I am so delighted that a successful African American wrote this in defense of Obama. I think we all know what time it is.It segues nicely into my earlier tweets about how President Obama is treated.
Thank you so much for writing such an eloquent defense of Obama. I'm a black attorney in my mid-20s and I'm very gainfully employed at a big law firm. My parents grew up in poverty, raised themselves to the middle class and then sacrificed so that I could go to elite schools for my entire life with the hopes that I will do better than them one day. Things are good for me mostly, but times are tough for a majority of my friends. My minority friends and I are very happy with the president and take attacks on him very personally. To the first point, we are happy because it seems that minorities, unlike the liberal white students I went to school with, had reasonable expectations. We knew that Obama could only do but so much in the face of the opposition he has to deal with and we are happy with what he has achieved.
And not to be too racial about this, but myself and a lot of my minority friends sense that white liberals' disappointment from Obama comes from a sense of entitlement.
Unlike affluent white liberals, minorities in this country seem to have a better grasp of a key truth in life: you don't always get everything you want. We know, if not firsthand then from the stories of our parents, that America isn't always a nice place, and all you can hope for is incremental change. Unlike a lot of our affluent white liberal friends, we are used to not getting it all and have learned to live with it.
To the second point, the way Obama is attacked hurts us personally because so many of us see ourselves in the president. We are middle-class black and Hispanic kids who did all the right things. Worked hard. Went to elite schools. Got the right jobs. We did what conservatives often accuse blacks of not doing. We pulled ourselves up.
And then what? We are torn down, doubted by our white coworkers and called affirmative action phonies by our white supervisors. We see it in the workplace in a thousand different subtle ways. We are held to a different standard. So when we see the best of us, a man who has independently climbed to the top of the American meritocracy, be attacked in such unreasonable and personal ways, we take it hard. If the editor of the Harvard Law Review can't be accepted as competent in this country, then how can we?
But again, we still 'know hope' because we know how the world works. We know how America is. We hold onto incremental progress and don't fixate on what hasn't been achieved. We've done it for 400 years. We'll keep doing it because this is home and we don't have any other choice.