Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Only in America
I’ll start this “Thought Provoking Perspective” with God Bless America. I ask for this blessing because there are those forces among us who want to turn back the hands of time. You know the party of “No”, who want to take over the government again to use their power to further rape the country. The characters that have emerged in this movement, I believe, are scary enough for us to ask for help from someone greater than ourselves. Of course some of these people who want to take back their country are saying the same thing - in the name of God, which is frightening too. These are the same folks who want us to believe in the false assertion that America is now a “Post Racial” nation and it is them who are now being discriminated against.
Back in the day, there were the George Wallace’s, Bull Connor’s, Strom Thurman’s and today we have a new breed; Glenn Beck, Andrew Breitbart, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh – to name a few. Their rage, from sea to shining sea, infects their followers who create conspiracies and assume false motives regarding everything that quite neatly put the country into a place of perceived fear. This place they envision or want back was not all that great, I know I was there; elitism, white privilege, and America’s racial codes were the foundation for segregation, cruelty, and amoral agenda’s. So I suppose the new complexion of America is freighting to those who stole the country in the first place.
Let’s face it; it had been a pretty good run, about 400 years, with little sign of any serious trouble challenging their superiority. The system was working and humming along as they came up with new forms of government so that all people of their hue, particularly men, benefited. They controlled or occupied just about every branch of government for more than two centuries and had sole possession and leadership of its executive branch, where the symbol of power is the White House.
Today, that streak has been broken; a non-white president accepted the oath of office and they went crazy or at least the right wing faction. Hatred came forth through the likes of Former House majority leader Tom Delay who suggested that instead of a formal inauguration, Barrack Obama should "have a nice little chicken dinner and we'll save the $125 million,". The chicken thing is a clear code when white folks referred to black people with a subtle gesture of bigotry.
Then there are those who say the president was not born in the United States; therefore, ineligible to be president. His father was Kenyan and he was born in Hawaii, which they barely consider part of the United States. His mother was white and after the Kenyan guy left, she married a guy Indonesian, before coming back to Hawaii. Meanwhile, the man who looks black was brought up largely by his white grandparents. Oh, he says he's Christian, but he has a Muslim-sounding name. He's not black, he's not white. . . . Is . . . is he even human? Tea baggers and many Republicans believe in their hearts that the president is the antichrist. Pure psycho drama!
They believe the devil has taken over the country and for the first time in American history, those who controlled every endeavor for so long [government, finance, politics, business, education, the arts, ect.] are devastated. The man the rest of America voted in office has somehow stolen something from them. The fear of losing their power or being replaced by young brown and black kids is neither the America they know nor the way it is suppose to be. Facing the fact that 40 percent of the nation's population under 18 is already non-white, with that number significantly higher in the Southwest. By 2023, that number of young non-whites will be an outright national majority.
I read an article last week where the author used this parable: Its "Like tectonic plates, these slow-moving but irreversible forces may generate enormous turbulence as they grind against each other … At some point, when tectonic plates build up enough tension, that destructive energy gets unleashed in a major earthquake.” Actually, this is a pretty good metaphor for what happened the day a black man got elected president. The conservative movement thought the world ended.
Naturally, these people are not thinking about how distressed the economy was when Mr. Obama took office or the two wars of which neither was implemented properly or being fought with clear goals. This is to include the housing markets that resembled a war zone, a health system crippled with costs, and an auto industry in the tank. This, one would think should be reason enough to be strong Americans and pull together to fix this mess, right? No….
Let’s take a look at what they have been doing. They vilified the community organization ACORN, which was a nonprofit that organized voter drives and worked for improved wages and housing for poor, and worked for mostly non-white Americans. Because of who they organized, they became public enemy No. 1 in the eyes of certain people not so thrilled with black folks registering to vote in large numbers. Therefore, the majority of Republicans believed that ACORN had stolen the election for Obama. So they feel justified in reaching into their bag of dirty tricks and lies.
Enter a prankster named James O’keefe a veteran at creating videos to make blacks look greedy and stupid. He spent the summer driving around the country with his accomplice making videos in ACORN offices asking for advice about avoiding tax troubles with prostitution money dress as a broke down pimp. O'Keefe had carefully edited his tapes and left out, for example, that he was decked out in college preppie clothes, not pimp-wear. At least one ACORN office threw him out, and at least two knowingly played along with his ruse. The San Diego office called the cops after he left, and the Philadelphia office filed a police report. The upshot was that after his edited tapes became public, Congress quickly voted to strip ACORN of all federal funds. The organization effectively went out of business before the case could be thrown out of court.
Months later, O'Keefe was arrested by the FBI in a bizarre prank at Senator Landrieu’s office, in which he claims he was just trying to find out whether her phone system worked to help her constituents. Enter the underhanded Andrew Breibart, who picked out another black target with another selectively edited video. This one of a USDA employee named Shirley Sherrod. His editing so mischaracterized Sherrod's words and intent that the fallout, in the words of Frank Rich, "could not only smear an innocent woman but make every national institution that touched the story look bad. . . The White House, the NAACP and the news media were all soiled by this episode."
This is what they do. They lie and distortion the information. Let’s add a few more bogymen to the mix like immigration. They have made Hispanics and others from sweltering southern destinations enemies of the American Dream. Yet, their slave labor is acceptable. As a result, they took extreme measures by passing Arizona’s S.B.1070, a law that would force its residents to carry identity papers with them at all times. Now, jurisdictions around the nation are salivating to copy suit.
Then there are the other brown skinned people - the Muslims. When an imam who had done diplomatic work for the Bush administration put together plans to build the Muslim version of a Jewish Community Center a few blocks from Ground Zero but farther away than an off-track betting joint, a strip club, and the very financial institutions that had detonated the economy, these people freaked out. They argued that Muslims could never understand the impact of 9/11.
Finally, enter Laura “N-word” Schlesinger and the great white outpouring of support following the bizarre flameout of her radio show. There was a time when even a bigot thought before calling an African American the N-word. Schlesinger used the word to a black woman on air, like twenty times in a minute. Then she implied that she did not want to be NAACP-ed, whatever that means.
I am just pointing out what appears to be a tone that does not have our best interest or America’s. For those that can remember segregation and its horrors listen carefully at the words being used by those of the extreme. I can only suggest that we use democracy the political process – VOTE!