Tags: African American, bigotry, black, Confronting Myths, current-events, discrimination, DNA, Donald Trump, Dr. Robin DiAngelo, European Americans, Obama and American Bigotry, Prejudice, Presidential election, race, skin color, skin complexion, white
Much of the trouble today is being caused by changes in our society and the world that people do not understand or appreciate. Many people are concerned and worried about the new president-elect Trump and what effect his presidency will have on society. The people to be most disappointed relative to Trump’s election and his presidency will be his base supporters. They will be disappointed because Trump will not be able to deliver on the promises he made during his campaign. Politicians make promises based on things they think their followers want to hear knowing that those many of those promises will never be fulfilled. The supporters of many politicians suffer from innocence, ignorance or biases that prevent them from seeing the unrealities of the claims and promises made by their candidate. Once reality sets in, the people will see where they were misled into believing things they wanted to happen were just not possible.
The theme of Trump’s campaign was “Make American Great again,” which in code language is “make America white again.” The phrase and its sentiments have been used time and time again to garner support from the European Americans who believe that they have been left behind by the government in favor of immigrants, women, LGBT, and people of color. They still, however, enjoy the privileges that come with being European American (white) but are in fear of losing them. So, when Trump said that he wanted to make America great again, his followers knew what he meant and felt encouraged that the social changes that had taken place would not threaten their privilege and control. Regardless of what the candidate promised one thing that cannot be stopped is change. Trump supporters called for change, but what they really wanted was no change except to go back to reclaim some of the advantages they believed they lost to immigrants, women, and people of color.
So, what exactly are many European Americans afraid of losing that would cause them to disregard their sense of integrity, character, decency, values, and standards by electing someone who reflects none of these traits? The answer can be found in the social conditioning experienced by Americans since the days of the founding fathers and their inventing and instituting the system of European American (white) supremacy and African American (black) inferiority. In other words, they invented the concept of a black and white race with the white race deemed superior to all non-white races for the purpose of controlling them. Dr. Robin DiAnglo commented on this experience: “This systemic and institutional control allows those of us who are white in North America to live in a social environment that protects and insulates us from race-based stress.” She continued by noting that “We have organized society to reproduce and reinforce our racial interests and perspectives. Further, we are centered in all matter deemed normal, universal, benign, neutral and good.”With the rapid changes taking place in America, the control presently in the hands of European Americans is under constant threat of change, and is, in fact undergoing change.
The social conditioning European Americans receive in society includes little if any reference to race; therefore, they are never stressful regarding race. Society has told them that they are the representatives of the human race; they are the normal people. All other people belong to a separate race. For example, when stories are reported in the media, usually, the only reference to ethnicity occurs when the subject or subjects of the story are not European American (white). If the story concerns European Americans, ethnicity (race) is never mentioned because society must assume that the subjects are European Americans and no ethnicity (race) is required.
Another feature in American society that conditions the European Americans, as well as the rest of America to the European Americans sense of normalcy can be observed in any pharmacy or department store. All one needs to do is to ask for stockings in a nude or natural color and look closely at the color. The color will match the skin complexion of European Americans. The same scenario exists with cosmetics as well as with bandages and Band-Aids; their color approximates the European Americans’ complexion.
European Americans being able to see themselves as normal or without race or ethnic identity is constantly reinforced by and through society. They are also conditioned to see themselves as superior to all other so-called races. Both the elements of normalcy and superiority comes with a large degree of a suspension of disbelief when one realizes that people of color, according to the sciences, were the first of the Homo sapiens to appear on the planet, and in Africa. So the normal color for a human being would be non-white, not white. Also, the concept of superiority seems questionable in light of the fact that when any person of color procreate with a European American (white), the off spring generally manifest physical characteristics of the parent of color. That would suggest that the superior genes reside within the people of color. In addition, eighty percent of the world’s population reflects people of color; that number alone would suggest that the longevity of European Americans (whites) is limited. All those things make little difference when we read that our DNA show we are all from the same family of man and a specific or distinct race cannot be discerned from DNA.
