Kennington Avenue

Monday, July 14th, 2014

President Obama labeled the worst of modern Presidents.

I don’t put a lot of stock in polls generally but aside from this latest poll. I want someone to tell me whose polls numbers wouldn’t be low given the barrage of negative press especially coming from White conservative media from the very moment that he stepped into the role of President. The first African-American President in the history of the Nation mind you and for some White Americans it was an unacceptable proposition and it still is. On the night of Mr. Obama’s inaugural balls in 2009 we learned that key Republican leaders were meeting to put together a strategy of derailing this Presidency. They have not given up. You can say, well every President has faced opposition and that may be the case, but no President has faced such a level of animosity and animus that borders not just on disrespect but in my mind treason. I heard a White media person say on a National news program this morning that the Republicans keep accusing the President of not governing. Not true, he said. The fact is that the President has tried to work with his Republican colleagues many times but they have refused to work with him at every turn. It is not the President that fails in the governing category but a Republican congress. Finally, lets just be real about this. The constant bashing of this President is about color. It is about race. It is about America’s peculiar sin that White Americans want to pretend is all in the past. It is about White leadership many of whom who grew up during a time like I did where White politics were openly shaped and determined by race and while times may have changed some folks are still wedded to those old racist attitudes that Blacks are incapable of leading on such a high level. Now until folks are ready to have a serious debate about these things I have no interest in these polls that are fueled by a dislike of this President because his skin color is different from any person before him who has served in this office.

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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.