Shut down! Shut out! And shut in! Why does White Americans hate our first black president, President Barack Obama? It is easy to point to racism as the root cause, so why does this hatred exist for the black man in the white house. What is it that continues to fuel this raging fire of racism? Why have this president been served a constant diet of political obstruction, personal obsessions, and out right public disdain and disrespect for the man, and the office? This ongoing diet of destruction and division has rendered President Obama unable to govern, even after being elected president for his second term. The recent shutdown (one of many examples) and threat of national default on our debt has been averted for ninety days as the “kick the can down the road” approach takes center stage once again. If President Obama “walked on water”, the power brokers would complain that the Obama “can not swim.” Being born black we learned early in life we have to run faster, hit harder, jump higher, fly better, and in every way perform twice as good as our white counter parts. History underscores this as Jessie Owens, Jackie Robinson, Shirley Chism, Mohammed Ali, the Buffalo Soldiers, the Tuskegee Airmen, and many others can attest.
I remember being the only black student in class during my junior and senior high schools years. We were “bused” to the white community before “busing” became an issue. I recall feeling the eyes of my fellow white students upon me whenever we read about slavery, little black sambo, and Nigger Jim. However I soon learn a coping mechanism and quickly earned even more “stares” when it was revealed that there was only two “A’s” on the exam and I got one of them, hence setting the curb. This practice of being an over achiever educationally, was also displayed in college, even if I had not been prepared to go to college. We were “groomed” for trade school and not college. Our grandparents always stressed higher education stating “learn all you can, they can’t take it away from you.” Later I learn this was not totally true as the politics of higher learning often resulted in the GPA game. Your attitude and many times your color could make a difference between making the dean list or not.
Institutional racism “is” the root cause of President Obama’s problem, but it is being fueled and fed by people who have a vested interest in “unpresidenting” the president. Although the race card has been used effectively by the Tom Cruzes, Ben Carlsons, Sarah Palins, Rush Limbaughs and Allan Wests, and other right and left wingers as well, their exist other cards that needs closer scrutiny. Black people did not elect the first black president of America. Neither did our Hispanic brothers or sisters or Asian Americans. “White” people elected the President Obama. Sure the minority vote put President Obama in the white house. But it was the white voters that sealed the deal and represent the balance of power. Black people represent 3% of the population in the State of Iowa, yet not once but “twice” citizens of Iowa voted for Barack Obama to go to the white house. White Americans (especially Independent label males) voted in numbers that shocked the country by choosing character over color, voting for the one who could best represent America’s hope, dreams and aspirations and not the one who played to the many American fears…fears of declining white electoral power and fear of losing financial control in this great country.
Lorraine Haneberry’s, Raisin In The Sun, depict this diabolic desire to have both political and financial control by any means necessary. “Son, how come you talk so much ‘bout money’?’ cried out the black mother (Ruby Dee) to her son (Sidney Poitier). Art often times imitate life as black people have always struggle for the freedom to learn and to earn. The son responds to his mother’s inquiry saying “Because it is life, Mama!” The struggling mother reminds her son that “once upon a time freedom was life… now its money. I guess the world really do change.” Being black in a white world, the son respond, “No it was always money, Mama. We just didn’t know about it.”
The night of the vote to open back up the government Paul Broun (R-GA) continued to denounce health care reform, President Obama’s crowning jewel to date. “If Obamacare passes, that free insurance card that’s in people’s pockets is gonna be as worthless as a Confederate dollar after the War Between the States, the Great War of Yankee Aggression” said Broun who is flirting for running for senator in Georgia. Yes racism is alive and well, one hundred and fifty years after the Civil War. Shut down! Shut out! And Shut in! What’s next, succession? Hummm…