Joy Reid: Obama’s Presidency ‘In a Sense a Third Reconstruction,’ He Had To Be ‘Understated’ Because of Race

During MSNBC’s coverage of President Obama’s farewell address on Tuesday, Joy Reid argued President Obama’s election is “in a sense a third Reconstruction,” that “produced a backlash so that a lot of Trump voters…wanted the change to a more traditional — what they see as a traditional president.”

Reid said, “[A] black man in America cannot be as braggadocios about his presidency and his accomplishments, and get away with it and not be seen as arrogant. … I think that he had to be constantly calm. He had to be constantly understated. He had to be, as Ta-Nehisi Coates said, the least angry black man in America.”

She added, “I have to say that we cannot discount the — this is in a sense a third Reconstruction, the election of Barack Obama. This is a slave republic that elected a black man to be president of the United States in less than 400 years of history. And the idea of backlash is baked into each of our reconstructions. So, we have this incredible civil war, where we kill 600,000 American citizens and free the slaves, and then you have this sort of golden era of Reconstruction that is destroyed by a revanchist backlash that is vicious and horrifying. Then you have the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, all of these advances, these incredible social upheavals and advancements, that is followed by an intense backlash, the sense of those people taking away my America and impeding on it, intruding on it. And I think with Obama, the advances in gay rights, the focus on gay rights, the advances for African-Americans, the kind of visibility of the advancements of these other American, I think it produced a backlash so that a lot of Trump voters, this is what they wanted. They just wanted the change to a more traditional — what they see as a traditional president. They feel they’ve gotten what they wanted.”

(h/t Real Clear Politics)

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett