Obama's Five Stages of Grief

Have you ever heard of the Kübler-Ross model? You might have, but you probably know it by its more common name, The Five Stages of Grief. These are generally accepted stages put forward by psychologists that a person who is facing their own death or the death of someone close to them go through. These stages are even referred to in pop culture (one of my favorites was in the season 2 opener of House, M.D., where one of House’s doctors goes through the stages instead of a patient she is caring for), so you know that there is some pretty wide cultural acceptance of this model.

I would like to put forward the idea that the Obama Administration is a great example of the Five Stages of Grief with respect to the racial gap in America. This administration seems to have done everything they can to get involved in racial incidents in the country, with increasingly negative results. Therefore, I submit to you, dear reader, the Five Stages of Obama’s Racial Reconciliations.

I know that there will be a good many of you who believe that Obama, like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, would prefer racial division in order to thrive on it. However, for reasons I will lay out below, I do not actually believe that is the case.

1) Denial

The very idea that the country was now past racism and racial tension, or well on the way to it, was put forward by many on the Left, as a multiracial coalition worked hard to get him elected. An equal America, in fact, was something he campaigned on. He was pushing hard for something he knew could not be done in eight years – the creation of a perfectly unified, multicultural nation with no tension between people of difference. The president, you see, sincerely hopes that racial equality can happen under him, because Obama serves his own narcissism first, aiming for power and legacy. Racial harmony ensures the latter of those, and thus, he has a vested interest in making it happen.

2) Anger

There are many occasions in which the mask has slipped, showing that Obama is, at best, angry when racial flare-ups emerge while he is trying to create racial harmony in the United States. In times like these, emotion gets the better of him, and he calls for a beer summit, says a victim of a shooting would look like his son (if he had one), and speaks candidly about justifiable anger in certain communities. These issues have plagued him throughout his tenure in office, and have only gotten worse as time has progressed.

3) Bargaining

Do not think that this post refers to just the unity between black and white. Other races have also been at the forefront of the Obama Administration’s agenda. Items like immigration reform have been a thorn in the president’s side, to the point where he was trying to convince them to just wait for the right time, when Congress could work with him, to make reform possible. He’s also called for restraint from protesters across the nation regarding the lack of indictment against Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. The coalition he once relied on to get elected, the multicultural and multiracial force that worked to see him into office, was either ignoring him or turning on him.

4) Depression

Depression takes on many forms. For some, it results in totally apathy. For others, it makes them desperate to escape the feeling of hopelessness. For the president, depression takes the form of the latter. In his hopelessness to affect the change he wanted, the president began to work through executive fiat. In his desperation to try and fix problems and leave behind a legacy that means something, he could be counted on to make other decisions hastily. Decisions that, to the depressed mind, would be logical, but would look less-than-reasonable to the outside world.

5) Acceptance

I fully expect we’ll see this one in 2015. Knowing he can’t do anything to fix what is not only broken, but actually made worse since he started (though he will never admit that openly), he will sit idly by on this and other issues as his time in office winds down. He’ll go through the motions, but he will do nothing any longer. He’ll see it as useless and, as such, he’ll look for other ways to cement his legacy.

When we get to the fifth step, things might end up getting better. After all, with his interference (on just about anything), things get worse. When he takes a step back, they will get better.