Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Post Racial?" No

By Frank Schaeffer

Okay, race isn't all of it. Yes there are many factors as to why the Republicans are stonewalling our president. But then again if our history is any guide when it comes to the problems Obama faces we Americans have a history of pretending we're more tolerant than we in fact are.

Here's the truth: when the electoral high and hype wore off America woke up to the fact we had elected a black man for president. And then right wing America decided nothing he did could be right.

(Just for the record: I'm a white 57-year-old former right wing evangelical leader and Republican that in the mid-1980s left my far right nutty ideology behind as I explain in my book Patience With God: Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion (or Atheism).

Could race be a factor in opposing absolutely everything the President does?

Hell no! What an insult!

Lots and lots of mere coincidences!

Republicans just happen to not want to cooperate with anything this man does.

It's not about race it's just a coincidence that the Tea-Party movement is lily white and just happened to come along now!

It's just a coincidence that the all-white militia movement has become reanimated.

It's just a big fluke that the Republicans are voting against things they've always asked for as soon as the black man in the White House says he's for them.

I say the "black man in the White House" not the President because "We Real Americans" know he isn't even an American citizen!

It also has nothing to do with him being black that we say he's the anti-Christ.

It just so happens that the threat level that the Secret Service investigates is up 400% above that of any previous presidency.

And that all those white evangelical leaders and Roman Catholics and Orthodox bishops just happened to sign their so-called Manhattan Declaration warning the black president that he'll be the "next Hitler" if he supports abortion rights and stem cell research happened on Obama's watch is also a mere coincidence.

Evangelicals ganging up on Obama has nothing to do with the energy drawn from the Obama/Hitler posters being circulated by the likes of people who also portray Obama with a bone in his nose! So when the evangelicals draw parallels to the Nazis that's just a coincidence too!

And the "fact" that Fox News calls Obama a Socialist, Racist and even a Communist, has nothing to do with race! It's perfectly normal for a news channel to work 24/7 to denigrate a president!

That Fox News has crossed the line to advocacy by actually organizing Tea Party events that border on calls for revolution and violence also just happens to have occurred now that a black man is president.

And the fact that Glenn Beck is a Mormon and the Mormons have a long and recent overt racist history (only Johnny-come-lately apologized for) is just a fluke too as Beck's emerged as the loudest of the Obama-isn't-one-of-us-prophets-for-profit.

And the fact that the white former VP Dick Cheney -- for the first time in American history -- has as a former VP accused the head of state of not wanting to keep America safe is also of course, nothing to do with disrespect to a black man!

And the fact that much of the country is turning against the president -- and will thus stalemate the government and face potential ruin -- has nothing to do with the fact that in the hard cold light of day many white Americans -- no matter what they say -- just can't accept in their gut that they not only have a black man for president but that he's manifestly smarter, kinder and more patient than they are.

So why won't president Obama or his closest advisors say race is more than just a factor? Maybe for the same reason that I refused to acknowledge that as a polio victim that when I used to do downhill ski racing there was something rather unique about my achievement. I just wanted to be like everyone else. And Obama has understandably and laudably just wanted to be a good president not a "black president."

Trouble is Obama's trying to lead anything but a good country. Too much of America is racist to the core.


Well consider this: so much of what the right says it believes about our country is also so patently absurd that something else must be going on. I suggest that "that something else" is that a big chunk of white America would rather die than admit to their racism so they latch onto any excuse -- no matter how far-fetched -- to dismiss our black president.

How else to explain not a few thousand nuts but (according to the polls) millions of sane people who are "birthers", deathers" believe that the Federal Reserve is involved in an international plot to destroy our freedoms, say that they are stockpiling weapons and food because the government will -- under Obama -- soon declare a dictatorship?

In fact the right wing hero-of-the-hour -- Sarah Palin -- goes out of her way to say she doesn't know much and is suspicious of both experts and facts. She's in a regular guy competition for Most Ignorant Lowest Common Denominator Prize. She actually says that her ignorance proves she's a Real American not like those "elites." I'm afraid she's right about that. Palin is a real American all right, and all-too typical.

