Chicago, Illinois, July 1995, the future president of the United States stood in the living room of a radical domestic terrorist. They were in Hyde Park, a Chicago neighborhood of tree-lined streets, dotted with handsome old stones and brick houses. In this highly segregated city, Hyde Park stood out as a vibrant, racially diverse, but monolithic melting pot. There couldn’t be a more fitting place for the future commander-in-chief to live, just mere blocks away from former domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Hyde Park, home to the prestigious University of Chicago, was also just a few blocks from Chicago’s notorious South Side. The ivory tower of elitist academics loomed over crippled communities, riddled with drugs, gangs and broken homes. The slums and Section 8 housing projects were homes to some of the highest murder rates in the civilized world, the wreckage caused by decades of leftist rule.
This would be the environment in which radical community organizer Barack Obama received the advice that endeared a nation and helped secure him the presidency of the United States: If you really want to change things, you’ve got to drop the radical pose for the radical ends.