The time has come...Indeed.
Last month an article was published reporting that Joe Scarborough of MSNBC news denounced what he called the "hatred" from the extreme right. I was pleasantly surprised to read the article as Mr. Scarborough has been the topic of several of my blogs and not in a favorable manner. His show "Morning Joe" often leaves me ranting around my apartment incensed at his topics, guests and point of view. It is good to know that even he has a line to draw on the venomous tone taken by the political "Monday morning quarter backers” since Obama was elected.
This particular article and subsequent reaction from Scarborough discussed Fox commentator's Glen Beck's comments stating that the President was a "racist and disliked all white people."
Righteously Scarborough stated on his show that you "can't call the President of the US a racist". I couldn’t agree more for several reasons. First of all I am a strong believer that it is our duty as a country to support our President. Whether you voted for that person or not, he is our leader and as such we should be behind him or at the very least respect him. I cringe at the thought of what other countries around the world are thinking of us as they watch the way we dishonor our own.
I believe that to many a black president was going to mean that he was going to help only "his people", which in itself smells of racism but is also a ridiculous notion. From George Washington to George W. Bush, all of our presidents have been Caucasian. So, unless anyone is prepared to state that for the last couple of centuries we have had presidents that were racist and only helped out whites, you can not argue the reverse.
Some non-Caucasians may argue that for the last 200+ years politics WERE influenced by racism and may even believe that if these right-wing extremist are now crying "foul" they are doing so because secretly they have done the same and suspect that our president will follow that line of thinking.
Call me naive but I choose to think that most of our former presidents, as well as our present one, honor their vows and work hard for the interest of all Americans, not just a select few. I may be wrong but I think it wise to not make such outrageous assumptions until they are proven.
Joe Scarborough says "You cannot preach hate"
This article as we know is not the first to address race overtly. Racism has been at the forefront of many articles since President Obama took office. In my experience folks get very defensive when racism is brought up and accuse us non-Caucasians of "pulling the race card". This is usually said in a condescending tone as if when we challenge injustice,race is our only line of defense.
Well folks, I am going to pull the "race card" in this article because anyone that thinks that racism isn't alive and well in this country is in denial. I suspect that the very reason there is a racial divide is because we keep pretending racism does not exist.
Many people respond to this belief by stating that "we have come a long way". That's a very interesting response and is in my opinion fascinatingly appalling. My answer to that statement is not only that we have not BUT that there is no reason why we should have ever been behind. People use that line as if we as non-Caucasians should be happy to have as many human privileges as we do. Does this strike any one else as odd?
As a Christian who fervently believes that we are all God's children I am repeatedly amazed that anyone would see nothing wrong with this line of thinking and yet this “logic” is stated proudly quite often.
Let's take a minute to think about just how far we have gotten in this country. We have at least one person of color in most commercials. We have blacks and Latinos actually getting roles that do not insult the race and culture by caricaturizing the myths and stereotypes of the same and of course, we have a black president. This to some would beg the question, "What more do we want"?
I would argue that although we have these "apparent" signs that racism has decreased or been abolished, they are just "truths" behind THE truth. If the color of one's skin were not still an issue in this country we would not witness and hear the things we are today. And as one of my favorite bumper sticker reads, "If you're not concerned, you're not paying attention".
First of all the amazement with which many mention the Denzels and Will Smiths of the silver screen is an example. There are many great actors past and present but the fan fair given to these select few extraordinarily talented actors seems to sometimes suggest that they are an enigma. Like the speaker can't believe that they are not only a great actor but black too. This is similar to the frequent "compliment" I get from colleagues that I am so "articulate". Why the surprise?
Secondly, I believe that if President Obama were not "black" we would not be witnessing this level of scrutiny this early on. During his first 100 days I remember all the objections to his ideas, plans, etc. It took us how long to start to scrutinize "W"?
Lastly I share with you my dear readers, a story that was sent to me by a good friend. This recent article reports that a Justice of the Peace in Louisiana has denied marriage to an interracial couple. Today, in 2009!
This article reports that he did this "for the sake of the children they might have". The article and facts are not only disconcerting but sad. Again as a Christian I can almost sense my Heavenly Father weep for His children.
- Interracial Couple Denied Marriage License By Louisiana Justice Of The Peace
(AP) NEW ORLEANS A Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have. Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his ex
In the article the Justice of the Peace brags that he has "piles and piles" of black friends and that he actually allows them to use the bathroom in his home like anyone else. I suppose that what this man expected others to believe as he told the world this is that he is not a racist. That acting humanely is a kind gesture for which he should be applauded. Ladies and gentleman, people of differing races, ethnic backgrounds and cultures are not animals that you welcome into your home and boast about like you would take in a stray cat or dog. We are speaking of people.
We boast about the United States being the land of the free, with the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. In my opinion, as far as having "come a long way", the existence of even ONE American having this view about his fellow human beings is one too many and should not be tolerated.
So you can argue that the reaction of this current administration has nothing to do with race all you want but the tone of this all too common rhetoric by more than just right-wing extremist does not lie and can't be masked. It is time that we take a good look at ourselves as a country and put our racial divide to rest.
By Evelyn Rivera (c) Copyright November 2009
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