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, 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

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
A Brief History of Roger Stone
The GOP operative and self-described “dirty trickster,” who was convicted today, has been a presence in the president’s life for more than 30 years.
The Atlantic3 min readSociety
Trump Sides With War Criminals
Being no different from our enemies has not been the aspiration of previous presidents, nor of our military.
The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
The Candidate Dividing Iowa Progressives
Politically speaking, Marie Herring, a 49-year-old supporter of Elizabeth Warren, and John Thomas Grindle, a 36-year-old Bernie Sanders fan, have a lot in common. Both Iowans want Medicare for All, student-debt cancellation, and a government that tax