Posts Tagged ‘racism’

Being America’s First Black President Has Its Privileges

Friday, May 25th, 2012

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.

Gorillas, Chimps, & Spooks: The GOP’s Favorite Things

Monday, April 18th, 2011

The natives are restless again. It seems the more I try to sell what’s good about the Republican party to my liberal and black friends, fiscal responsibility, limited government and lower taxes, the harder it gets. Republicans continue to prove racism is alive, well and kicking within the established ranks of the party and it needs to be expunged from the GOP.

Once again, we have white Republicans portraying President Barack Obama, our first elected BLACK president, as a chimpanzee. Orange County Republican Committee member Marilyn Davenport thought it would be funny to create a portrait of a chimpanzee family with a Mom and Dad holding a baby chimp in overalls with the face of President Obama and the caption, “Now you know why — No birth certificate!” Davenport then emailed it to some of her closet friends and other committee members.

When her grotesque, disrespectful, racist caricature of the President of the United States was revealed to a reporter, she called the person’s action “cowardly” (ain’t that the pot calling the kettle black) and defended her actions:

“I’m sorry if my email offended anyone, I simply found it amusing regarding the character of Obama and all the questions surrounding his origin of birth. “In no way did I even consider the fact he’s half black when I sent out the email. In fact, the thought never entered my mind until one or two other people tried to make this about race. We all know a double standard applies regarding this president. I received plenty of emails about George Bush that I didn’t particularly like, yet there was no ‘cry’ in the media about them.”

Her excuse for being caught in “emailing while racist” ranks up there with “the dog ate my homework” and “some of my closest friends are black.” This reminds me of the summer of 2009 when Newscoma.com reported on its blog that Sherri Goforth, legislative aid to Tennessee State Senator Diane Black (R-Gallatin), emailed “Historical Keepsake Photo” to “the wrong list of people.”

Every white president in the image was depicted with a portrait or photo of himself until you get to our 44th and first black president Barack Obama. His picture is a caricature of the grossest, most racist sort: a black background with white eyes piercing through. This image is reminiscent of a spook, a racist term used for blacks to suggest because of their dark skin they can blend into the night and look like a ghost. The image also looks like a coon, another abhorrent caricature portraying blacks as lazy, inarticulate buffoons.

I dubbed this the long hot GOP racist summer of 2009 because South Carolinian Republican activist Rusty DePass compared Michelle Obama to a gorilla, who escaped from Columbia, South Carolina Zoo. Then I wrote: “Either image is offensive and racist and particularly repugnant when applied to the President of the United States. It reminds us this country and more importantly the Republican party has a long way to go on race relations and living in reality.”

Ms. Goforth didn’t resign and only was reprimanded by her boss. Of course Ms. Davenport is showing the same racist resilience and refusing to resign or admit she did anything wrong.

Since blacks were brought to America as slaves in the 1600s, we have been compared to monkey’s, chimpanzees, gorillas, apes, ridiculed as coons, sambos, mammies and Toms, anything short of equals to whites. The fact that Aunt Jemima syrup is still sold in the US is repugnant in itself. And that not too long ago, the image of the overweight black mammy with a bandana wrapped around her head like Mammy in Gone with the Wind still adorned the bottle of syrup is even more abhorrent and repulsive.

Apparently, Orange County GOP Committee Chairman Scott Baugh has called for Davenport’s resignation but he needs to do more than that. If she refuses to resign, Baugh should kick her off. As a conservative BLACK woman, I’m sick of talking out of both sides of my mouth, condemning the racism erstwhile calling myself a Republican and encouraging people of color to step into a GOP tent in which they don’t seem to be welcome.

Newsflash GOP: White bigots don’t own the Republican party and We Blacks have just as much right as whites to believe in the Grand Old Party as the rest of you. GOP and Tea Party Newsflash #2: You both need to get over this birther and racist talk. It should not be tolerated by party leaders like Speaker John Boehner. Obama is a US citizen and yes a Black man. If you have a problem with either, get over it. This kind of bigoted talk direct or inferred isn’t going to win you elections in the 21st century. It may have worked before 1964 but not today. Criticize Obama on his performance not the color of his skin.

While some Americans may not agree with Obama’s policies, I think it shameful he and the First Lady continue to endure this utter disrespect of the office of the President by the people of the United States. I think some Americans need to go back and read the Constitution and remember “all men are equated equal,” yes that includes the Black president of the United States.