January 31, 2009
On at least three separate occasions this week, white Americans were subjected to ridicule and insult. The perception that white Americans are, as a whole, racist has been a notion given credibility unfairly. The Inauguration for Barack Obama has ratcheted up racial intolerance significantly and relentlessly.
Not surprising was the utter indifference by the ‘media’ to the pain and destructiveness these insults have caused. Our ‘media’, who prides itself on being politically sensitive when a ‘minority’ is insulted, did not even whimper when the insults were directed at white Americans. So, in a week where many in our nation celebrated change, many others question what that promised change will bring.
Millions withstood miserable conditions to share and celebrate the culmination of their support and enthusiastic efforts to see Obama become the 44th president. The crowd cheered, eyes blurred with tears, faces upturned with hope and faith, believing the message of change the Obama campaign promised.
What thanks did white Americans receive for braving horrendous weather conditions, miserable traffic, uncomfortable waits through security, lack of accommodations and great expense? They were ridiculed by a man standing two feet from their new President, who did nothing to defend them. How many felt the icy slap of disillusionment in that moment?
Two steps forward and four steps back.
Chosen by President Obama to give the Benediction, Civil Rights leader Reverend Lowry delivered, with snide humor, an insult which singled out white Americans before the world:
[“Lord we ask you to help us work for that day when Black will not be asked to give back, when Brown can stick around, when Yellow will be mellow, when the Red Man can get ahead man, and when White would embrace what is right.”]
This ‘prayer’ was given before two million Americans, standing in the icy cold, the rest of the nation watching at home, and the world, both friends, and those who would destroy us.
With a broad swipe of his racist brush, he negated much of the hard work, financial donations, votes and good will of white Americans who supported Obama right into the White House. His biased indictment of white America was shamefully beneath the dignity of the occasion.
Two steps forward and four steps back
As an Economic Advisor to President Obama, Robert Reich testified at the Economic Recovery Plan Meeting, January 9th. While discussing infrastructure spending and the stimulus package, he said the following:
[Mr. Reich: “The challenge will be to do it quickly to find projects that can be done that have a high social return. I am concerned, as I’m sure many of you are, that these jobs not simply go to high skilled people who are already professionals or to white male construction workers. I have nothing against white male construction workers, I’m just saying that there are a lot of other people who have needs as well, and therefore in my remarks, I have suggested to you, and I am certainly happy to talk to you about it more, ways in which criteria can be set, so that the money does go to others, the long term unemployed minorities, women, people who are not necessarily construction workers, or high skilled professionals.”]
This is stunning and yet, I have heard no discussion, in the media, of the effort to exclude an entire segment of our society from reaping benefits of the bailout, paid with taxpayer funds.
Let me ask a simple question:
Do white children suffer any less than others when they go to bed with empty stomachs? Do they fear any less watching a desperate parent seeking work to save their homes? Do they not lose opportunities for their future when their parents are unable to secure a higher education for them?
Do white children not suffer when their quality of life is compromised by a failing economy and job and housing markets in severe decline?
The media misleads society into believing all white Americans live in mini-mansions, work white collar jobs, and send their children to private schools. This is patently false. This sideways thinking is meant to cause resentment and envy and to pit one group against another.
Trailer parks, apartment complexes, the disgraceful circumstances in which white Americans find themselves homeless, sleeping in cars, in tents and under bridges is heartbreaking.
Those forced to pay back-breaking taxes to fund these projects, would be excluded from the benefits of work the stimulus is supposed to produce.
This ideology is insulting, to white Americans who struggle to care for their children, and to minorities who work, attend college and are capable of making their own way without a handout from Big Brother who would wield their power to control. The real racism is in thinking that minorities require special consideration because they are in some way inadequate to care for themselves.
Two Steps forward and four steps back
Music Mogul Jay Z showed his true colors at an inaugural party this week. His lack of civility, foul language and hateful rhetoric betray the message of the man he claims to support. With friends like these for President Obama, who needs enemies? But how much of it is self inflicted?
I had intended to quote lyrics from Jay Z’s new song “My President is black” with the speech he gave the audience, but the material is so offensive, I have simply provide you with a link here.
The Obama’s chose to dance their first Presidential Dance, to the classic ‘At Last’ sung by Jay Z’s wife, Beyonce.
President Obama sends a lot of mixed messages. Is this uncertainty intentional or do inner struggles with racism surface through his friends and family? It is fair to ask this question considering some of the characters with which he has associated himself.