The invention and instituting of the system of European American (white) supremacy and African American (black) inferiority was based on a false concept of race. The fact that the system has been able to sustain itself for so long is due to the control that European Americans have had on society. Now that the system is falling apart due to changes constantly occurring in society, the fear of losing that control and all it represents was possibly at the heart the presidential election. Regardless of who is president, changes will continue to destroy the system of bigotry. The challenge for the European Americans today is replacing the concept of being white and superior with one of being simply a member of the family of mankind without reference to preferences and skin color.
Tags: African Americans, Charlie LeDuff, Civil Rights, Congress, Conservatives, current-events, Democrats, European Americans, Prejudice, President Obama, Race in America, Republicans, rightwing conservatives, Tea Partiers, Tea Party, Theda Skocpol, Thomas Magstadt, white
The 2008 election of Barack Obama, an African American, as President of the United States was a monumental experience in America. His election was extremely significant because it represented a major acknowledgement in the progress of social change. That social change for many people represented progress towards America achieving a higher level of positive movement in the direction of its democratic principles. Not all Americans, however, viewed Obama’s election as progress or even as positive. Thomas Magstadt, in an article entitled “Angry White Guys: The Roots of Reactionary America,” in “NationofChange.org “discussed his reasons for the negative reactions of some “White Guys.” The reason for the anger, according to Magstadt, can be viewed as political anger.
In describing the anger of the European American guys, Magstadt first took a look at Charlie LeDuff’s book, Detroit, An American Autopsy, and made the statement that “It’s a powerful book that speaks volumes not only about Detroit but also about most big cities in America today—cities where petty crime, gang violence, drug addiction, prostitution, poverty, vandalism, filth, abandoned buildings, arson, and despair have been on the rise for decades.” LeDuff was angry because for him Detroit is a “city suffering from a chronic condition that has taken an ugly turn and become terminal.” Basically, we are told that LeDuff’s anger was “with leaders who don’t lead and politicians who make promises they don’t even try to keep.” He blamed both political parties for the problems. So, we recognize one level of anger.
Next, Magstadt shifted to a work by Theda Skocpol, Obama And America’s Political Future, which took a look at the Tea Party and its objective to move the county in a certain direction. Although she praised the party as committed, dedicated “and unstinting in their effort to move society in the direction they desire,” she noted that much of the Tea Party’s criticism of Obama “is unrealistic.” To this charge of criticism of Obama being unrealistic, Magstadt wrote that “If so, the main reason it’s unrealistic is that Obama has, quite simply, run into a brick wall erected by rightwing Republicans in the U.S. Congress. These Republicans–including the Tea Party Caucus—are nothing like traditional Republicans.” Magstadt contended that the “extreme right-wing Republicans in Congress are not taking their cues from the grass-roots Tea Party rank-and file but are in fact cynically using them, manipulating symbols and issues that move this mass of disenchanted gray hairs, embattled blue-collar workers, anxious job –seekers, financially stressed homeowners, and beleaguered taxpayers to accomplish other aims altogether.”
After some reflection, Magstadt noted “The question is not how they [Republicans, conservatives, and Tea Partiers] can believe the nonsense they spout. The question is, why are they so damn mad? What is the source of this seeming inexhaustible wellspring of anger?”He presented a number of theories that reflected politicians, and political issues from civil rights to global warming, health insurance and Obama. He talked about the changes in America during the 1960s and ‘70s and even Ronald Reagan of the 1980s. Then he stated: “Ask yourself who [during this time] stood to gain the most? Answer: the very people who in the past had always been the losers. And who stood to lose the most?”He came to the conclusion that we Americans were led to believe that the “…tectonic shift in American society in the 1960, and 70s was not simply about rich versus poor. It was not about ‘class warfare,’ and it still isn’t.” He goes on to tell us that the biggest losers are the “..white males who dominated the home, professions, business, banking, unions , politics, sports, entertainment, higher education, radio and television—well, just about everything worth dominating.”
Magstadt brought his discussion home when he said that things in America are not “fair or equal or just, but much different from the society of the 1950s.” In effect, the changes that have occurred and are still occurring are the cause of the anger:
The angry white guys who dominate the Republican Party in Congress represent all the angry white men in America who cannot accept what they’ve lost forever—namely the exclusive right to take all the best jobs, run everything, make all the decisions, and oh yes, keep everybody who doesn’t look, act, and talk the way they do out of the good old boys club. Even Augusta National and the Masters have finally bowed to the inevitable.”
