Paul R. Lehman, Obama and American Bigotry

February 15, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Posted in American Bigotry | Leave a comment

When Barak Obama became President of the United States of America to some Americans it signaled the death of something they valued greatly, their sense of self and privilege. The election was itself a shock to them because they never expected an African American to ever be elected president. After getting over the shock, they had to come to grips with the fact that their sense of value was being challenged. So, they had to devise some plan for maintaining it and keeping it from deteriorating. They came up with several plans. One plan was to try and discredit the individual; another was to try to find fault with his programs; a third plan was to put a negative construction on everything he or his party wanted to do thereby creating doubt in the peoples’ minds. Why go to such lengths to try and negatively affect the President, the country, and themselves?

                In order to fully understand and appreciate the people in question, we must first take a look at who they are. These people strongly believe that America belongs to only them, and people who look and think like they do; they believe that the only correct and acceptable religion is the Christianity they practice; they believe that no one can be patriotic if they do not share their same beliefs; they believe that they alone speak for “The American People.” If any one or group differs with them, they are labeled un-American, unchristian, unpatriotic, fascist, and socialist or something they believe to be as reprehensible. They believe only they have the right to pass judgment on others. So, how does one characterize such people? They cannot be considered racists, because some in their group do not look exactly like them. The appropriate term is BIGOT.

                What is a bigot? According to most reference books a bigot is “A person who is rigidly devoted to his own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.” That being the case, then the term that best represents them is bigotry. The American Heritage Dictionary states of bigotry that it is “The attitude, state of mind, or behavior characteristic of a bigot; intolerant.”The behavior of these bigots is very apparent by virtue of their rejection of everything that is put forth by President Obama and the Democratic Party. The irony of it all is the fact that they reject things that are for their well-being and benefit as well as for the good of the country the claim to love so much. Not a single day goes by without some media reporting something negative said about the present state of affairs with the blame falling on President Obama or his party. What must be done to stop this exercise in bigotry?

                The Americans who do not fall into the category of bigots must assume the responsibility to help right the “ship of state.” The entire world observes what America is doing relative to the behavior of some of its citizens towards the President and his party. They also observe the lack of reactions by the so-called un-biased Americans who behave like spectators in a game of “Let’s destroy the President, his party, and the country as well.” American citizens by doing nothing, allow bigots to claim to speak for “the American people,” and what they say does not mirror what is generally considered to be Christian, patriotic, democratic, or rational.

What must be understood is that these people consider themselves to be in a fight. All their lives they have been told that they are special and privileged because of their group identity. Now, with America having an African American President, those beliefs are being challenged. Their attitude in this fight is “if he wins, then we lose.”So, they must do everything in their power to try and make him lose, even if it brings detriment to society. They cannot accept the fact that an African American can be intelligent, polished, mature, and capable enough to be president, when all their lives they have been led to look down on and denigrate people like him. The fear is that their social value decreases if the President’s value increases.

History has constantly told and taught that the African American is at the bottom of the social latter. That position is based on his color. Negative characteristics have generally been associated with the African American. Although these negative characteristics were social creations and based on false and biased information, they were nevertheless believed by many. Now that America has a president who character disproves the negatives, many Americans cannot accept it. They believe it diminishes them; so, they conduct campaigns to try and discredit him and all he represents.

                To be sure, an element of truth is usually present in many things the bigots say. However, one must ask the end purpose of the comments. If they are negative, untrue, and destructive, then they should be redressed. If they are simply criticism, then their free speech is a great form of democracy at work. Unfortunately, many of these bigoted people have come to represent what they claim to dislike in other human beings.


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