The last few years have seen the degeneration of race relations in an unprecedented manner. In normal circumstances, this would seem quite unusual considering we have a man in the Oval office who is of mixed race. Shouldn’t race relations be much better than they are?
Unfortunately the main problem is that Obama is the most divisive president the United States has ever known, frequently referring to the black community as being downtrodden. Even at the early stages of his campaign, he commented in Jacksonville, Florida, “We know what kind of campaign they’re going to run. They’re going to try to make you afraid. They’re going to try to make you afraid of me. … He’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black?”
From then on, the moment anyone disagreed with him, the mantra became, “it’s because he’s black…” Any sensible person would chalk up those remarks to ignorance – which they are. And yet throughout his presidency he’s incited hatred between the races.
Charlie Rangel replied to a question about Obama’s skin color as an issue for Republicans, suggesting the far right opposes Obama’s domestic policy just to embarrass the president — a goal, he said, which is rooted in their prejudice.
“Who would hurt their own people — in terms of cutting off health, job opportunity, food stamps — to get after this president? It takes a lot of hatred to hurt yourself just to embarrass the president,” Rangel said. “So, I’m trying to think with the tea party — and basically what they have said and what their spokespeople have said — this would not be the same if the president was not of color.”
Obama appears to have become the media darling who can do no wrong – the big question is, why? Is it because non-black people afraid of being called a racist? Perhaps. Some people are so overly cautious about being called a ‘racist’ that they aren’t even sure how to simply describe people anymore. Just last week, when referring to someone who came into the room, one of my students asked, “Was he black?” Another student, who is black, immediately took offense to this until I explained that it’s natural to use skin color as a descriptor, just like hair color, freckles, tall, short etc. Said student settled down and understood the point I was making.
When was the last time Obama publicly commented on a non-black person being shot by a black person? Well, he hasn’t. Many of my friends who initially voted for him because of his skin color now realize the damage he has done to the nation and, in particular, to the black community. Obama mixes with the likes of Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, Jeremiah Wright, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton, among others. These people are not subtle in their hatred of white America. The U.S. is a melting pot with a rich history of overcoming many obstacles and providing opportunities for success for anyone and everyone. Racism is an abhorrent societal problem that can be overcome, or at least reduced to a bare minimum with the correct leadership in place.
Obama has the characteristics of a racist, yet he has done next to nothing for the black community—and more are speaking out. In a recent video, a black senior woman said, “First, let me start by saying that I am an 82-year old, black, senior citizen grandmother and I voted straight Republican because I have been noticing for years what the Democrat Party have done to my people.”
Many on the left have said Martin Luther King would be proud of the accomplishments today of having the first black president in office. What they’re forgetting is that Dr. King’s legacy was based on his belief that a man should be “ judged on the content of his character” and not his skin color, something his niece, Dr. Alveda King, tried to reiterate in 2012, when she warned people about voting for Obama and the consequences if they did.
“The economy has been disastrous for African-Americans, with 35 percent of young blacks out of work. Whatever recovery some people are feeling isn’t reaching into the country’s poor communities,” she said. “Believe it or not, women and African-Americans now are very concerned about safety and security of our nation. They’re a little more interested in what’s going to happen if terrorists are able to come into our country. … We’re not as safe as we thought we were.”
Going forward, everyone should follow MLK’s lead and look beyond race for leadership. This is the best hope for change we can ask for.