I remember the feeling I had after a friend invited me to go see Obama at a local college while he was campaigning for presidential election. I’m not deeply involved in politics and I don’t pretend to be an expert on the subject, but I do remember the energy in the auditorium that day. “A Change We Can Believe In”, that was the slogan and listening to an intelligent, articulate man that looked like me yet spoke so passionately and eloquently just made me proud and happy that I was able to experience a moment like that. My only regret was that I didn’t bring my kids. Looking around the auditorium that day there were people of every race and age, I surely didn’t think South Carolinian’s would get behind a man of his pigment but I was wrong. I met many people that were not only behind his grass roots movement but they were passionate about it, truly it was a great moment that I stumbled upon almost on accident. Truthfully, despite all the enthusiasm I never thought America would elect a black man as president. Obama proved though that he’s much more than just a black man, he created a movement. He used grass roots organization, social media, and his impassioned speeches to propel himself into the White House. I was stunned and pleasantly surprised when he was elected and I remember watching it with my kids, it was a moment that I’ll never forget. I’m not going to debate what it actually meant or means to black people, but I know what it doesn’t mean….
Racism isn’t dead!
Electing President Obama didn’t magically erase all the hatred and racism that some people in America will always have and embrace. President Obama is in a tough spot, he can’t seem too black and he’s not white so he has to try and toe the line and remain in the gray area. Being “too black” and trying to address all the issues of black America will definately hurt his chances of re-election. Every move he makes is scrutinized like no other president in history. I’ve never heard the rapper/actor Common referred to as a gangster rapper until Michelle Obama invited him to the White House for a poetry reading and the President was attacked for him being chosen.President Obama is attacked for the most frivolous things, could you imagine if he would have publicly defended Troy Davis? We seem to expect him to fix and stand up for everything ever done to black people in America and some are just waiting for him to try so they have more ammunition. He hasn’t just been called a bad president, instead he’s been called a terrorist. They don’t just attack his policies, instead they attack him as a person.
There are many people and parties (Republican, Tea, Fox News, and others) that believe they have the right to disrespect our President in a way that has NEVER been seen or tolerated before. We have in my opinion one of the most dynamic, well spoken, educated, articulate, and passionate Presidents in the history of America yet despite all those factors he’s treated like Rodney Dangerfield (no respect). There’s no way this should be tolerated, but it is just because of the color of his skin. I hear rumblings but no outcry for any fair treatment and respect when it comes to the leader of our country which is beyond disappointing. Our own people such as Tavis Smiley and Cornell West have even launched personal attacks as well as attacks on his policies. To me the message is clear, Obama is our president, but he’s still considered just another Negro to some people and they will go out of their way to try and “put him in his place”. Below are some examples of the blatant disrespect that to me shows race relations are no better now with a black President as they were without one:
- Speaker John A. Boehner became what historians say was the first ever to tell a sitting president that no, he could not deliver an address to a joint session of Congress on the date of his choice. On Thursday, Representative Joe Walsh said in a Twitter message that he would fly home to Illinois rather than serve as “a prop of another one of the president’s speeches.”
- Donald Trump continually publically challenged that Obama was even a U.S. citizen.
- MSNBC’s Mark Halperin called Obama “a dick” in an interview on The Morning Joe show.
- Rep. Doug Lamborn went on a local radio show and said that being associated with President Obama was like being stuck to a “tar baby.”
- Rep. Joe Wilson yelled out “You lie!” to Obama during a Congressional speech.
- GOP House, prompted by Tea Party-refuses to raise debt ceiling. (Aug 2011) It had been done 69 times since 1962 without incident. 7 times during Bush II and 18 times during Reagan. Suddenly now a new precedent is set a first in American history.
- One term Congressman Joe Walsh announced on national television that he wouldn’t be attending Obama’s September 8th speech.
- The shouts of the Tea party “We want our country back!”
- Former Fox News host Glen Beck declaring on the air that the president “hates white people” and “the white culture”
- Rush Limbaugh saying he wants to see the president fail.
- Congressman Mitch McConnell boldly proclaimed that he wants to be Senate Majority leader to make sure Obama is a one-term president.
- Newt Gingrich referring to Obama as “the food stamp president” and saying that Obama “knows how to get the whole country to resemble Detroit”
- And then there’s this Colorado billboard that depicts President Obama as a gay terrorist, Mexican gangster devil worshipper.
- Or the Iowa billboard that compares him to Hitler.
- Or maybe Hank Williams Jr. comparing him to Hitler in an interview.
Or maybe this youtube video will make it clearer:
I’m sure these aren’t the only examples of the blatant, racist disrespect President Obama has received, just like I’m sure some would say these things aren’t racist at all but I know better. Regardless of his policies, the state of the economy, or the United States as a whole Presidents in this country have always had a level of respect. These and other attacks aren’t political they’re personal.
There’s other Presidents, then there’s President Obama, the Presidential Negro or at least that’s the way some people will always see and react to him just based on the color of his skin. Welcome to The American Way, the more things change the more they stay the same what a shame. It’s tough being black in America regardless of your status, money, or title but I’m sure some people still don’t believe it.
And now I need a drink, because I realize no matter what I or my kids do or accomplish some ignorant people will still go out of their way to try and show us we’re just negroes too. While pointing out that America elected President Obama, The Presidential Negro or at least that’s how he’s treated….