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The Obama Portraits
by Gary Fouse
Back in 1970, when I was a newly-hired US Customs agent, I had to have my photo taken for my credentials. I never wore my hair long like many of my generation, but often I waited a little too long before getting a haircut. Such was the case when I had my photo taken. A day or two later the asst. agent in charge, an unfriendly sort to begin with, came to my desk with the photo telling me to go out and get a haircut and have a new photo taken that looked like a federal special agent.
That brings me to the present, and I was reminded of that incident when I saw the newly unveiled portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama that will be exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery along with all the previous presidents. One is tempted to tell the Obamas to go back and have them done over and come back with portraits that look like a president and first lady. To be specific, Obama looks like he is sitting in the outfield in Wrigley Field. As for the portrait of Michelle, let's just say I think I could have painted that. And that dress! These two pictures will stand out like a couple of Picassos mixed in with the Dutch Masters.
Then we learn that the artist who painted Mr Obama, Kehinde Wiley, has a curious penchant for painting black women holding severed heads of white people.
What kind of message is this? Do we really need a racial angle to this news story? Of course, the Obama story and his presidency have racial overtones. I'm not saying he was another Robert Mugabe-far from it. But he wasn't exactly another Nelson Mandela.
Most white Americans who voted against Obama and were his critics did so not because he was black, rather because they opposed his policies. Many of us who voted for John McCain in 2008 were still proud to see a black man rise to the presidency of the US. Then we saw Eric Holder become attorney general. Holder, who is also black, had a racial agenda which he showed time and time again from the day he said that Americans were afraid to have an honest discussion about race. The entire Justice Department became corrupted by Holder and his surrogates.
Obama for his part, just didn't do anything to improve race relations. He just watched them simmer over the entire issue of black men being shot by white cops. We looked to him to establish a legacy of building bridges. He utterly failed.
This comes at a time when it is fashionable to bash white people as being privileged and inherently racist. The fever is especially hot on our university campuses where not only leftist blacks, but leftist whites as well are making the issue of "whiteness" the hot button issue on campus. The message is that white people are the enemy of people of color and need to disappear. They should not be hired as teachers, and they should not be heard on campus. Indeed, certain campus events regarding race are excluding whites from entering.
It is incredible that in our most prestigious universities (and those not so prestigious) people with PhDs and students of all races are wishing for the white race to disappear. We know where that kind of thinking leads, don't we?
I am no white nationalist. In my mind, 99% of whites in this country are not the enemy of non-whites. Yet universities are allowing a dangerous movement to sprout, one that can only lead to violence and tragedy.
And now we have the portrait of President Barack Obama being done by this Wiley character, who not only has no clue as to what kind of presidential portrait should go on display in Washington DC, but paints such disturbing and racially charged material on the side. Can you imagine the uproar if say, George W Bush's portrait were done by some white artist who painted pictures of white men holding severed black heads?