system and it’s time to send a message that we will no longer tolerate it. Vote Third party or don’t vote at all.

  29. confidential says:

    So many bigots post here, unbelievable !!

    • dlf says:

      I see, if we don’t back this do nothing figure head we are tagged a bigots. This is the line most Obama supporters use when they cannot come up with a factual responds to someone pointing out his short comings. Which, I may add are many. Please fill me in on what Obama has done right. He has been in office five years, give me five things he has done, jobs, tax reduction, Obama Care, support our troops, just give me five and I will stop being a bigot.

      • A.S.F. says:

        @diff says–The economy has thankfully recovered from the nose dive it took under a Republican run administration and the stock market has improved. Jobs number are beginning to move up, albeit more slowly than we would like. We are at least trying to tackle the reform of a broken system of healthcare in America that has left thousands of citizens dying, sick, uninsured and bankrupted. Our troops have been pulled out of dangerous combat positions overseas that they never should have been put in in the first place. Several of the world’s leading terrorist figures are either dead or on the run and their general operations crippled although not, unfortunately totally decimated–Obama never claimed to be God (although Bush-Cheney made an absurd claim to have defeated terrorism when we invaded Iraq, which, as it turns out, only opened up a even bigger can of worms.) Benghazi was a very regrettable tragedy and we must do better but we have foiled many terror plots on our own soil that might have been unspeakable disasters. So, there you are! Stay good to your word and stop being a bigot.

  30. American girl says:

    I am sorry not for America but for this author and the racism he continues to push. While denouncing economic facts he refers to Obama more than 14 times as a black man in the article, ironically showing his knowledge of the President is primarily skin-deep. Hes probably got a closet full of “First Black President” t-shirts too. I wish he (and other voting Americans) could respond to the President without the noting of skin color (“educated black man” the author references)…. insuinating what? That other blacks are not???? If Obama’s race is such a grand issue why no mention of the fact of his white mother (factually making Obama bi-racial)??? Sadly those who claim loudest NOT tobe racist are the most bigoted of them all.

  31. ohmy says:

    ” Kind, civil, intellectual, etc., etc..

    You forgot ” liar”.

  32. Marshall Frank says:

    Any second rate investigator who has had his eye on the life and presidency of Barack Obama can easily see he is a stealth advocate for the Muslim Brotherhood. Every middle-east decision he has made has been to the advantage of the notorious Brotherhood which is deemd a terror organization throughout the secular populations of middle-east and Asian countries. Add that to “spread -the-wealth” focus for the future of America, his politics behind closed doors speaks for itself. Considering the despicable Benghazi fiasco and the administration mendacity that followed, it would appear this president deserves more than a political lynching, and that includes boot-lickers like Hillary Clinton who did nothing following that tragedy other than build her mileage around the world.

  33. Lefty Wilbury says:

    I think that the anti-Obama crowd has been sipping the “milk of amnesia.”
    Especially with regard to the previous president who was a hand puppet for
    the right and literally couldn’t string two cohesive sentences together.

    Obama seems professorial in comparison.
    Heck, an armadillo seems professorial in comparison.

    I do stop short of praising our current president though.
    What angers me and puzzles me is the dearth of good candidates at election time.
    (from all parties….)

  34. HistoryTeacher says:

    Bravo! Amen to everything you have said, sir.

  35. Martin Noyes says:

    [Comment disallowed. Insulting.–FL]

  36. farmer says:

    The pres.should have an uptick in our economy with a 2, 5,000,000.000.000 payout in deficit spending so far

  37. Pastor Sims Jones says:

    BRAVO!! ,Fantastic article. Keep up the good work.

  38. Diana L says:

    Yes, deficit from 2 unpaid for stupid wars.

  39. Red says:

    I truly believe that some of you WANT this Country to be a Socialist Country!! You act oblivious to what the current president is trying to achieve. He is trying to eradicate the Republican party and Let me say it loud and clear…HE WANTS US DEPENDENT ON THE GOVERNMENT…IT IS CALLED SOCIALISM PEOPLE!!! Please look up Socialism and understand what it is and PLEASE…. wake up before it is too late!!

