Being America’s First Black President Has Its Privileges
Apparently, being America’s first black President has its benefits. It means President Obama can cry racism (and get away with it) anytime Republicans criticize his policies or his past, specifically his past association with a racist pastor. When the New York Times published a story last week about a GOP plan to run negative ads connecting Obama to Reverend Jeremiah Wright and his race baiting sermons, the Obama race machine pounced.
bama campaign manager Jim Messina called it “The blueprint for a hate-filled, divisive campaign of character assassination speaks for itself. It also reflects how far the party has drifted in four short years since John McCain rejected these very tactics.” How is it hate-filled or racist to run ads revealing the truth about Obama’s 20 plus year relationship with Wright who gave race-baiting sermons? If anything running such ads would reveal a hate-filled side of Obama’s character. How could Obama allow a reverend like Wright to marry him and baptize his two children?
The moment the story ran, the mainstream news media, who is so in the tank for Obama no matter how bad a president he is, called the GOP strategy “hard line” and “racist.” And as predicted, Romney, billionaire Joe Ricketts and Karl Rove ran scared and repudiated the strategy. In 2008, Senator John McCain declined to produce similar ads for fear of being called a racist by the media. Obama and his team have put Republicans on notice that they will inject race into the 2012 campaign at every turn.
Talk about a double standard. The Republicans should not have caved into Obama’s campaign of threats and intimidation. I bet all the white presidents before Obama would have liked to be able to pull the race card out of their back pockets at the drop of hat. I’m sure Bill Clinton really wished he could have used the excuse of being black to blame Republicans for trying to impeach him.
A turn coat Republican leaked the now derailed 54 page plan, to the New York Times. The plan, entitled The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama: The Ricketts Plan to End His Spending for Good, outlined a strategy to run a series of ads linking Obama with Rev. Wright. Billionaire Joe Ricketts planned to pour $10million into a pro Romney Super PAC to run ads reminding Americans of Obama’s long relationship with racist Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
What’s wrong with this strategy? Obama belonged to Wright’s Chicago church Trinity United Church of Christ. This is where Wright gave racists sermons. According to the book Game Change, Wright railed about the treatment of blacks: “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes the three-strike law, and then wants us to sing God Bless America. No, no, no! Not God bless America-Goddamn America!” In another sermon, he referred to America as the “US of KKK A,” (Game Change, p. 234).
After 9/11, Wright preached America brought this horrific act upon itself: “We bombed Hiroshima! We bombed Nagasaki! And we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye. We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back into our own front yards!,”(Game Change, p. 234).
Some Republican Super PAC should have the guts not only to run ads connecting the deep relationship Obama had with Rev. Wright but also include remarks from Obama’s 2008 race speech “A More Perfect Union.” The speech was a political gimmick Obama used to get the fawning media off his back when Rolling Stone first exposed his relationship with Wright. But Obama refused to denounce Wright. He said “I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.”
There is nothing racist about running a political ad which shows Obama never denounced his relationship with a race-baiter like Wright who preached America deserved 9/11. Since 2008, Obama and his team have always been the ones injecting race into his campaign and administration. While campaigning in Missouri in 2008, Obama accused McCain of trying to scare voters about him even though McCain vigorously defended Obama against attacks from some McCain supporters. Obama said: “So what they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know, he’s not patriotic enough. He’s got a funny name. You know, he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills, you know. He’s too risky,” (Game change, p. 331)
If Obama thinks it’s fair game to attack Romney’s record at the equity firm Bain Capital, then it’s fair game for Romney and Republicans to shine the light on Obama’s past. Being the first black president does not give Obama a free pass on being held accountable to the same standards of criticism as those who went before him. Voters deserve to hear the truth about Obama in 2012, not narratives spun of make believe.