The lack of respect for President Obama is bigotry and intolerance in its purest form. The debates about health care and education are defining the role of the far right-wing media in U.S. society.
How did Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and other so-called journalist and broadcasters in mainstream media get it so wrong? What the conservative media and many elected officials on the “right”are doing is easy to understand.
The right continues to disseminate their false arguments as facts over the airwaves. They, along with many conservative Republicans and some members of the Democratic Party, are promoting the opposition to the president’s plan for health care reform and his blueprint for education through bigotry, plain and simple. Their agenda is to confuse the public and distort his message with propaganda.
South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson, during the president’s joint message to Congress called Mr. Obama a liar, and Fox News commentator Glenn Beck said he believes President Barack Obama is a racist.
Do Hannity and Wilson respect the president as the holder of the highest office in the land and the most powerful man in the world, or just a Black man whom they have no reason to respect?
Have they ever asked themselves what are the defining characteristics of being “White” or “Black” in America today? Is it solely a matter of skin color? Probably in their eyes, Mr. Obama is linked to the only group to have involuntarily immigrated to the United States, and have been forcibly stripped of its culture, not realizing that African or Black Americans has as a group yet to receive its fair share of the American Dream. In my opinion, they have racially stereotyped the president of the United States.
Unfortunately, racial stereotypes are still alive and well in this country despite progressive steps to eliminate it. But the media and many politicians as well, consistently use negative images to portray African-Americans. These stereotypes are not accurate and African-Americans are unfairly and unrealistically portrayed on television and other forms of media.
Among the responsibilities of journalists and politicians is to meaningful link persons of African descent accurately to their ancestral past, but what have we seen during Mr. Obama’s short term in office? We have witnessed a conspiracy by members in the media and many conservatives to disrupt town hall meetings, force media outlets to cover the Tea Parties, investigate President Obama’s birth certificate, and attack public officials and Obama supporters.
Mr. Obama’s presidency is historical and it is a defining role in the growth of the country. It highlights one of the many contributions of Black Americans that have influenced our culture, enriched our society and is shaping the history of the United States. So how can the right be so wrong?
I would like President Obama to remember a poem by Langston Hughes:
I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother. They send me to eat in the kitchen when company comes,
But I laugh, and eat well, and grow strong.
Tomorrow, I’ll be at the table when company comes.
Nobody’ll dare say to me, “Eat in the kitchen,”
Then, besides, they’ll see how beautiful I am, and be ashamed—
I, too, am America.
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