Hope Deferred

John Thomason in The Point:

ScreenHunter_2697 May. 09 20.13Shortly after Barack Obama was first elected, a young man from Texas drove a thousand miles to the president’s former sanctuary, the Trinity United Church of Christ (UCC) in Chicago. He felt its teachings were evil, and that he had to do something about it. During the service he had a change of heart. Afterwards, he approached the pastor. “I came here to hate you,” he confessed tearfully. “But while I’ve been here, I’ve experienced the love of God.” He turned and fled the sanctuary before the pastor could find the words to respond.

A few years later, during Obama’s second term, a different young white man journeyed to a different black church. He too felt he had to take action against an evil he believed to be nourished there. And he too was surprised to find himself moved by the kindness he encountered. In this case, however, it was not enough to stop him. He drew his handgun and killed each parishioner in the sanctuary, one by one.

Barack Obama, through no fault of his own, was implicated in both events. After his first presidential campaign brought intense scrutiny upon his hometown church, anti-American remarks uttered during sermons in the early 2000s incubated fevered conspiracy theories in the young Texan and countless others. Years later Dylann Roof massacred a Bible study group at Emanuel AME in Charleston, South Carolina, because he felt blacks were “taking over” the country. It does not take much imagination to conclude the president was among those he had in mind.

More here.