to an adoring 16 year-old girlfriend, covering his head from the rain, walking home to his father, armed with Skittles. But this image of an innocent Black male isn't one usually told or understood by the White American populace. It doesn't fit the established metanarrative of Black criminality and White victimhood they choose to perpetuate.
Obama's opponents claim he is "unfit" to hold the land's highest office and detractors claim Trayvon must have been the true perpetrator. And this is where lies become folklore, folklore becomes legend, and legend becomes history.
That history also reveals the tactics behind the present-day Republican strategy. For you see, conservatives do not simply object to President Obama's policy agenda: they oppose what he represents and embodies; namely, the new face of Black power and an unapologetic Black elite. The recent voter suppression attempts by GOP operatives in states like Florida, are a page torn from the white redemption playbook. Attacks against Attorney General Eric Holder, and calls by Congressional Republicans to unseat him, are not just race-based, it is a power struggle. Holder's position threatens their ability to disenfranchise. He serves as the guard to American freedom which the modern Redeemers seek to undermine. And Barack is the antithesis to how they wish Black men to be unseen and unheard. As such, Obama is a threat to the manifest destiny of White male authority.
Barack and Trayvon meet at an intersection of demented racial ideology: subject to the racialized myths embedded in the American psyche. There are too many living Trayvons who, because of the social constructs and challenges they face, believe they can never become a Barack. And as far as the Republican establishment is concerned that scenario need never change. This is separate and unequal redux, in both American life and American politics.
This is White Redemption 2.0.
Edward Wyckoff Williams is a columnist, political analyst, and a former investment banker. He appears regularly on MSNBC, CBS, AlJazeera Television and national syndicated radio. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.