In his introduction to the world at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, then state senator Barack Obama insisted, “There is not a liberal America and a conservative America—there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America—there’s the United States of America.” But as his latest memoir, A Promised Land, makes clear, Obama inhabits a smug, elite liberal America in which conservatives are not welcome. Indeed, from Obama’s perspective, their every thought, gesture, and vote is insincere and likely racist.
Although the Obama memoir is obsessed with race, Obama as president and as writer has refused to address the one problem he knew to be at the heart of America’s racial divide: the disintegration of the black family. While Obama and his peers have profited from the opportunities America offers, his lack of courage has doomed the black inner city to another generation of crime, drugs, and educational failure. To divert attention from his own failure, Obama has cast the right as the “other” in his ongoing melodrama—driving a wedge between black and white that will take generations to heal.