We can certainly agree with Magstadt’s assessment of why some European American males are angry, but not on his timeline. The realization of the loss of power was felt by the ruling European American male in America after the Revolutionary War by extending the vote to the un-propertied males. Since each state established it own voting requirements the laws were not uniform. The actual loss of domination by the European American males was not the same as the fear of loss. The fear became a concern right after the Civil War and the passage of the 13th and 14 Amendments. The fear of the loss of dominance showed itself during the Reconstruction period in America when many law were created by the states that served to re-enslave the African Americans; social conventions kept the women from enjoying many freedoms. Sharing the rights and liberties of America with all Americans was not the concept of freedom many European American males possessed.
The fear began to change into anger in 1954 when the Supreme Court ruled that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Change had come to their European American male dominated society that took away their power to segregate in public schools. Naturally, efforts were made by the losers to regain control of their schools, but the law prevailed. The changes in American society that Magstadt makes reference to in the 1960, and 70s had a devastating affect on the European American male; his dominance was not only being challenged, but also the loss of it was being threatened.
One of the major changes that affect the European American male that Magstadt did not focus on had to do with Obama’s election to the Presidency. As long as the biased European American male did not have to acknowledge his loss of dominance, he could still, to a degree, save face. However, when Obama was elected president, this loss became a reality. If he accepted Obama as President, then he could no longer claim superiority by color. So, regardless of the excuses used to denigrate Obama, his administration, his policies, his character, his leadership, etc…all these antics and more are simply expressions of the anger and fear of the European American males represented by the rightwing Republican Party, Tea Party, conservatives and other biased groups lamenting their great loss and the fact that all their efforts to regain their dominance are forever gone.
If Magstadt had known about this blog, he could have arrived at the point he makes regarding the angry white guys a few years earlier, but, better late than never. Nevertheless, we appreciate his efforts.
Tags: African Americans, black, Colin Powell, Conservatives, current-events, David Gregory, ethnic diversity, ethnic minorities, European Americans, general colin powell, Meet the Press, politics, President Obama, presidential campaigns, republican candidates, Republicans, slavery, white
On Sunday (1-13-13) General Colin Powell was on “Meet the Press,” and spoke with David Gregory about some of the problems with his political party, the Republican Party. General Powell, a former Secretary of State in the last Bush administration, is a well-respected statesmen as well as an African American. Most people listen when Powell talks because he does not generally engage in idly chatter. If anyone witnessed the interview then there is no question about the seriousness of Powell’s comments. He talked about the Republican Party’s identity problem, its shift, its need to be concerned with society’s needs.
The first party problem Powell identified was that of the Party’s identity. He stated that “In recent years, there’s been a significant shift to the right and we have seen what that shift has produced, two losing presidential campaigns. I think what the Republican Party needs to do now is take a very hard look at itself and understand that the country has changed.” In what can be considered constructive criticism, Powell makes the suggestion that the party takes a good look at itself and recognizes the variety and diversity of its membership to see what need to be addressed for a successful future. With the failure of the party in the last two elections, something must be done to correct the problem. Powell even pinpoints the problem regarding the party’s identity: “The country is changing demographically. And if the Republican Party does not change with that demographic, they’re going to be in trouble.”
Powell’s comments come as no surprise since most news pundits as well as ordinary citizens realized that after the elections the majority of minority and women voted for Obama. A number of republicans also noted the lack of support of ethnic Americans for Republican candidates. All Powell was doing was underscoring the problem and challenge his party faces. The lack of ethnic diversity in the Republican Party calls attention to itself.
The shift Powell refers to, meaning to the right, is cause for concern also. Many of the party representatives hold views that show a lack of concern and compassion for the well-being of some of our less-fortunate citizens. Their primary concern seems to be in total support of the rich and powerful at the expense of the working and middle class citizens. All one has to do is look at the record of Congress the last four years for verification of this fact. If the party wants to be successful in the future, according to Powell, it must expand its membership and become more receptive to the middle-class and minorities.