We're living in a country where tens of millions of so-called conservatives would rather embrace outright and absurdly silly paranoid lies, go bankrupt, fail, lose our place in history and saddle ourselves with virtually infinite debt than work constructively with a moderate, decent, smart, kind and honest black man.


Dave C said...

Just for the record, Obama and the Democrat party held significant majorities in Congress.

DEMOCRATS held roughly 30 seats in the House over the Republicans.

And for an entire year (before the election of Scott Brown), in the Senate, DEMOCRATS owned 58 of those seats plus two Independents who always voted with the Democrats for the most part. Lieberman broke ranks on foreign policy from time to time but domestic policy, he was a solid yes vote. DEMOCRATS would have been able to get anything they wanted pass cloture.

The Republicans can't stonewall a cat trying to escape a cardboard box. Because they are powerless in Congress.

Anything blocking Obama's legislation is automatically bipartisan in nature.

House and Senate are supposed to be in the palm of Obama's hand and he can't, CAN'T unify his own party to pass his agenda?

Grow up Frank. Obama can't even bring opposite sides of a magnet together.

Your President is a failure.

ramblingmanofals said...

Grow Up? How about "Wake Up"! Only one of the worst presidency years ever following "Mission Accomplished" some 2,000 days after that BS campaign. "W" said, fool me once, fool me....... Blua Blua Blua, GOP. "W" prayed daily, for what, the biggest mess ever? Wake Up! Dave C.

DomainDiva said...

In the two years leading up to the year 2000, the far right christian groups led by Gary North conned people into spending millions of dollars to stockpile food, weapons and even move into different areas,predicting the end of America and UN troops in the streets on Jan 1, 2000.

The problem is some people need a movement to make their lives better. Not knowing how to live and not cause pain to themselves and others,, they join these mkovements to feel better about themselves. They have to have something to be a part of, to fight for and thus extremist groups are born. Extreme people get all the attention because they shout the loudest and have a willingness to pool rescources to ensure that their message is heard.

Major changes, such as Obama being elected are a catlyst for extremist behavior. With the instant information we have now things go viral quicker than ever. As for me I stopped arguing with these people, realizing that winning an argument would only be to satisy my ego because I am right and someone else is wrong. We have to be perfectly content to let the extremist side of the movement have its' say while we have ours, hoping that an appeal to logic and intellect will win out.

Movements that are built on fear, mistrust, greed and racism are doomed from the outset. It's sad that so many good people are hurt during the process.

Dave C said...

Rambling Man of ALS:

Say whatever the hell you want about W. I don't care. He burned me a long time ago.

But don't ignore what I said. Show me where and how it was even possible for the Republicans to stonewall Pres. Obama?

They worked themselves into a super minority in 08. They couldn't stop a fart in a crowded elevator.

Why couldn't Obama unite his own side of isle in Congress to get what he wanted passed?

Dave C said...

Evangelicals ganging up on Obama has nothing to do with the energy drawn from the Obama/Hitler posters

Liberals started comparing the President with Hitler first.

Called reaping what you sow.

larry white said...

Good point, Dave C: there have been many, including me for awhile, who considered themselves too committed to the left to compromise with Obama's "centrism".

And on the uncompromising right there are a significant minority of non-whites who may make some of their white collaborators feel less racist.

Matt | o2h2d2 said...

Please look at my other comment: under "My Latest on Grit TV Re Race and Obama."

One cannot deny the fact that in history the US has always had an issue with racism, and unfortunates. The US has done nothing more than ventured the racism issue for political, military, entertainment, erotic and economic 'vantaging.' Even our socialization of certain government services were done for the explicit purpose of subduing and controlling the massing of certain groups or types. One might say, God forbid, that racism is subliminally inbred in the majority of US citizens. But if you're reading this comment, don't worry, you're not racist . . .