The Atlantic

Obama's Faith in White America Was Not Misplaced

Donald Trump’s rise, and Hillary Clinton’s loss, is not a sign that America is irredeemably bigoted.
Source: Carlos Barria / Reuters

Over the next few weeks, The Atlantic will be publishing a series of responses to Ta-Nehisi Coates’s story "My President Was Black." Readers are invited to send their own responses to hello@theatlantic.com, and we will post a sample of your feedback. You can read other responses to the story from Atlantic readers and contributors here.


I deeply dislike the man whose victory may vacate––who in some sense already has vacated––Obama’s legacy. I dislike that man as much as I can dislike anyone I never have and never will meet, and I condemn a great deal of what his partisans imagine he stands for.

But I have never hated President Obama. Not even a little. I found him frustrating and wrongheaded. And of course I wanted him to lose, twice. But I never doubted his basic honor, nor failed to appreciate the import of the very fact of his presidency. I watched with—is there such a thing as begrudging awe?—the jubilee in Chicago in 2008. I retweeted tiny Virginia McLaurin, born ten years before the 19th amendment and 45 before Brown vs. Board, dancing with the Obamas in the Blue Room

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