With respect to the party’s identity, Powell stated that it has developed what he called “a dark vein of intolerance” in its perception. For example, when President Obama was first elected, Mitch O’Connell made the statement that the number one objective of the party was to make Obama a one term president. All the efforts of the party since that statement seem to throw support towards that objective. Unfortunately, the first order of business for many of the Republicans was to show disrespect for the President. This show of disrespect became apparent in a variety of ways. Although Powell does not say so directly, his examples show that the disrespect was meant to convey a specific message regarding the President’s ethnicity. Powell mentions the reference made by ex-Governor Palin regarding his “shucking and jiving,” which can only be associated with African Americans and the slavery experience. Another reference made by a republican official after the first Presidential debate to President Obama as seeming to be “lazy,” a term generally associated with a negative stereotype of African Americans, as opposed to some other term. To Powell, these references show a negative and mean-spirited attack on the President’s ethnicity. The birther movement challenged his citizenship in spite of the documentation shared with the public– birth certificates, newspaper birth announcements etc.
Powell also included the party’s negative actions regarding immigration, voter suppression, and general actions underscoring an attitude of intolerance of minorities. Although Powell’s comments were meant to alert his party to many of its problems, the likely-hood of some of the people in his party receiving his comments as constructive criticism is questionable. Some will attack Powell because he spoke at all; some will criticize him of pointing out the problems and challenges; some will condemn his as a turn-coat or a democrat in disguise. In any event, his comments will be met with ungrateful attitudes especially because he is an African American.
Powell sees himself as a mainstream Republican who cares deeply for his party and would like to see it address its many problems. His final comments during the interview underscore that idea:
I think the Party has to take a look at itself. It has to take a look at its responsibilities for health care. It has to take a look at immigration. It has to take a look at those less fortunate than us. The party has gathered unto itself a reputation that it is the party of the rich. It is the party of lower taxes. But there are a lot of people who are lower down the food chain, the economic chain, who are also paying lots of taxes relative to their income, and they need help. We need more education work being done in this country. We need a solid immigration policy. We have to look at climate change.
Chances are the Republicans will over-look Powell’s comments and move ahead with the plans they have in place. After all, they do not have to worry about being re-elected to office since most come from gerrymandered state districts. Some probably see Powell as an unfortunate nuisance.
Tags: African Americans, black, Conservatives, current-events, Democrats, ethnic americans, European Americans, european ancestry, fair complexion, G. Gordon Liddy, history and heritage, Pat Buchanan, politics, President Obama, Presidential election, Race in America, Republicans, slavery, white, white America
For a number of years in my books and lately in my blog the question of American bigotry has been discussed. An important part of America’s history and heritage is involved with ethnic bigotry. We know that the ruling class in society created race as a vehicle to accomplish control of society. Because slavery was necessary to America’s economic success and slaves came in many different shades and colors, a distinction had to be made to guard against organized protest against the ruling class. The best way society thought to accomplish this was to make everyone of European ancestry and of fair complexion, superior in every way to all other ethnic groups. So, the society gave itself the gift of race, and color—black and white. White or the so-called white race became the symbol of superiority and normalcy regardless of the social or economic status of the citizens. These characteristics were constantly re-informed through all the institutions of government. The end result was that all Americans knew their status in America; if they happened to not be European American, then they knew they were not considered first-classed citizens.
The fact that American society consciously created ethnic bigotry as a consequence of slavery, it also was aware of the hypocrisy that was created in its creed of “all men created equal” or “life and liberty of all,” and the idea of a democratic society. The ruling class knew they were in the minority, so they placed in the Constitution the right to abolish the government if they believed their rights were not respected by the government. Over the years, the word “minority” changed and came to mean something the founding father did not consider—ethnic Americans and women. So, for three hundred years or so, European American males were led to believe that America belonged to them and the other people living here were only here because they allowed them that privilege.
After the passage of the various civil rights acts as well as many social changes in America that favored the ethnic Americans, a degree of concern began to sweep over the European American conservatives that they were slowly loosing control of their country. The one event that brought this point home to them was the election of Barack Obama, an African American, as President of the United States. Obama’s election in 2008 came as a complete surprise to many European American conservatives. That election was proof positive that the country was changing and they were losing control. So, they put into process efforts to undo the damage that had been done by the election. Now, however, they were motivated by fear and dread of actually losing their country through the loss of power and political control.
