It’s Still About Race

Finally the mainstream media and the American public in general are beginning to talk about why all these right wing crackpots are calling President Barack Obama the new Hitler, shielding their kids from listening to his education message, urging states to secede from the Union and of course predicting that this country is just about to become socialist.

The quiet secret behind all this savage vitriol against the President is simply racism, carefully disguised racism, but racism nonetheless. The people who believe the President was born in Kenya, wants to kill grandma and grandpas and lies with impunity can’t bring themselves to the reality that a black man or a half black man is the head of the United States of America.

To mask their racism the right claims to be protecting the constitution, concerned about fiscal responsibility and true patriots intent on returning this country to its former greatness. But where were these people when President Bush was violating the Constitution on a regular basis or was spending money like a lottery winner on tax breaks for the rich, a terrible war and a budget buster drug prescription program? And where were these patriots when this country slid into moral decline under an administration with no soul?

The only logical answer is that these tea bagger psuedo revolutionaries refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of a person of color in the White House.  I really didn’t want to buy into the race answer as the key to the outlandish opposition to the President but when I saw mothers and fathers claiming that they didn’t want their children to listen to Barack Obama talk about personal responsibility and hard work, I knew in my gut that this was about race. Let’s face it, these parents didn’t want a black man talking to their kids.

Then the outburst by Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina shouting “You Lie” during the President’s speech on health care clinched it for me. This is the same Joe Wilson who is still a member of the Sons of the Confederacy, which fought to preserve slavery. This is the same Joe Wilson who proudly stated that his hero is the late Senator Strom Thurmond, perhaps the most segregationist senator in the history of this country. This is the same Joe Wilson who fought tooth and nail against the stimulus bill, which would pump money into many poor black communities in his state.

So let’s not kid ourselves – the election of America’s first black president has not solved the race issue; it has only brought it into the open. Maybe the right wing ought to read the Declaration of Independence with its phrase,  “all men are created equal” or the 14th Amendment, which guarantees  “equal protection of the laws.”

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2 Responses to It’s Still About Race

  1. Annie says:

    I agree. Maureen Dowd had a good article on the Joe Wilson topic a few days ago. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/opinion/13dowd.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

  2. Mark Aldrich says:

    Yes, sadly, you are right. And Maureen Dowd was understated. She “heard” the unpronounced “boy” after Wilson’s racist “You lie!”. He managed to hold his tongue on the unpronounceable part. People say “liar”, not “you lie” which is incomplete. The inaudible but grimly present N-word echoed creepily after Wilson cut himself off just in time.

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