Former President Jimmy Carter made the news this week, when he said that racism played a part when South Carolina Republican Representative Joe Wilson shouted “You lie” at President Obama during a healthcare speech in Congress last week. President Carter told NBC News that he thinks an “overwhelming portion” of the animosity directed toward America’s first black President is based upon his color.
In response, yesterday a White House spokesman said President Obama did not believe that Wilson’s outburst was racially motivated. That’s the politically correct thing to say, but let’s be honest. How can anyone not believe that racism plays a role in some people’s feelings toward President Obama?
How many of you got the e-mail saying that on Inauguration Day, there were thousands of black people in Washington, D.C. to watch the swearing in ceremony, but very few whites, because they were all at work? How many of you laughed when you read it? How about the many other racially slanted cartoons and jokes about Obama that clutter up e-mail inboxes?
Did you get the other e-mails? The ones that were not so funny? The ones that said that the day Obama took office, there would be race riots as the “niggers celebrated their victory” or the one saying that his first order of business would be to order the military to attack all white citizens? No, there’s no racism there!
While I did not vote for Obama or Bush, I was disappointed when we were at a bus rally shortly before the election, and a group of people I thought I knew, and respected, talked about how “that jungle bunny won’t last a month before somebody shoots him if he gets elected.”
Besides the black thing, we’ve had all kinds of claims that President Obama is a practicing Muslim. Despite the actions of the radical Muslims who are intent on destroying anyone who does not practice their brand of fanaticism, there are millions of Muslim people in the world who are wonderful people. If Obama had been white and a Catholic, would that have been an issue? How about if he had been a Jew?
How much of the obvious hatred a lot of people show toward our new president is based upon his color, rather than his political party? I don’t know. One news report said that Obama got a higher percentage of the white vote than John Kerry did when he ran for office. Does that mean that more white people supported him, regardless of his race, or maybe that after another four years of Bush politics, did they just want a change?
Just as the Muslim zealots hate anybody who is not just like them, we have way too many people that believe the same thing right here in America. They believe that all men are created equal, except for those men (and women) who are a different color or worship a different way.
Racism plays a role in all of our lives, no matter what color we are or how enlightened we might want to believe we are. A few years ago Terry and I took a “shortcut” and ended on city streets somewhere south of Chicago. Driving through a ghetto decorated with graffiti, past boarded up storefronts while looking for a way to get back to the interstate, we said we sure hoped the motorhome didn’t decide that would be a good place to break down.
Would we have felt the same way if we had been in a neighborhood of tidy shops and boutiques, and if the young men hanging out on the street corners would have had white faces, instead of black and brown?
Was Representative Wilson’s outburst racially motivated? I don’t know. Maybe so. Or he may just be a jerk who found a way to get his fifteen minutes of fame, or an ass who doesn’t know how to conduct himself in public.
But if you really believe that some of the venom directed at President Obama is not racially motivated, you’re either incredibly naive, or lying to yourself.
Tags: black people, Catholic, Chicago, fanaticism, Former President Jimmy Carter, healthcare speech in Congress, Inauguration Day, Jew, John Kerry, Muslim, NBC News, President Bush, President Obama, racially slanted cartoons and jokes, racism, radical Muslims, South Carolina Republican Representative Joe Wilson, Washington D.C., White House spokesman