Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Is it about race?

To try to lump the motives of those behind the poisonous political climate into one package would be wrong and simplistic. It would be as incorrect as the right is when claiming the teabaggers represent a majority of Americans views. From my own experiences working and living in Central and Southeastern Ohio, and my experiences from the actual campaign, I have seen a number of themes behind opposition to President Obama.

Like in the Clinton years, there is this talk radio led trashing of anyone that is a successful democrat that happens regardless of the race of the office holder. Have we forgotten the accusations of the Clinton's being behind everything from fraudulent real estate deals to even accusations of murder? I can remember hearing Rush Limbaugh calling the First Lady of the United States, Hillary Clinton at the time all kinds of things including a bitch on the public airways. This kind of total lack of respect and irresponsible rude behavior continues with the Obama Presidency.

There are those that actually do have real political disagreements with policies. Concerns about taxes, spending, wars and so on. In no way is having a disagreement or criticizing policies race related.

Then there are the others where race is a factor. The night Barack Obama was elected there was such a groundswell of pride and good feeling among many Americans including myself. There were tears of joy, and pure happiness. But among others there was another reaction. Fear. There were those that deep down actually believe either a Black man is not capable of running the country, or that he will lead to some sort of discrimination against whites, or as one person said to me, "here comes all the give aways to blacks now."

The scary part of this is many of these racists don't even know they are. There have been dozens of times that I have had conversations with people about Obama's policies that on the details of the policy they were in agreement, but often the conversation would end with, "But there is something about him I don't trust."

There are many out there that nothing he could do, nothing he could say would they listen to. These are the ones that fall prey to the ridiculous rumors of his birth certificate, his religion and so on. We laugh at times thinking how can they be so stupid. Yet the concerning thing is, they believe these lies because they need to find a reason for their dislike of him other then admitting racism. So they will bite on anything.

There are of course the overt racists at work as well. They see a change they do not like. They know they are losing the hearts and minds of the majority of the American People. But those in control do not give it up easily. So thus the violent words, the hate talk and so on that is so evident on our televisions every night. This explains the growth of hate groups throughout the country, people arming themselves against government headed by a black President, and most concerning it explains the incredible number of death threats against our President. The talk of secession is absolutely racist, when was that last time that was threatened? Over slavery.

What angers me the most is those that are using this racism to promote their own agendas. Limbaugh, Glenn Beck say and do things overtly racist. Beck's attacks on Acorn are blatantly racist. Lou Dobbs using the fear of "illegal Immigrants" to push his books and ratings. Last night he showed a white kid getting beat up on a school bus by a couple black kids on his news show. How many fights are there in schools and school buses every single day in this country? What was his purpose in showing that one, last night. it was for no other purpose other then to stoke racial fear.

Is the climate out there right now all about racism? No, but to deny that it has nothing to do with racism is clearly wrong and dangerous to ignore.

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