Struggles of the first black president

Published 10:01 pm Tuesday, February 20, 2018

By Kenya Smith

Fox News correspondent Laura Ingram recently slammed NBA MVP LeBron James for criticizing Donald Trump and his administration. Ingram suggested that James should just “shut up and dribble” and not discuss politics. Since Trump became president, his supporters are constantly saying “Get over it!” “Let’s just come together!” “Pray for the president” and many other phrases.

Since the majority of them claim to support “Christian values,” they even quote Romans 13:1-6 to prove their point. However, it seems like the same people who have been suggesting that we should respect Trump ignored their own advice when Barack Obama was in office. For Black History Month, let’s examine the struggles of being the first African-American president of the United States.

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Last year, comedian Kathy Griffin made a controversial video of herself holding a fake head of Donald Trump covered in blood. In response to Griffin’s controversial video, Lara Trump stated on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News, “Had this happened to President Obama, I could only imagine what people would be saying right now.” What she failed to realize is the fact that similar incidents did happen to Obama, but they were rarely mentioned on the news.

During Obama’s eight years in office, various videos of people hanging effigies of him on nooses and burning them popped up on the internet. Known for burning Qur’ans, Dove World Outreach Center leader and self-proclaimed pastor Terry Jones burned an effigy of Obama in 2012. Someone even made a racist mockery of Shepard Fairey’s famous Barack Obama “Hope” poster by changing the word to “Rope” with an image of our 44th president hanging by a noose. To many Americans throughout history, nooses have always represented racial oppression in this nation.

The same group who claim to support Christian values never quoted Romans 13:1-6 nor suggested prayers when Obama was in office. Even Rush Limbaugh said that he hoped President Obama would fail and later saying that it was misinterpreted. Various accusations were made that questioned Obama’s faith, his citizenship, his ethnicity (saying that he wasn’t even black), his integrity,= and even what he puts on his burger. This same group of people even attacked his family by calling them “monkeys” and “apes” and calling first lady Michelle Obama “Obama’s baby mama” and an “angry black woman.”

For those who decided to pray, love and respect President Obama now and when he was in office, power to you. Some of us did not agree on every issue that Obama addressed, but we believed that he did his best to make sure that America would change for the better despite hostility. Obama never went on a tirade on Twitter or kicked his opponents out of a rally because they disagreed with him. He respected all people, even though he knew some would disrespect him. Some might say that’s just playing the game of a “traditional politician,” but I say that’s just being a person with dignity and self-control.

Kenya Smith is a Suffolk native and graduate of Regent University. Email her at s.kenya43@yahoo.com.