    • A.S.F. says:

      @Red says–Obama does not need to do much to eradicate the Republican Party. They are doing a fine job of that on their own. When Conservatives use terms like “Socialism”, we all know that it is code for–THE BLACK GUY IS TRYING TO TAKE AWAY ALL MY STUFF AND GIVE IT ALL TO THE WELFARE QUEENS WHO INHABIT MY IMAGINATION…SAVE ME, RUSH LIMBAUGH! Thankfully. a majority of Americans know better than to give creedence to that cr*p (maybe not the deep south which is still waiting for Robert E. Lee to come back from the dead so Dixieland can rise again, like a wrathful Jesus.)

  40. Troll says:

    Here we go again – playing the race card to deflect criticism, blame, incompetence, and to downplay the highly suspect and questionable motives for choosing him as presidential material, in the first place. Obama was deliberately chosen to provide much needed distraction from the dire mess the country was and still is in. And as long as the people can point to him as representative and head of all that is wrong with this country, that’s all that matters for the people in control.

    I guarantee the next president will be a white man who will run on a promise to clean up all of Obama’s mess. And the grateful public will be so relieved they will willingly allow him the rights to do everything he asks of them. Thank goodness it won’t be Christie! He may have republican by his name but he is definitely democrat in actions and policies. Rubio is a possibility if the powers that be decide more distraction is needed.

    • I/M/O says:

      “I guarantee the next president will be a white man…”

      Can I bet on that? Will you give me odds?

      I/M/O the name of the next President is not even an everyday name yet. I/M/O 2016 will be year of the “Dark Horse” candidate.

      Clinton cannot win without the Millennial Generation vote and they are fed up with Washington. Whoever organizes the Millennial Generation will be your next President.

      Most of all “We their Baby Boomer parents had very well better back their choice whoever they choose.

  41. confidential says:

    Stop liying about, blaming, undermining, finger pointing, and boycotting POTUS and look at who really created the current mess:
    Also stop cutting the service employees that provide us the services that our taxes pay for and stop cutting their pensions and blaming their unions while still funding the wars initiated by Bush and that we can no longer afford. Our income tax generates 44%, the payroll tax generates 32% and the “corporate” tax only generates 9% of the Federal Budget Revenue. We pay taxes to receive services that are currently curtailed to afford the military budget never ending wars.

  42. I/M/O says:

    “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.”

    Actually I counted up the words you wrote (including the “A’s” and “The’s) and it totaled 197,212 words.
    (Pun Intended)

    Yes I know much like you I have to much time on my hands and need some friends.

    Now as to your use of the word “Lynch” I will presume you mean to be hanged without due process of law, the killing people by extrajudicial mob action. If I am correct you need to do some research as to the breakdown of the victims of lynching in this nation as to ethnicity of the victim. You will discover that the statistical breakdown of recorded lynchings as to the victims is as follows:

    1. Caucasian
    2. Hispanics
    3. African Americans
    4. Asian
    Apparently research for your writing is not one of your stronger traits.

    Of course you are welcome to start your research as of 1882 when “Lynching Statistics” became actual recorded records but you would be very remiss if you did that.

  43. I/M/O says:

    Frank you are old and boring. You are also a rigid conservative. Well sorry nobody can give you back your 1960’s post Vietnam War America. Our world is long gone.

    We the Baby Boomers have nothing to be ashamed of. We built upon the foundation the WWII generation left us especially in the area of social reform. Take a good look around as to what is occurring in this nation as to social reform and civil rights. Take a longer look at today’s job market. Frank you don’t need to write you need to read.

    But it is time for us to let go. It is time for those 1960’s career politicians to let go. Our generation reached for the moon. We got there. Time to get out of the Millennial Generation’s way and let them Reach for the Stars.

    I won’t Judge President Obama. But one thing about him is he was young when he entered office. May the next President and Congress be even younger.

    Stop being so despondent and depressed. Stop looking for a “Leader” or a “Savior.” We had our shot Frank. In many areas we failed but overall we did very well for this nation. Excuse the screaming Frank “BUT OUR TURN IS LONG OVER” We are no longer the way we are now in the way.

    I have seen the future and it belongs to the Millennial Generation. Time we unleashed them.

    Otherwise your tirade was totally boring.

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