Racist Anti-Obama Sentiment Inevitable


barack-obama-1Did anyone really think America could elect a half-black president and not see the racism inherent both here and around the world rear its ugly head? Well, what may seem quite discouraging may, in fact, be a good start toward moving beyond this ancient brand of intolerance. Allowing these backwards thinkers out into the light makes it easier to recognize and address the issues that create and sustain these misguided, fearful beliefs.

We as a race seem to be drawn to finding differences in one another. We seem to have a biological/social need to create “us” and “them”. More progressive thinkers are apt to study and understand the roots of such feelings and reactions and try to move beyond being victim to such desperate, small-minded attitudes. But there are many people the world over, quite possibly a majority, that do not think deeply enough or hold enough self-awareness to do much more than react to what is stirred within.

Now I know that sounds like I’m holding myself aloft and placing myself lovingly in the former category, but I too must fight off any prejudices and learn to understand my own actions and reactions. I am not without fault here. I am, like so many others, a product of the society and education my country has offered me. And while much has changed for the better during my lifetime, I am still a reflection of the world around me. I just try and see it as clearly as possible with eyes wide open. Or as open as I am capable of at this time.

GlennBeckOn our own shores here in the States, we have attention-hounds like Glenn Beck who can’t seem to clearly separate what brings him a measure of celebrity and what is actually damaging and potentially life-threatening. His recent comments about Obama have no positive outcome. They are mired in hatred and self-importance and appeal–not so much to those who find his outrageousness amusing–but to those who actually believe what he says and desire to act on it.

Earlier this week on Fox and Friends, Beck claimed that Obama is “a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture. I don’t know what it is…” When confronted with the facts that Obama’s mother was white and that many members of his Administration are white, Beck replied:

“I’m not saying he doesn’t like white people, I’m saying he has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist.”

Of course anyone with half a brain can see that Beck is either just looking to stir the pot because it garners him lots of press, or he’s just plainly and simply an idiot with no common sense whatsoever. Either way, what’s clear is that this guy himself has some deep-rooted issues that would benefit greatly from some long and very intense therapy sessions. Let’s go back in time and confront little Glenn Beck and figure out where all this hatred and anger came from. Who was it that beat you up and made you such an angry person, little Glenny?

cnn_lou_dobbs_portrait-thumbThen, of course, there’s CNN’s Lou Dobbs who appeals to the desperate “birthers” and their tired belief that Obama is not, in fact, an American citizen and is therefore a false president. Even though Obama has produced his birth certificate on more than one occasion and it has been verified by all those who need to verify and authenticate such things, these people and Mr. Dobbs himself keep calling for the President to produce that same certificate. I guess people really only hear what they want to hear.

Those who found themselves horrified and frightened by both the election and re-election of George W. Bush never stooped to such mindless levels in such a massive way as the Obama-haters have. Sure, there were some real crazies on the left fringe, but nothing as front and center as these fellows. One starts to believe that the right-wing itself is a lunatic fringe. But… in an attempt to not create an “us” and “them” I will state that there are enough smart, intelligent, forward thinking Republicans out there who do not support or endorse such comments and behavior. Just look at how many conservatives jumped ship and refused to follow McCain and Palin when they became the representatives of the most dangerous fringe elements of the right.

30settler2_190Now, these feelings are not reserved for Americans only. It was reported today that thousands of Jewish settlers in the West Bank have protested Obama’s request for a West Bank settlement freeze. According to the New York Times:

Rabbi Yigael Shandorfi, leader of a religious academy at the neighboring settlement outpost of Nahliel, said during the ceremony. “Our hope is that there will be roads, electricity and water.” The message to President Obama, he said, is that this is Jewish land. He did not use the president’s name, but an insulting Hebrew slang for a black man and the phrase “that Arab they call a president.”

But the slurs didn’t stop there:

Yitzhak Shadmi, leader of the regional council of settlements, said Mr. Obama was a racist and anti-Semite for his assertion that Jews should not build here, but Arabs could.

And one wonders why peace is such a difficult thing to achieve. Hatred and non-communication is so much easier. Strong emotions replace common sense and an ability to converse intelligently with a constructive goal to bring people together. It’s so much easier to point fingers and ride the wave of hatred and intolerance.

And I in no way mean to suggest that I am immune from it in my pointing it out in others. It’s simply an observation. And a concern. And I clearly have an intolerance of such behavior. An intolerance I must continue to address and learn to understand.

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Racist Anti-Obama Sentiment Inevitable

8 thoughts on “Racist Anti-Obama Sentiment Inevitable

  1. Paul says:

    I’m just so tired of all the hatred and ignorance in this world, especially when it comes from people who are educated (Beck) or are angry because someone is speaking the truth (Jewish settlers). Is there no hope for the human race?