After four years of fighting to hold on to their country, the verdict came in early Wednesday morning—they lost. Obama had been re-elected. No one epitomized the reaction better than Pat Buchanan, a conservative political pundit, when he noted that Barack Obama has “killed white America.” Buchanan, in an interview with G. Gordon Liddy, reported by The Daily Currant, stated that “White America died last night. Obama’s reelection killed it. Our 200 plus year history as a Western nation is over. We’re a Socialist Latin American now. Venezuela without the oil.” We are told that Liddy recognized this statement as biased, and tried to get Buchanan to re-do his statement: “With what you just said right there…You seem to imply that white people are better than other people. That’s not really what you’re saying is it?”
To that question the article noted: “’Of course that’s what I’m saying,’ Buchanan replied ‘Isn’t it obvious? Anything worth doing on this Earth was done first by white people.”
In the course of Buchanan’s lamenting the loss of so-called white control he states that “I cried last night for hours. It’s over for all of us. The great white nation will never survive another 4 years of Obama’s leadership.
Buchanan’s reactions are not an isolated experience; many conservative European Americans across the country expressed the same sentiment. The problem with Buchanan and all his like-minded citizens is that they try to operate in twenty-first century America and world with a nineteen-century perception. They never bought into the concept of democracy. With society and its institutions telling the European Americans that being white was superior to all other ethnic groups, what were they to believe? With history books telling them that God gave this country to the European Americans to do with as they saw fit, and with the laws making certain that white skin received public privilege and political power, what were they to believe? They thought that their power and control would last for many more years.
Too many people like Buchanan failed to realize that America is a constantly changing society and has been since it beginning. Unfortunately, America has not been very attentive to its responsibility of keeping everyone aware of the many changes that have taken place regarding our changing demographics and our history. The mere fact that Buchanan considers America as “Great White Nation” is proof enough that he has little grasp of reality. As a society, we must do a better job of educating ourselves concerning who and what we are as a nation. The fear and dread of losing the power and privilege usually associated with being white is at hand for many social conservatives; they cannot take the country back because it never was their’s in the first place. That idea was a social creation as was race. Both concepts have been debunked.
Having to come to grips with reality when reality is contrary to what one has believed for all one’s life is devastating. But, how can one live in a society where changes in all its institutions have occurred and not be aware of those changes? Whatever one might call Buchanan because of his outdated social perspective, please do not refer to him as a racists. By doing so, one would be endorsing his false concept of multi-biological races of human beings existing. Bigot is the accurate term for him. He needs to know that only one race of humans exist, and it come in many colors.
Tags: African Americans, Artur Davis, black, cnn interview, color bind, Conservatives, current-events, Democrats, European Americans, J. C. Watts, mitt romney, Oklahoma, politics, Prejudice, President Obama, race, racial unity, Republican Party, Stacey Dash, T.W. Shannon, The Oklahoman, Ward Connerly
Some confusion exists in the minds of some people who try to explain the reasons why some African Americans are Republicans. One Opinion writer for The Oklahoman believes they are attacked because they do not reflect “racial unity.” In the article, “Color Bind: Racial unity pledge coming up short,” he states that President Obama “implied that his election would usher in a post-racial era. This hasn’t been the case.” Whether President Obama implied it or not, he has no control of the mind-set of the entire country. The article noted “Consider how black citizens who support Republican Mitt Romney are treated. After actress Stacey Dash tweeted her endorsement of Romney, she was inundated with racist attacks.” The article further noted that “In a CNN interview Dash said she chose Romney ‘not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character.’” According to the article, Dash is joined in her support of Romney by other African Americans, former U. S. Rep. Artur Davis, Ward Connerly, J.C. Watts, and T.W. Shannon. The point missed by the “Opinion writer” is that the color of the candidate has nothing to do with the complaints made against these people –it is their choice of party—republican.
For an African American to join and support the Republican Party today, he or she must have little or limited knowledge of the party’s history since the early 1950’s. Knowledge of the Republican Party beginning with the 1950’s will reveal a story that shows just how unaccommodating the party has been to African Americans. Once known as the party of Lincoln, the Republicans changed their views towards African Americans during and following Reconstruction. The belief among European Americans in general, but especially in the South, was that the government would never make any ethnic group equal to them. When the public schools were desegregated many Southern democrats started to change their political party to republican. Many European Americans in the Republican Party believed that the African American was to be always a second-class citizen. So, armed with that information, one wonders why an African American knowing the history of the party would join it.
