Obama Defames 'Millions of Americans' as Racists in New Memoir
"For millions of Americans spooked by a Black man in the White House," writes Barack Obama in his new memoir, A Promised Land, "Donald Trump promised an elixir for their racial anxiety."
Rather than speak for the millions of Americans whom Barack Obama casually defamed, I am going to speak for the 130,000 or so residents of Chautauqua County, New York, a semi-rural "rust belt" county tucked away in the far southwest corner of western New York.
I know the county well. I spend a good chunk of each year there and set my first published novel, 2006: A Chautauqua Rising, therein. (Word to would-be writers: do not use names in book titles that no one can pronounce: sha-TAWK-wa).
In 2008, Mr. Obama, you won Chautauqua County. In that the county is only 2 percent black, it was the white people of Chautauqua who elected you. In that many residents have not seen a black American since the Buffalo Bills moved their training camp, "racial anxiety" is preposterously low on the list of local motivators. You appeared just as black in 2008 as you did in 2012, and you scared no one.
High on the list of real anxieties was the economy. The once prosperous county had been hemorrhaging jobs and people since 1970. In 2008, with the economy collapsing, you promised "hope and change." People ignored the details and put their trust in you.
In October 2012, after four years of left-leaning economic amateurism, the national unemployment rate stood at 7.9 percent, the worst "recovery" in our history. It was higher still in Chautauqua County.
Months before the election, with Congress unable to pass a law giving relief to the so-called "DREAMers" — young people brought to this country illegally by their parents — you unilaterally decided to give as many as a million people relief from deportation proceedings, as well as the right to apply for work authorization.
You can imagine how well that decision set with the unemployed and under-employed in Chautauqua. They did not have to wait until you said mockingly of Trump's ambition to bring back manufacturing jobs — "What magic wand do you have?" — to know that, for them, "hope" was an illusion and "change" was for the worse.
In 2012, Mitt Romney beat you by 8 percent in Chautauqua County. Ask yourself, Mr. Obama, did Romney prevail because of the nation's dismal economic performance or because in 2011, Donald Trump "triggered a deep-seated panic" by "pedaling assertions that I had not been born in the United States and was thus an illegitimate president"?
As you may recall, Mr. Obama, early in your career you were the one who claimed in a promotional brochure put out by literary agency Acton & Dystel that you were "born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii."
For the record, Donald Trump never claimed you were born in Kenya. To be sure, he questioned the legitimacy of your birth certificate and speculated on why you took such pains to keep it under wraps, but he never went beyond speculation. His curiosity had nothing to do with race and everything to do with the fictional nativity story you had been pedaling since your emergence on the national stage. For details of your real history, let me recommend my own book, Unmasking Obama.
Many Chautauquans voted for you in the hope that race relations would improve on your watch. As you know, they collapsed. In January 2009, 79 percent of whites and 64 percent of blacks held a favorable view of race relations in America. By July 2013, those figures had fallen to 52 percent among whites and 38 percent among blacks. This had nothing to do with Donald Trump and much to do with your Tourette's-like instinct to cite "race" as the cause of your own and your administration's failings. If anything, your tics are becoming more obvious.
In 2016, the county that you carried in 2008 gave Trump a 20-plus margin over the very white Hillary Clinton. Did her sex "panic" Chautauquans more than your race? Or did they catch on that coastal elites had nothing but contempt for the "deplorables" in working-class America, what with the way they bitterly cling to their guns and religion?
In 2020, Chautauquans again gave Trump a 20-point margin (More than 30 percent before the mail-ins were counted). In fact, the whole southern tier of New York, like the northern tier of Pennsylvania, had turned deep red. This had absolutely nothing to do with you or with race, Mr. Obama, but everything to do with the fact that your party has written these "fragile" white people off.
Barack Obama owes the people of Chautauqua County an apology. No, he owes the people of America an apology. And he sure as hell owes Donald Trump an apology. Thank God he didn't use the word "spooked."