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Former President Barack Obama
Over the years of the Obama presidency, I witnessed frightful attacks in social media on him and his family. Having a Black president, instead of elevating our race relationships, seemed to bring the haters and racists out-of-the-closet. The President and the First Family wisely chose the slogan "when they go low, we go high" and did not respond to such nastiness.
Even after his eight years in office, people continue to heap abuse on him. Sometimes, I can't stand it anymore and respond with some facts and explanations. My words fail to change any closed minds.
I've featured here some of these essays supporting the Obamas.
Why Someone Loses a Job after Calling Obama a Chimp
It's OK to disagree with the first family and to even call them names. I must admit in the past that I called George W. Bush an idiot. I didn't lose my job because of that. It's called freedom of speech. No one wanted to censor me (maybe because it was true).
What's not OK, is the racist names that people apply to our last president and first lady. That's why someone gets fired after calling Michelle Obama a chimp. It's because they exposed their racism publicly and their employers don't want someone like that representing them.
If you don't understand the difference, then it probably is time for you to get some sensitivity training. Start by looking at your friend's list on Facebook. Are all the faces white? Maybe it is time to expand your social circle and expand your thinking to realize that people are people, no matter what color their skin is.
Insulting people of color by comparing them to a chimpanzee indicates that you have a serious case of white supremacist thinking. There's a group for people who think like that. It's the Ku Klux Klan. Heaven, help us, if that is the way you think. Heaven, help us, if the KKK grows in power in this country.
Freedom of speech does not mean you can spew racist comments all over social media. It won't be the FBI or local police who care, it would be your boss and the company you work for who is publicly embarrassed by your hateful racism.
Freedom of speech means you won't go to jail for it, but losing your job is a rational consequence of putting your employer in an awkward, untenable position.
When the Obama Family Was in the White House
My Response to Another Hate Filled Comment about the Obama Family
(This was written not long after Obama was elected)
Sometimes I see some hateful comments people put on Facebook about the First Lady and the President's family members. It's really distasteful and makes me wonder how this person happens to be among my Facebook friends.
Yes, your candidate for president lost and you are subjected to news coverage of a First Family that isn't the one you would have picked. Still, that is no excuse for a discussion like the one I'll share with you here.
First, the commenter posted a photo of Michelle Obama, her 2 daughters and her mother exiting from Air Force One. They'd accompanied the President to Beijing. Here's how his friends reacted:
First comment, "That is a whole bunch of Ugly...I never knew that ALL of that family looked that bad...& I'm sorry, I'm no fashion expert but that is one ugly drab dress..& on an ugly drab ?? It looks even worse..."
Another person commented, "Its bad enough that Michelle and the kids are there... but what in hell is Grandma there for????"
The original person chimed in with, "She lives off us in the White House so why not on trips too."
I couldn't stand it any longer, so added my two cents, "It is not uncommon for many families across the US to have a parent living with them. She provides oversight for the girls while the First Lady attends required functions. That's all I'm going to say since I don't want to disrupt your hate-fest too much."
Now, I didn't want to get in a slanging match with people who have dedicated themselves to hating a black family, but the only way I could interpret their comments were in a racist context. It's very sad to see how racism is going strong in America.
Do you see some discussions on Facebook that are hateful?
Why Isn't Obama in Jail? (My Answer)
I try not to get into Facebook discussions where Republicans and Democrats are bashing each other. It never ends well.
I couldn't resist responding, when I saw this comment, "This is why i could NOT understand why hillary, obama and ALL their criminal friends were not being put in jail !!!!!"
Here's my answer:
Because Obama was a constitutional lawyer before being president and also an intelligent man with intelligent advisors, nothing he did ever crossed the line into being illegal. With a Republican-controlled Congress, you know if there had been one single transgression, they would have impeached him in a minute. There is nothing. NOTHING.
On the other hand, Trump has blundered around, thinking he is the emperor, won't listen to advice, and all his efforts to conceal his previous illegal behavior has led to his current illegal behavior. What a mess.
Take a look at the Facebook meme (below) from before the 2012 election.
Then read the rest of my rant below the meme.
Continued from Above
Anyway, I'm sure the person ranting about jail for Obama won't listen to a word I said. I'm not sure why I bothered to post. I sure don't want to spend all morning debating such nonsense as he's spouting.
It's always a risk when you enter one of these Facebook political debates, that the person will follow back to your Facebook profile and try to make trouble for you.
How about you? Do you enter into some of these discussions on social media?
© 2018 Virginia Allain