Kennington Avenue

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Not given honor by his own country.

I heard this when I was listening to a local African-American radio station about President Obama being denied entrance to play golf on Labor Day. I was coming in on the tale end of this talk show so I wasn’t sure if I really heard what I heard. When I got home I decided to google the story and sure enough I did not mishear. The president was  denied not by one but three country clubs in some place in New York State. Their defense-they did not want to inconvenience their wealthy guests. This is the President of the United States of America, the leader of one of the most powerful Nations in the world and these country clubs are not willing to make exceptions. The story begs the obvious question from my perspective. But there would be those at each of those places who would argue that race was not a factor. They will make their case over at Fox and they will find some support there. I simply ask had the person sitting in the oval office been any body else whose skin was not Black I guarantee that they would have gotten a totally different response. In fact those country clubs would have been falling all over themselves to find a way to make room on that Labor Day to accommodate the leader of the free world. Here is the larger issue for me as I recall all of the slights, the insults, the disrespect that have been shown this President since he has been in office beginning with congressman Pete Wilson calling the President a liar during a State of the Union Address. Each of these instances underscore the sheer hatred in some quarters of White America toward this President and if this is how they feel about the President what must their feelings and attitudes be toward everyday African-American citizens. I wonder what must have been going through the President’s mind on that Labor Day, I wonder what was the conversation like in the privacy of their space in the White House between he and Michelle, I wonder what must his prayer to God was like on that night as I do each and every time he has to deal with those kind of insults that have nothing to do with any policy difference but based solely on his race, on the color of his skin.


Posted in Uncategorized

No Comments

About the author

Ken Wheeler is a retired pastor. He most recently served at Cross Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in Milwaukee, where he is now the director of the Bread of Healing Empowerment Ministry. For 18 years he was as an assistant to the bishop of the Greater Milwaukee Synod of the ELCA.