A Conversation With President Obama: Part 4 of 4

Obama_with_watch_560I asked: “Is that why you are reluctant to go to war then? You have more sympathy with people of color than other presidents have had?”

“Perhaps,”  he said. “I never thought of it in that way. I disliked going to war mainly because I did not want Americans to die in them. I never got used to seeing our battlefield dead knowing how they affect the families of their loved ones and knowing that somehow I was responsible for them. But a part of it could be that being a person of color I look at other people differently”

I said: “I can understand that. When the terrorist attacks occurred in Paris and Brussels look at the attention America paid to them compared to similar or worse attacks that took place around the same time in Lebanon and Pakistan. You would have thought that the Pakistan attack against Christians would have resounded greatly in the country but it didn’t. Was it because they are people of color?”

Obama said: “I’ve thought of that. I’ve often thought of that. When a black person lies dead in the street does a black person see that differently than a white person?  Do I see a white person involved in a tragedy different from a white person? I remember reading once an article about a fire that took place in Washington, DC back around the beginning of the 1900s. It said, “the fire killed three white men, two white women and four Negroes.” That may not have bothered a white person but a black person reading it would wonder why all blacks, male and female, were lumped together.”

I understood his point. “So you see the world differently than a white president would see it and you suggest that is the reason your foreign policy seems so different to many American people.”

“It’s more than that,” he said, “but I think that’s a part of it  I am in a sense an optimist even though after these many years of being beat up I’m amazed I still am. I tend to want to do anything to avoid a war hoping that through understanding and negotiations we can avoid going to war and that war should only be a last resource. Sometimes we have no choice, as now with ISIL. But even there we do have a choice how we will fight it; my aim is to do it with as little loss of American life and the lives of those who live in those areas under ISIL control.”

As he finished saying that a door opened and a young black woman came in. In a plaintiff voice she said: “Dad, we’ve been waiting.”  He looked at his watch then back at me. “Nice to have a chance to talk but I must go.”  We shook hands briefly and he left. He left me sitting there but it was within minutes that two average height middle age tough, no-nonsense  looking men entered the room and told me to go with them. One in front and one behind they led me to a door that opened to the outside. I stepped out and they closed the door behind me. I wandered around for a while sort of in a daze before I sat down and tried to recapture the essence of the meeting. The rest of the time is a blur.

I’m not sure if I should even have written about it. Obama never said it was off the record. Wouldn’t he have if he did not want it disclosed. Even so he can always deny he said those things. In fact, he could deny he ever met with me. I’m sure there’s probably no record of me ever being at the White House.

Sometimes I think to myself that it was all part of a dream. But I thought I would post about it in any event because it gives an insight into Obama’s world view even if it is one that he would deny ever having expressed.

6 replies on “A Conversation With President Obama: Part 4 of 4”

    Matt, in case you missed it, I’m re-posting this reply to your reply:
    Matt, the Spanish-American War involved Spain, which is “white”, European, as is Italy and Greece. We fought against Italy and Germany in WWII, and Greece was an ally. We liberated brown people in the Philippines in WWII, and Chinese and Southeast Asian peoples in WWII. We fought in Vietnam to save Vietnamese from Communists. We liberated South Koreans during the Korean War against Communist invaders from the North. We bombed Serbians for 90 days to protect Muslims in Kosovo in 1990s. In 1990s we attacked invading Iraqi forces to save Kuwaitis. A better case can be made that throughout its history, America fought to liberate Asian people and people of color from invaders, aggressors and oppressors.
    Remember, too, after the Russian Revolution, the U.S. had soldiers in Russia, along with the Brits, Czechs and others, fighting on behalf of the Whites against the Reds.
    So, Matt, I can cite many non-European people the Americans have liberated—-Chinese, Philippino, Pacific Islanders, Singaporeans, Indonesians, Borneans, South East Asians, Koreans, Kuwaiti, Kosovar, Grenadians—and I can cite many European people the Americans have fought against: Spanish, Germans, Austrians, Italians, Serbs, and Russians, and very early in our history we fought the British (Revolution and 1812) and French(French-Indian Wars.)
    Anti-American cant can’t change the facts.

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