RACIAL REASONING AND HEALING IN THE AGE OF OBAMA

Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr.

Are policy differences, or racism, the major driving factor(s) behind the opposition to President Obama? Conservative columnist Mark Davis acknowledges, “among Obama’s detractors are some folks who just don’t like black people.”  President Jimmy Carter and Maureen Dowd of the New York Times have rattled conservatives by asserting that much of the opposition to President Obama has racial roots.   As a Black conservative, I understand both sides of this issue.

I’m awaiting the final version of the health care bill before I take a firm position.  However, if the healthcare bill finances abortions, and is a requirement for all citizens subject to fines if not acquired, and can only be financed through an increase in taxes, then I would be opposed to it.  I am against gay marriage and gay civil unions.  I’m generally opposed to bailouts including the ones previous presidents initiated. Does this make me a racist?   If a parent does not want their child to listen to a speech at school by President Obama does that make them racist?

Let’s stipulate: there are no racial purist in America, and no one party or race has a monopoly on racism.  Let’s also stipulate that one can differ or demonstrate against the President and not be racist. I’m   ashamed   to admit, there are times when I still struggle with the ugly sin of racism in my heart.  Confession is a prerequisite to healing.

Listen to this Rush Limbaugh quote  … “We did not have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing.  Quite the opposite:  slavery built the South, I’m not saying bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits.  For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.”  If Limbaugh’s remarks are not racist, they are certainly racially insensitive, and he is the most visible and vocal opponent of President Obama, driving the opposition; thus the question of racism?

Only God and Joe Wilson knows for certain if he is a racist or racially insensitive or neither.  I have labeled Joe Wilson as being disrespectful and disappointing. Wilson’s opposition could be purely ideological, but his track record gives reason to pause. One can’t help but wonder, would he have accused a White daughter of “smearing” the name of her father as he did Dr. Essie Mae Washington-Williams, simply because she wanted to publicly acknowledge her biological father, the late Sen. Strom Thurmond. Wilson’s support of the confederate flag in South Carolina also raises questions.

Listening to Mark Davis on the radio recently defending Joe Wilson’s action in rebuking Strom Thurmond’s daughter for identifying her daddy was appalling and startling.  Davis’ position on Strom Thurmond’s Black daughter may not be racist, but it is certainly inconsistent with conservative family values.

A greater concern is how children are being affected by this racial and ideological divide in our country.  E.R. Bills of Aledo, Texas (an Anglo suburban community) reported that in his son’s high school, class, when the teacher asked, what they thought of Obama, many of his son’s classmates answered, “Obama is the Antichrist.” Where do you think the children learned this idea?

Both sides need to put down the race card and pick up the facts and truth card.   As Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” President Obama did not create the racial and ideological divide in this country; the response to his election and administration, has unveiled it.   It’s time for the healing to begin.

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