  2. Great post, Hal; I share your bewildered (and weary) incomprehension, but also your hope that in time we may yet learn to deal with those who differ from us without having to cower behind the same crumbling old cultural and ideological walls.

  3. Penny Newman says:

    I can see your point, but it is wearying to have any criticism of President Obama be dismissed as racism. So far he has taken his family on vacations that should be reserved for official visits, commented on pop stars’ deaths, speaking out of turn on police business that involved a friend of his, and bailing out the banks while bad-mouthing them, all while spending a million dollars to NOT produce documents in response to very legitimate inquiries as to his birth and schooling that could, indeed, prove he either is not a natural-born American citizen or that his mother and stepfather gave up his US citizenship so he could be educated in indonesia during a period where ONLY Indonesian citizens could attend the schools.
    Like it or not, he is a man with no credentials beyond a few months as a senator for the office of POUS, and he comes from the most corrupt political arena in the country, and that will invite increased scrutiny. It is not because he is black, it is because his claims of “transparency” don’t apply to himself.
    Calling anyone who criticizes him a racist sets race relations back decades and can only serve to tear the country apart. We ELECTED a black man as president; it is his responsibility to rise to the expectations of the office.

  4. Penny Newman says:

    PS A certificate of Live Birth is NOT a birth certificate. Produce the original. And it is his schooling and travel later in life that truly brings his citizenship into question. If he has nothing to hide, why has he tenaciously hidden it through the campaign and up through today?

  5. halmasonberg says:

    Penny, thanks for the comments. However, it seems you have not read my post very carefully if you think that I stated that any criticism of Obama is racist.

  6. Penny Newman says:

    I did read your posting, and like most selective media of late, your choices perpetuate the implication and culling of criticism that supports the “racist” agenda.
    That being said, I have been a silent follower of your ‘blog and love it, especially the fact that you welcome all input, dissenters included.
    I enjoy your unique and eclectic topics. You are a thoughtful, intelligent journalist, so my hat tips to you, even in respectful disagreement.
    Keep challenging us– it keeps the wheels of democratic debate spinning.

  7. halmasonberg says:

    Thanks, Penny. I appreciate the kind words and your input. Hope you keep coming back and continue to express your thoughts.

    H

  8. Randy says:

    I am not a Democrat.

    I am not a Republican.

    I am an American—and a true believer in accountability.

    Several months ago, I had an opportunity to sit down with a local life-long Republican over a beer following a round of golf. An older gentleman, Vietnam veteran, very WASPy old New England captain of industry type. I wanted to get to know this man a little better, but I also wanted to test a theory about the 2008 election.

    While he wouldn’t actually publicly admit to voting for Obama (with a wink), he agreed that the Bush administration had screwed things up so badly that they deserved to be fired.

    That spoke volumes to me. I knew these people existed, and I was able to pick his brain while consuming two ice-cold Heinekens at the 19th hole.

    He talked about his kids, who are all just a few years younger than me, about his life in business, and about his new grandson.

    I was convinced in the days following Election Day that enough of these old guard Republicans followed their instincts and cast a vote for Obama/Biden in November. These men and their wives do not suffer fools gladly. They attend their mainstream Protestant churches a dozen times a year, they work hard and love their families–and they would not tolerate a racial, ethnic or religious slur in their presence.

    They broke ranks from the New GOP: those who would freely use the “N” word and preach hate. They didn’t vote for Obama, they were not happy that he won and they would like to see him fall. Partly because he’s a Democrat. Mostly because he’s black. They have no appreciation of accountability.

    Their ranks are filled by proudly unemployed Budweiser-swilling good-ol’ boys and by the rich and powerful (the kind of people Jeff Sharlet writes about http://jeffsharlet.com/content/books/ in his new book “The Family”) alike.

    Mr. Old Guard would have nothing to do with these people. He reads the paper. He works hard. He recognizes a clown when he sees one. He believes that you should be fired when you screw up. He is not a racist.

    Enough of these Barry Goldwater Republicans lined up and pulled the right lever on Election Day. They saw through the hype and recognized that an unnecessary war has cost our country dearly in lives and treasure and was based on a lie. They witnessed a foreign policy that has caused deep harm to our nation’s credibility abroad. They lost a lot of money, in some cases many thousands, that they had hoped to pass along to their grandchildren. They demanded accountability and effectively fired the clowns.

    Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Anne Coulter: they (and the K-Mart knock-off versions of them on obscure cable networks) are like drunken guests who won’t leave the Clown party. They’re still lighting farts, telling racist jokes and whooping it up in the basement after the host clowns and the other guest clowns were all forced to leave the building at midnight.

    Where’d Sarah Palin go?

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