I noticed recently that someone landed on this blog by entering this question into Google:
"Does anyone else think obama is the most arrogant person they know?"
Although I have no way of knowing for sure, I have a sneaking suspicion that this Google-user is a white person.
For one thing, while I've heard white people say that about Obama, I've never heard non-white people say it.
For another thing, it's reminiscent of old (and still current, in some places) descriptions of black people who don't act humbly enough as "uppity." Black people who act, that is, as if they're the equals of white people.
I don't think white Americans in general have completely gotten over that kind of thinking. Or is it more like, a feeling?
Not that we all think and feel that way. I like to think, or hope, that I don't think and feel that way.
To me, Barack Obama's general demeanor seems more "down to earth" -- almost the opposite of "arrogant." He does seem educated, informed, and intelligent, but I don't equate such qualities with "arrogance." Maybe I'm partially influenced in this by my looking at him from a middle-class perspective?
At any rate, what I'm led to think by such a Googled question about Obama being "the most arrogant person" the Google-user knows is this: a lot of white people think, even unconsciously at times, that a black person who acts NOT like he's above other people, but like he or she is the equal of other people, is acting "arrogant." I also think that's a word that a lot of white people who use it that way would not apply to someone who acts the same way, but isn't black.
I wish I could cite some studies of this phenomenon. Since I don't have any to refer you to, I will note that at this point, the above thoughts are tentative and speculative.
What have you experienced in terms of common white perceptions of "arrogance," be it that of Barack Obama or of anyone else?