On the ‘Race Card’

While I am not happy with the “deal” reached as concerns the debt ceiling, what I am more unhappy about is the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about.
Racism.
What I have seen and heard from lawmakers, Democrat, Republican and Tea Party, has given me pause. When you have seen, tasted, experienced and lived racism, you have to watch yourself and make sure that you are not being too sensitive, too defensive.
But from the moment President Obama has taken office, the racism – in the form of disrespect for him as a man, a person and as president of this nation – has been rampant. The ugly comments made on talk radio, the crude caricatures of him and Mrs Obama drawn by God knows who – have all felt uncomfortably familiar. When the Tea Party emerged, some of their signage and their words stung; when some of them reportedly spit on Civil Rights icon Congressman John Lewis, none but racism could be blamed.
Alabama Senator Mitch McConnell has had little success hiding his disdain for President Obama. It is his goal, he has said publicly, to make sure Mr. Obama is a “one term president.” Even in the midst of the recent debacle over the raising the debt ceiling, Sen. McConnell warned Republicans and Tea Partiers to be careful; their refusal to budge might help get President Obama back into office, and he said he wasn’t going to do anything that might make that happen.
It must go against everything Sen. McConnell and others in this country were brought up thinking, that a black man could be the leader of the United States. When Democrats controlled both houses of the legislature, I found myself wondering why the President couldn’t get more support. When, at his first State of the Union address, a member of Congress yelled out, “You lie!” I cringed. The audacity! This was the president of the free world speaking. The blatant disrespect for President Obama and for the office of president, as well as the arrogance that accompanied it, blew my mind. Are all bets off as concerns protocol and decency, just because the president is African American?
Like I said, I don’t like the deal that has been made as concerns the debt ceiling. There were no tax increases on the wealthiest people in this nation, or on huge corporations. As usual, those who can least afford it will end up paying the biggest costs in terms of loss of benefits and services. I don’t like it that President Obama compromised as much as he did – although I am glad he DID compromise.
But I like less the fact that racism is still alive and kicking. Its virulence is showing, and nobody wants to talk about it. But for those of us who have lived it, we can see it, feel it, hear it and taste it.
That would be a candid observation.

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