Two steps forward four steps back
Larry King shows lack of understanding by exclaiming that ‘Black is in!’ Does that mean that white is out? Apparently, King’s son Cannon, has decided he would rather be black. Kings response to his eight year old son’s potential identity crises?
[King: "There's a lot of advantages to being black,” “Black is in. Is this a turning of the tide?"]
The common mantra in Washington is ‘It’s for the children’ and Americans have paid for social programs to fulfill that idea. Apparently, we must ask which children count in our society and which do not?
Children are being fed a steady diet of ‘Whites are racist by nature’ in school, in music and on television. What are these ideas doing to their self esteem and psyche? Children are sensitive and easily damaged. Do we wish to continue to burden children with the shame of slavery and civil rights violations, for which they were never responsible and have never benefitted? Where are the civil rights leaders with righteous indignation for white children who will suffer from low self esteem, feelings of inadequacy, guilt and a constant need to apologize for the crime of being born white?
Where are the child psychologists who understand that labels damage young lives and when will educators, who won’t give a failing grade for fear of harming a child’s self perception, cease to allow an entire segment of their students to be belittled constantly?
Children of all races are harmed by such backwards thinking. When any child sees others oppressed, and does nothing, it either shames them deeply or hardens their hearts to the plight of others. It is offensive to teach minority children they are inadequate and require special treatment and hand-ups from a government that’s existence is predicated on the dependency of its citizens.
Two steps forward and four steps back
President Obama gave his Inaugural Address to an adoring crowd too overwhelmed by oratory to truly listen to his message. His words, his actions and associations do not mesh. Which Obama is Obama?
(Excerpts: Obama’s Inaugural Address)
[“We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.”
“And because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.”
This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed, why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall. And why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.]
Words must be reinforced by deeds but in the past, Obama worshipped in Pastor Wright’s church for twenty years, years that may have been filled with hateful speeches by the very pastor Obama thought worthy to marry him to Michelle and baptize their children. It was a lecture by Reverend
Wright which inspired the title of Obama’s book, “The Audacity of Hope’.
Michelle Obama has made controversial remarks about her newfound pride, in the country where she lives and has prospered.
[Michelle: “For the first time in my adult life I am really proud of my country, because it feels like hope is making a comeback”.]
In an interview she was asked about her fears for Obama’s safety.
[Michelle: “I don’t lose sleep over it, because the realities are, as a black man, Barack can get shot going to the gas station. You know, so you can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen. “]
The implication is that America is more unsafe for her Harvard graduate husband than for a white male of any standing. The subtle racism is part of a larger picture, unfolding since Obama’s campaign began. I hope her time as First Lady will teach her to appreciate the beauty of America and Americans as a people.
The media has made a spectacle of itself and further endangered all Americans, by constantly beating the drum of racism and implying Obama is in greater danger than any past president. They base this faulty assumption on the fact that he is black, never considering how insulting is the premise that white citizens of this nation who did not support his candidacy, were hell bent on injuring him or worse.
The constant references to increased security, Obama’s beefed up vehicle, aptly nicknamed by Secret Service ‘The Beast’, and the implication there is a racist lone wolf behind every tree in DC was divisive fear mongering, aided by Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff.
God forbid anything happen to him, at the hands of terrorists, or raving lunatics. Race riots are being primed and would tear this nation apart. Should we provide terrorists the tools to destroy us? Did ‘media’ use fear tactics to paralyze the public or hype sagging ratings brought about by biased reporting?
Two steps forward four steps back
President Obama, if he is to become a great leader, must lead by example and speak for every American. In the face of race baiting, his silence is perceived as approval. He must be accountable to at least address issues of race in a truly fair and unbiased way. He came into the political realm as a post racial candidate. It appears he may be ahead of his own friends, family and associates. They do him no favors when they display racial ignorance.
We, as Americans, do him no favors by remaining silent in the face of racism. It must be brought into the light of day, examined honestly and dealt with. Race baiting will only spur more racism.
Americans must not allow this resentment and hatred to contaminate our nation further. Its serves none of us well, except those who profit from it. What we must ask ourselves is what is there to gain from the constant stirring of racial tensions and who benefits?
I fear for the children of this nation, being led by such irresponsible, near sighted, self important adults who should know better.
I challenge Civil rights activists and organizations to practice what they have preached for decades. A citizen whether black, white, brown, yellow or red should be judged by the content of his character, and not the color of his skin as Martin Luther King taught.
I wonder how proud he would have been to see Obama take his Oath. I wonder how disappointed he would have been to hear Reverend Lowry’s prayer.
Two steps forward and four steps back.
© 2009 CJ Graham – All Rights Reserved