Obama’s first biographical book, “Dreams from my Father,” reveals that he has a lot of issues with Americans and white people (collectively) that were in large part fostered in him by his mother and maternal grandparents, who were self-hating whites and self-hating Americans. At one point, Obama writes with resentment of white people, who allowed their dogs to relieve themselves on the grass in front of his apartment building. No one appreciates that behavior, of course, but Obama is still holding such a grudge against the white race twenty years later that he felt it necessary to include this in his book, because a couple of white people let their dogs crap on the grass in front of his apartment building!
He also notes elsewhere that his mother declared to his Indonesian step-father that Americans are “not my people.” “Dreams of my Father” was written before Obama thought he could be president and for that reason he shows a side of himself that he would not later divulge. Below is a passage in which he writes of Malcolm X’s desire to expunge his white blood and Obama, comparing himself to Malcolm X, remarks wistfully that his white blood will always be with him, as well. Obama also muses that sometime in the future he may need to leave his white family members behind. The book is full of such remarks dealing with racial resentment. The entire theme of the book is about Obama’s neurotic hangups and preoccupation with racial issues.
… I had begun to see a new map of the world, one that was frightening in its simplicity, suffocating in its implications. We were always playing on the white man’s court, Ray had told me, by the white man’s rules. If the principal, or the coach, or a teacher, or Kurt, wanted to spit in your face, he could, because he had power and you didn’t. If he decided not to, if he treated you like a man or came to your defense, it was because he knew that the words you spoke, the clothes you wore, the books you read, your ambitions and desires, were already his. Whatever he decided to do, it was his decision to make, not yours, and because of that fundamental power he held over you, because it preceded and would out-last his individual motives and inclinations, any distinction between good and bad whites held negligible meaning. In fact, you couldn’t even be sure that everything you had assumed to be an expression of your black, unfettered self—the humor, the song, the behind-the-back pass—had been freely chosen by you. At best, these things were a refuge; at worst, a trap. Following this maddening logic, the only thing you could choose as your own was withdrawal into a smaller and smaller coil of rage, until being black meant only the knowledge of your own powerlessness, of your own defeat. And the final irony: Should you refuse this defeat and lash out at your captors, they would have a name for that, too, a name that could cage you just as good. Paranoid. Militant. Violent. Nigger.
Over the next few months, I looked to corroborate this nightmare Vision. I gathered up books from the library——Baldwin, Ellison, Hughes, Wright, DuBois. At night I would close the door to my room, telling my grandparents I had homework to do, and there I would sit and wrestle with words, locked in suddenly desperate argument, trying to reconcile the world as I’d found it with the terms of my birth. But there was no escape to be had. In every page of every book, in Bigger Thomas and invisible men, I kept finding the same anguish, the same doubt; a self-contempt that neither irony nor intellect seemed able to deflect. Even DuBois’s learning and Baldwin’s love and Langston’s humor eventually succumbed to its corrosive force, each man finally forced to doubt art’s redemptive power, each man finally forced to withdraw, one to Africa, one to Europe, one deeper into the bowels of Harlem, but all of them in the same weary flight, all of them exhausted, bitter men, the devil at their heels. (Here Obama uses a play on a standard Black Nationalist term for whitey, the “devil.”)
Only Malcolm X’s autobiography seemed to offer something different. His repeated acts of self—creation spoke to me, the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect, promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline, forged through sheer force of will. All the other stuff, the talk of blue-eyed devils and apocalypse, was incidental to that program, I decided, religious baggage that Malcolm himself seemed to have safely abandoned toward the end of his life. And yet, even as I imagined myself following Malcolm’s call, one line in the book stayed me. He spoke of a wish he’d once had, the wish that the white blood that ran through him, there by an act of violence, might somehow be expunged. I knew that, for Malcolm, that wish would never be incidental. I knew as well that traveling down the road to self—respect my own white blood would never recede into mere abstraction. I was left to wonder what else I would be severing if and when I left my mother and my grandparents at some uncharted border.
And, too: If Malcolm’s discovery toward the end of his life, that some whites might live beside him as brothers in Islam, seemed to offer some hope of eventual reconciliation, that hope appeared in a distant future, in a far-off land. In the meantime, I looked to see where the people would come from who were willing to work toward this future and populate this new world.
Note: The Black Liberation doctrine of Obama’s church teaches that reconciliation means submission to the will of the black man and Malcolm X had the same concept. That is, the current system is evil and reconciliation means that you have to submit to his conditions, such as become a Muslim. This kind of “reconciliation” is still very much a racist concept.