For an African American to join and support the Republican Party, he or she must not have any knowledge of the civil rights struggle waged by the African Americans to gain basic rights. They need to know that the Republican did not support any form of civil rights legislation that included the court decisions from Brown v Topeka to the fair housing act or even the Lily Ledbetter Act. At every juncture where African Americans have tried to gain first-class citizenship, the Republican Party has been against it. So, again, one wonders why an African American would want to support a party with such a record. This party has never been afraid to show its biases. All one has to do is look at the many instances where some of its representatives have tried to denigrate President Obama, not because of his party affiliations, but because of his ethnicity.
What should be apparent to many Americans today is the battle being waged in society and politics has to do with human rights, everything from Affirmative Action to voting rights, and workers’ rights. When we check to see who is behind the efforts to deny American rights, we learn that much of it come from representatives of the Republican Party. They believe that when ethnic Americans gain rights, they lose something, so they fight anyway the can for the status quo.
Again, why would an African American want to be associated with a party that wants to deny him or her basic rights? The article made the following suggestion: “The caucus [African American] tacitly acknowledges that black officials enjoy greater opportunity in the Republican Party. This has been the case in Oklahoma, where J. C. Watts won a statewide office (corporation commissioner) and a U.S. House seat.” The article also noted that “State Rep. T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, is expected to become the first black speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives next month. Both have won the support of voters who don’t share Shannon racial background but do share his conservative values.”
Yes, and that, of course, is part of the reason for African Americans being in the Republican Party—the recognition and opportunity to progress as individuals. Notice that the emphasis on African American republicans is on the individual, not the people. In effect, some African Americans join the Republican Party knowing they will be exploited, but also knowing they too can exploit the party. Many of the visual African American republicans can be conceived of as “watch pocket” republicans because they only come out when the need is there. For a while, J.C. Watts was the hottest ticket in Washington, D.C.; the fourth highest ranking republican. But what degree of power and/or influence did he have? When the word came out that Tom Delay, the third highest ranking republican in the House was thinking about a move up, Watts thought he would simply move up also. Unfortunately, and presumably when Delay heard of Watts’s possible plan, he changed his mind about moving up, and remained in his position. . Being very visual but having no power evidently did not sit well with Watts; he did not run for re-election.
Republicans enjoy having “watch pocket” African Americans in the party because any time there is a charge of bigotry or ethnic bias, they can go to their pocket and pull one out to show that any accusations of bigotry or biases is completely false. They can pull one out to show and tell “they have one!” Many Americans, African Americans included pause to take note of African Americans who join and support the Republican Party because they know that anyone with common knowledge about the history of today’s Republican Party, and its relationship to the civil rights movement would reflect better judgment in their choice. That is, unless there is a payoff for them.
The “Opinion writer” thinks that African American republicans are being criticized for not supporting Obama and “Racial unity,” because of their obvious ethnicity. However, the real reason is because their sense of logic and rational thinking is being questioned. Why would a drowning man ask for a glass of water? To many people, that is exactly what African American republicans resemble.
Tags: 2012 election, African Americans, barack obama, Birthers, black, conservative elements, Conservatives, current-events, Democrats, European Americans, fear, GOP, hate, language geography, majority society, political conventions, politics, Prejudice, President Clinton, President Obama, Republicans, slavery in america, the right, Victor Davis Hanson, white
When Barack Obama was elected President of the United States of America, conservative elements of the GOP went into shock. All their plans and victories at the local, state, and nation levels were now in question because the totally unexpected had happened. Never in their lifetime did these conservatives believe America would elect an African American for president. So, after the shock wore off and even before Obama made it to the Oval Office, they gathered together to plan how to undo the damage to their master plan by getting rid of Obama.
Whether one considers Obama’s ethnicity or political party the reason for the GOP‘s wanting him to be removed, the fact still remained that he must be removed. Part of the problem resided in the fact that Obama won the election, a phenomenon that was never supposed to happen. What went wrong? Some people believed that the country suffered a brief period of insanity because people in their “right mind” would have never elected an African American President. So what is the reason behind wanting to remove Obama from office? Part of the answer lies in what Obama represents rather than Obama the individual.
