The color of racism

The American Heritage Dictionary defines racism, 1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others. 2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

Racism is often associated with the white supremacy movement of the 1950’s, or the apartheid era of South African politics, or the racial cleansing in Kosovo, or the actions in WWII Germany by the Nazi party. However, racism is still alive and well today. News articles constantly criticize white leaders who are not politically correct in their speeches.

However, racism is “discrimination or prejudice based on race.” The most basic accusation leveled against white racists is that they “favor one person over another based upon race.” What is NOT popular (politically correct) is to recognize that some black people are equally biased against persons of the white races.

A few weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Ronald Kessler titled “Obama and the Minister.” The article began with the following paragraph:

In a sermon delivered at Howard University, Barack Obama’s longtime minister, friend and adviser blamed America for starting the AIDS virus, training professional killers, importing drugs and creating a racist society that would never elect a black candidate president.

Kessler quoted the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., pastor of Mr. Obama’s Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, as saying that “We [America] started the AIDS virus.”

America is still the No. 1 killer in the world. . . . We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns, and the training of professional killers . . . We bombed Cambodia, Iraq and Nicaragua, killing women and children while trying to get public opinion turned against Castro and Ghadhafi . . . We put [Nelson] Mandela in prison and supported apartheid the whole 27 years he was there. We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.

Many of Mr. Wright’s sermons are on YouTube.com and you can watch one here.

Notice that Mr. Wright says “He taught me, Jesus did, how to love my enemies. Jesus taught me how to love the hell out of my enemies. And not be reduced to their level of hatred, bigotry and small-mindedness.” But that is EXACTLY what I hear in these speeches – hatred, bigotry & small-mindedness. But the last person to recognize their bigotry is the bigot.

Senator Obama has since tried to distance himself from Rev. Wright. He has built his campaign on both unity and change. Both concepts appear flawed.

On Monday (June 16), Mr. Obama held a rally at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Two muslim women were denied visible seats behind Barack Obama’s stage because they wore head scarves. Bill Burton, an Obama campaign leader said that what the two volunteers had done was “offensive and counter to Obama’s commitment to bring Americans together.” He continued, “the campaign does not have a policy that bars Muslims wearing head scarves away from Obama.”

The article quotes one of the women (who was denied a seat), “[Hebba] Aref said she received a phone call and apology from an Obama campaign offiicial, but said that’s not enough.” She is asking for a personal apology from Senator Obama.

This episode seems to scream, “racism is still alive!” The fact that “volunteers” were blamed does not hold water. Those volunteers who control such photo ops are certainly not casual supporters. For any campaign to relegate such critical tasks to anyone except those who are absolutely dedicated and well-briefed would be fool-hardy indeed. That is not likely the case in the Obama campaign. This is NOT something that supports “unity” or “change.”

Or, see a clip of Michelle Obama’s speech stating that “for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country.” Would she have been “proud” if her husband was not the front-runner in the Democratic race? It does not sound that way from her speech. It sounds like she was ONLY proud of America because Senator Obama had done so well in his campaign. Again, this could easily be taken as both divisive and harboring the same old “victim” mentality that wants special treatment because one is black.

If a white man refuses to vote for a black candidate because he is black, it is clearly a case of racist discrimination. Is it also racism when a black man refuses to vote for a white candidate simply because he is white? I believe so. Further, is it racism for a person (of any race) to vote for a black candidate simply because he is black? Sadly, I have heard many say publicly that “it is time for a black man to be president.”

If we elect ANYONE because of his (or her) race or sex, it seems to me that we have been guilty of discrimination, bigotry & racism. Even “reverse discrimination” does NOT serve to “unify” – in truth, it continues the separation between the races. It is not “change” to a new America – it is a call back to 1968.

Your responses are welcome.

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