Tim Hamilton

1 samuel 8 ; When the people of Israel said, “Give us a king to lead us,” Samuel went to the lord and prayed. The Lord told him: “Listen to what the people are saying to you; it is not you they rejected, they have rejected me as their king.  As they have done when I brought them up from out of Egypt ,forsaking me and serving other gods.

The people refused to listen to Samuel. saying “No, We want a king over us !Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us to fight our battles.”When Samuel heard what the people wanted he repeated it before the Lord. The Lord said , “Listen to them and give them a king.”

The ascendency of Barack Obama parallels  the story of King Saul.  As with the Israelites, African Americans were a despised race that were enslaved and persecuted.  However, after years of mistreatment their fortunes began to improve in the 1960s, thanks to civil rights legislation. By the 1990s  African Americans were not only moving into the middle class but also advancing politically. Cities such as New York, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles had elected black mayors, and blacks were being duly represented in Congress. Dreams of a black president would have to wait for awhile, though when Bill Clinton won in 1992, he was so beloved, many only-half jokingly called him our first black president. He didn’t patronize minorities but felt comfortable around them.  To many African Americans there was no better friend.

So when Hillary Clinton decided to run in 2007, it was unthinkable that the black community wouldn’t support her.  However, the press started romancing someone new. As with King Saul Barack Obama was an impressive figure,handsome, charismatic, and articulate.  Although he never said anything of substance, his voice was magical. While his  words of hope and change left the press starstruck, what kept them in a trance was his complexion.

Born to a white mother and a father whose lineage came from african royalty, the love affair with Barack Obama began. No one fell harder in love with Barack Obama than the black community.  There were naysayers such as Tavis Smiley and Cornel West that claimed many wanted a king for the wrong reasons when a queen was more qualified for the throne. However, civil rights leaders considered them crackpots. They convinced many that if a king looked like them he was going to prefer them over others . So many considered color more  important than competency.

I was one of the few that didn’t bite into the Obama apple. I endured threats and hate mail for being critical of him. Yet when he won the nomination, I campaigned for him. Although, I was cynical about America electing a black president, when he won I too was elated.

In his victory I believed anything was possible, because I never envisioned in my lifetime, America would elect a black president. But I was also happy for white people because they no longer had to carry the burden of past .

As far as I was concerned it was an out-of-Egypt moment, a passing of the torch, no more blaming or excuses, it was time to give white people a full pardon of past wrongs, it was the dawning of a post-racial society.

 

What a difference six years make . Today, you hear grumblings in barber shops, cafes and on Facebook about “what Obama hasn’t done for us.” Sometimes my heart aches for the people I love so dearly. I see them as being in the clutches of black pastors, politicians and other civil rights hucksters. These leaders managed to convince their constituents that the only reason they  should have voted for Obama was because he was going to give them preferential treatment.

Looking back, did the modern day Israelites want a king for the wrong reasons?