When Africans were introduced into slavery in America, the image of the slave as property had to be established, maintained and promoted in order for the system to operate effectively. The first order of this business was to strip away any and all human and personal worth of the African slave. This effort was made effective by removing any vestiges of the slave’s former life and history and remaking him as a less-than-human thing or property. His names, Negro, black, slave, etc… give no indication of a language, geography, culture. All his new names placed him in the system of slavery, and the only value he exhibited was either via work or the market place (auction block). His being represented nothing that the majority society viewed as deserving respect or value.
Although the idea of democracy as stated in America’s “Declaration of Independence” 1776, declared that “all men were created equal,” nevertheless, America forgot to include the African Americans and other slaves as men in the 1787 “Constitution.” They were listed as “three fifths,” a person. The problem that resulted from these concepts of democracy and slavery juxtaposed created two additional concepts: 1, many Americans knew that African/African Americans were human being like themselves, but was made less so by society, not God or biology. 2, Many Americans accepted the concept of African/African Americans being less than human regardless of the fallacy. Although Americans in both the North and South shared in both concepts, more Americans in the North accepted the 1st concept while the majority in the South shared the 2nd. Today, the two concepts are represented in politics with the Democrats identified with the 1st concept, and the GOP representing the 2nd.
Since the Civil War, the two concepts of the African American have been germane to the progress of American society as represented in the various Civil Rights Acts. Unfortunately, laws do not change individual concepts, so although society though government and science has attempted to correct the injustice and fallacy, many people hold on to the 2nd concept religiously. Their reason for holding on to the concept is based in fear of losing their place of prominence in society. That is, if the African Americans are equal to all people, then they, the people representing the 2nd concept, are less than privileged—they lose value.
So, when Obama was elected President, the GOP felt the immediate blow to their belief system and social status. Damage control had to be the first order of business. The objective they set regarding Obama was to make him appear totally unfit to be President by any means necessary. The efforts to discredit him as inept did not work, so they took another approach, to make him not one of us—someone alien, not American, a foreigner. That campaign is still in progress. In addition to not being American, these critics accused President Obama of being a socialist, communist, Muslim, and a host of other things that might cause him to appear unfavorable.
With a continuous barrage of negative charges against President Obama, the GOP believes they can convince enough people to their way of thinking in order to defeat President Obama in the election. The fact that Obama, an African American, is President is a reality the GOP cannot accept, not because of Obama personally, but because of what he represents—a changing America. The change that is taking place in America is a change that takes away the prestige, privilege, and power that was once associated with being European American (white). The battle now is for the GOP to try and forestall as much change as possible; hence, the phrase “we need to take back our country.” Because Obama represents change, he also represents the enemy, and the enemy must be destroyed. Former President Bill Clinton said during his speech at the Democratic Convention words that address the problem: “Though I often disagree with Republicans, I never learned to hate them the way the far right that now controls their party seems to hate President Obama and the Democrats.” Hate seems to be the fuel that propels their actions.
We should not think that the battle against Obama is weakening. Obama’s election to President did more than indicate a positive change in America, it also brought to light the many bigots that were hiding behind façades. One irony that was created by the election campaign includes European Americans who say they differ with Obama’s politics, but get accused of being biased against him. Their complaint is similar to the African Americans who get accused of voting for Obama only because he is African American. When the GOP declared war against Obama being re-elected, they colored the field with prejudice, so identifying the European Americans who simply differ with Obama’s politics get caught in the mix. Sorry.
Many members of the GOP believe strongly that their party will be victorious in this election. One commentary by Victor Davis Hanson compared the election to the classic story “The Tortoise and the Hare,” with Obama being the hare. He stated that “The country is also not quite ready to confess that it went a little crazy in 2008 and voted for the embarrassing banalities of ‘hope and change’ offered by a little-known senator with a thin resume and little national experience.” He continued by offering some scenarios that might befall Obama and Romney and concluded with “Barring a real recovery or sudden war, the steady, plodding Romney tortoise is ever so slowly winning the race against the flashier—surging, yet always fading—Obama hare.”
So now the country “went a little crazy” for voting Obama into office because it was duped by his con game. Maybe this time around the country will “go a little sane” and look at the issues and elect the best man for the job. In any event, a change is coming, and any change that diminishes hate is a good change.