Behind the smokescreen of disrespect lurks plain old racism
OK, I gotta take the gloves off and come out swinging. I’m so fired up and mad that I can’t even watch the news anymore, local or national, because if I see the story about that congressman from South Carolina heckling the president, it’s going to make my blood pressure go up again.
Never in our nation’s history has a member of Congress heckled the president during a nationally televised address, and we’ve had some tense moments in our nation’s history. But whether the commander in chief has been a Democrat or a Republican, members of the other party have respected his title as president and realized that he, this man, is the leader by majority vote to govern these United States of America.
Now, it seems all the common courtesies that accompany the office of the President have been tossed out of the window and all bets are off. Seems as if you can just openly and outright disrespect the President of the United States as he addresses the country by – of all things – calling a liar!
What? Oh baby, I wish Barack could have gotten real “Black” on Joe Wilson just for a moment and went back to the South Side of Chicago with him. ‘Cause not only did Wilson call him a liar, but he did so out loud, in front of everybody – including Mrs. Obama!
You know, if me and you are arguing, you can say a whole lot of sh** to me. You can call me ugly, fat, nappy headed, a liar, silly. You can even stick it to me and say I ain’t funny (and you’d better run after that, ’cause them is fighting words). But that’s all between us.
But you call me – of all things – a liar, out loud, in front of my wife, while the television cameras are rolling, and you point your finger at me…! If I was the president, I would have put Joe Biden in charge for about 10 minutes, forgot I was the leader of this great nation, jumped over that podium and commenced to kicking Joe Wilson’s natural behind.
It would have taken the Secret Service, FBI, and two members of the Black Panthers to keep me from drawing blood – and I wouldn’t be administering no test for the swine flu, either! The next congressman who was thinking of playing me for a chump would think twice before doing so, especially in the presence of my wife.
But I guess that is why we elected President Obama, ’cause he’s calm under pressure. I know what the problem is. There is a certain segment of our population that does not respect President Obama, this Black man, as the leader of this country.
He was voted in, on a majority vote. No recount was needed, he won outright, but still the color of his skin nullifies the entire election somehow. These same people don’t respect him or the office he holds. These are the same people who don’t want President Obama addressing their school children.
I can hear them now at the office and their Klan meetings talking to their friends: “Who does he think he is? He can’t talk to my kids! I’m going to pull them out of school on the first day to avoid hearing his political message. He’s trying to brainwash our children!”
All that was a smokescreen to hide the real issue: racism. What they were really saying was (let me translate for you): “I don’t want that uppity Negro telling my kids anything! He’s not qualified! Let him go talk to the Black kids, they need inspiration. My kids don’t need it. Their test scores aren’t low and they know how to read!”
Yeah, that’s right, I said it! Truth hurts, y’all, but I’m speaking it now! This is where we are in this country, and other nations are laughing at us and pointing the finger. We thought we had come so far, but what we’ve done is shine the spotlight on a dark and deep-seated hatred that some people still have in their hearts for people of color, especially and including our president.
I mean, George W. Bush had the lowest approval ratings of any sitting president in history at one point. He addressed Congress when his own Republican Party members didn’t want to be seen with him, but nobody would ever heckle W while he was addressing the nation!
Why? Because he was the President of the United States of America. Even if you didn’t like the man and his ideology, you had to respect his position and the office he held.
Somehow, because President Obama’s skin is a little bit darker than previous sitting presidents, suddenly he’s not due the same respect. All the decorum gets tossed out the widow and you can call the president a liar on national television and then try to apologize in private on the phone. And make no mistake about it – Congressman Wilson ain’t apologizing because he’s sorry, but because he was forced to by his party and he’s up for re-election.
Y’all, we are in a sad state in this country right now when we can’t have a healthy debate about health care without a near riot breaking out. It’s just plain old ridiculous when people pull their children out of school because they don’t want them to hear a presidential address.
But the straw that breaks the camel’s back is when a sitting member of Congress, during a presidential address, holds so much disdain in his heart for the president that he just yells out and calls the commander in chief a liar on national television while he is talking. I can’t do anything but shake my head and pray that times get better.
Sheletta Brundidge is host and executive producer of CrossRoads and a regular contributor to the MSR. She welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her website at http://sheletta.com.
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