Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Not so thinly disguised Racism

Every once in a while I get one of these "Remember when…” emailed articles from somebody. Things like Baby Ruth’s used to be a nickel, ice-cream cones were a dime. Banana splits were thirty-five cents. Our first house cost the astronomical sum of $15,000. And our first brand new lime-green VW cost $1900.00. That’s enough of back there—except I remember when President George Washington’s picture was on most of our school class walls and we were told that he never told a lie. Unless my memory is fading there was also a picture of Franklin Delano Roosevelt—who at my house was way up there close to Jesus. As the Presidents changed the pictures changed. But these men were revered and almost considered holy. When our teachers said: “The President…” they always spoke in somber tones.

That, of course was before Nixon and Watergate and JFK and his peccadilloes that came out later. That was before Bill Clinton‘s shenanigans and George Bush’s lies about Weapons of Mass Destruction. No wonder we cast a suspicious eye. We learned painfully that Presidents, like those they serve have clay feet. Though, some are clay-er than others.And yet this campaign to smear Obama is disturbing and unhealthy for our nation.Did all the birthers really believe we elected a man to our highest office and nobody checked to make sure he was a bonafide American? This, of course has been followed with he is a Muslim, a Socialist, a Communist and a Fascist. Some fundamentalist pastors have even proclaimed that he is the Antichrist.

And now people are keeping their children home from school because the President in his address to the nation's school children may hypnotize or brainwash them or sneak in his agenda—whatever that may be. Not only is this insulting to the President and the office of the President but it sends a powerful message to our kids that our President is a creep. Have we no decency?

The Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida must be a mouthpiece for the Christian Right. He said, “I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology. “ He went on to say that Obama would use the broadcast to the children to justify his alleged takeover of health care, banks and carmakers. He said, “Public schools can’t teach children to speak out in support of the sanctity of human life or traditional marriage. President Obama and the Democrats wouldn’t dream of allowing prayer in school. Christmas Parties and now Holiday Parties. But the Democrats have no problem going against the majority of American people and usurping the rights of parents by sending Pied Piper Obama into the American classroom.” (For a great article on this issue I suggest you read Robert Parham's, Unhinged Southern Baptists, Republicans Slam Obama’s School Speech, September 8, 2009, ethicsdaily.com)

The good old days were not so good. Remember segregated schools? Remember American’s forced to ride in the back of buses? Remember good Christian deacons standing at the front door of churches making sure only the right people came in. Remember the assassination of Martin Luther King? Racism is alive and well in 2009, I am afraid. I just hope that one day when our children are old timers, they will look back and remember when…America not only elected their first African-American President but learned in that hard time to get along with one another despite our differences. And, for this, I pray daily.

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