I can remember the evening of the election quite clearly, when President Obama became President of the United States. The crowd that gathered in Chicago that night reminded me of a hallmark of the Civil Rights movement as you had both black and whites there in attendance. They were there just like they were in those heady days of the fight for justice and equality back in the 1950’s and 1960’s. There were a lot of tears on the faces of those in attendance that night not only in Chicago but among his supporters nationwide. But in truth, there were a lot of white Americans who did not celebrate.
Since those early days after the election of Barrack Hussein Obama we have been witness to an unparalled degree of open hatred and vitriol towards the new President. The question is why? His administration has been free of corruption, his family has been a model of decorum without any hint of controversy and questionable moral misdeeds that have surrounded previous administrations. We can understand the theoretical disagreements with the competing ideas of how a government should act.
During an evening’s presentation given by Charles Krauthammer at Scripps College, Claremont, California, Mr. Krauthammer explained the problems that traditional conservatives knew that they would face with the incoming Obama administration. He contrasted the President’s view of an active federal government versus the conservative view that government is best that governs least. In particular he described how a conservative views liberty and property as being the most important principals of conservatives as opposed to liberty and equality. These are understandable differences that have been part of the competing views of how government should work since our country began. But none of the President’s that Mr. Krauthammer would describe as being pro big government comes close to the darn right hatred and paranoid feelings that some Americans people feel about the current occupant of the White House.
We have all heard the stories about how people early on challenged President Obama’s legitimacy based upon the erroneous information that Barrack Obama was born in Kenya. Then there was the allegation that he was a Muslim. There was the commitment from the Republican Party that in no way would the Republican Party cooperate with the new President. People questioned where President Obama went to school and demanded to see his school transcripts. This is and has been unprecedented in the History of the American Presidency. The election was not even that close so one could not argue that he did not win. My fellow citizens there must be a reason for this level of hate. We have heard how this President is either a communist, socialist or a fascist.
The curious form of this hate has not been reflected at the ballot box because President Obama has won both elections handily. I believe that we all know the real reason in our heart of hearts even though we don’t want to believe it. He is treated with such a lack of respect purely because he is a black man. We want to deny that racism is the real reason behind the hate and lack of cooperation.
I was raised in the South during the 1950’s and the early 1960’s and I can hear those whites of old say, that for a black man to get ahead he had to have cheated. The belief of many was that no black man could be the equal to or better than any white man. A black man was felt to be inferior, a person to be treated as being less than human. Many sought to preserve white power than and I believe that the same is true today. Older white men in particular see their days of being on top waning. They see our diversity as a nation to be a threat to their power. Ministers in the churches back in the day taught that the Bible justifies a white man being superior to any black man.
Nowadays we read emails of corporate executives and the emails of police departments laced with racist invectives and insults. The momentary belief that we are living in a post racial world has been shattered by the reality that a result of President Obama’s election has been a backlash by white men and some white women. Never, ever before has there been such an obvious lack of respect for a President of the United States. For those who would say or do say that he has not done anything to deserve respect shows there lack of respect on its face.
The claims of President Obama exceeding his authority have a blind spot as those who make this claim conveniently have a case of amnesia as both President Reagan and President Herbert Walker Bush granted amnesty to people who were in this country without documents, that were here illegally. There is no historic example that his opponents have made have any basis in fact that many other Presidents took similar action. Executive orders began with George Washington.
The animosity shown towards President Andrew Johnson were for political reasons as he refused to listen to the Radical Republicans of his day who wanted to punish those who lived in the South for the Civil War. The strange level of hatred that John F. Kennedy faced was in part due to the fact that he was the first Catholic President.
The Tea Party began in February of 2009, the Presidency of Barrack Hussein Obama began just a few days before. Was that a coincidence or was part of the rationalization that “My God”, we’ve elected a black man? It was not accident that Texas and Virginia were two states where the movement began. The illusion given for the rise of the Tea Party was that some people resent the fact that they have to pay taxes, and that they want their money back. The illusion is that they are primarily about not wanting Big Government.
Maybe one day but not now, racism will be less of an issue. If the Republican Party wants to prove that they support equal rights, pass a new voting rights bill.
For the moment though conspiracy theories abound, with the idea being put forward that Obama is the Anti-Christ. You never hear them call the President by his title it is always Obama. It is if they use it like a curse word. One absolutely ridiculous conspiracy going around is that he is part of Agenda 21, a plan to use force to take people out of rural America and to move them to the cites so that he can control the price of food.
Maybe one day we will honestly look at each individual based upon the content of their hearts and their character and not the color of their skin, their religion or their sexuality.