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Obama: Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears the Crown — Especially So for a Black President in the United States

By: Franklin Otorofani, Esq.

Published September 7th, 2010

It takes more than idealism to reprogram the genes of racial bigots and Obama was no programmer of genes. Genetic engineering is not his forte. It takes more than wielding a Black Berry smart phone to reprogram genes and the technology to reprogram human genes has yet to be invented even if it has for plants and animals. He wished it had. But who wants his genes reprogrammed anyway, least of all racial bigots? They longed to go back to the days of their slave-owning ancestors, who built a brand new nation from scratch on the backs of black slaves—Franklin Otorofani, Esq.


When in November, 2008, the predominantly white citizens of the United States braved the odds and momentarily brushed aside race to put a black man, then Senator Barack Hussein Obama in the revered Oval Office as the first black president of the United States, a both stunned and ecstatic world cheered on in endless celebration of what was seen as the dawn of a newfound era of post racial politics in America and, by extension, the world at large wherever race was an issue.

And like the United States which was the theater of events, there are so many racial hotspots all over the globe that keyed into the US elections to watch history unfold before their very own eyes perhaps in the hope of drawing useful lessons from them that could find some applications in their own peculiar circumstances. Those who looked for inspiration from the US were not disappointed. But those who feared the unthinkable happening got their worst nightmares coming to fruition—a black man in the US Oval Office!

What they got was a political Tsunami in the US. A tectonic shift in political realignments that saw a grand coalition of Democrats, independents and minority communities forging a united front against reactionary forces represented by the Republicans, turned history on its head and swept a black man onto the world’s most powerful throne inaugurated by George Washington and graced by such American greats as Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Ike Eisenhower, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and William Jefferson Clinton.  

More than anything else including the sour mood of Americans about their economic conditions under GW Bush, the promise of a post racial America was writ large in the national consciousness. Helped by his bi-racial background, Obama himself had, as a candidate, actively sought to actualize that aspiration as a fitting capstone to the anti-discrimination and anti-segregation struggles of yesteryears championed by his gallant forebears and for which many had laid down their lives including the venerable Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X and all those millions of blacks murdered in cold blood in slave plantations and elsewhere. And in furtherance of that mission, he had presented and sold his candidacy to the American voters as one of uniting all Americans behind common goals regardless of race as envisioned by Dr. King in his memorable “I Have a Dream” speech.

If Dr. King was John Baptist foretelling the coming of the Messiah, Obama would be the Christ. If Dr. King was Moses leading his people out of slavery in Egypt, Obama would be the Joshua. He was the new kid on the block with a fresh take on race relations not to be confused with the fire spitting brands of the Reverends Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and, of course, Jeremiah Wright among others, who are wont to fan the embers of racism and drive fears of possible retribution into guilt laden minds of whites that tend to hold them back from the political empowerment of a black man.

A black president! You’re kidding me? No way! They could become sports and music stars, talk-show hosts and comedians to entertain white overlords but not presidents. That would be a hugely risky adventure. But with a cast of the ballot on November 4, 2008, Obama shattered those stereotypes because he not only refused to sit at the back of the bus but decided to become the driver of the bus himself, and the good people of America handed him the keys to the bus. He’s on the driver’s seat today.

That’s quite a sacrilege that has not gone down well with many who wanted to propagate the bogey of white supremacy and the active promotion of low expectations in the black and other minority communities. That Obama has managed to project himself through the front door into the all white-pantheon of leaders in the United States seems to them a desecration of their throne.

They threw all they had into the battlefields to stop him in his track. The Republican dirt machine was oiled and prepped to dig and excavate dirt on Obama. First, they went for his home in Chicago and sought to make a scandal out of its purchase from the landlord they derogatorily called “slum lord.” Hillary Clinton, Obama’s opponent at the primaries provided them with the bullets on that one which however had no fire in them.

When that failed, they picked on Obama’s relationship with the allegedly “radical” Dr. Ayers as evidence of Obama’s socialist bearings. When that failed to stick they grabbed on to Jeremiah Wright’s incendiary church sermons and sought to pin them on Obama as his own sermons. But that too wouldn’t stick on his “Teflon” skin because he’s no Jeremiah Wright and he couldn’t be made to adopt his sermons as his own. Americans are no dummies. They knew who gave those sermons and concluded they didn’t carry Obama’s signature. Therefore, Obama couldn’t be held responsible for the acts of another. And that one too fell flat on its face.

But their desperation knew no bounds. They travelled all over the world looking for dirt to dig on Obama but came back empty handed. Frustrated and exasperated they turned against the press and accused the American “liberal” press of not digging enough dirt on Obama to move the American people against him. Till date I still hear their rant against the “liberal” press for failing to nail Obama for them. Why couldn’t they do the job themselves if they had anything on him. The “liberal” press should have cooked up something on Obama for them? What happened to Fox News the Republican Party mouthpiece that was and still mauling Obama 24/7as if Obama bashing is its business model and the reason for staying and remaining in business? Why couldn’t Fox News do it? Too bad it couldn’t find any dirt on him.



However, their fears of retribution have not and will not materialize under President Obama. The African blood in him will not allow him to engage in acts of vengeance against any racial groups for the sins of their forefathers against the black man. Too bad the reactionary white male thinks only in terms of his own vengeful proclivities and he’s afraid of his own shadows. The remarkable world acclaimed example of Nelson Mandela in South Africa who, in spite of his ill-treatment in the hands of white Boers, which had demonstrated conclusively the unique and essential forgiving character of the black man as a large hearted human being, offered such whites only some cold comfort. It seems that would not be enough to assuage their fears. Nor are their fears by any means altogether misplaced. The guilty are naturally afraid of retribution as was the case in South Africa. And the seething anger that periodically erupts and boils over in black males even against their own stocks could not have been lost on white folks.

But Obama was of a different kind—a chip from another block who appeared dovish and harmless enough to have earned their trust of not rocking the boat too hard and taking a pound of flesh on whites. His meek mien even in the face of extreme provocation stuck like glue and got noticed during the election. And what’s more, the financial meltdown provided the headwind that would sweep and anchor his sail at the White House.  He is coming not from the angle of an antagonist but of a protagonist for a new America with different demographic realities that impose changes in race relations. His bi-racial background and wide exposures to the world uniquely qualify him to be the standard bearer of that message.

“We are one America!” was and still his endearing slogan which resonated with the people. America was ready for him and his message of hope and healing. And, he too was ready for America—ready to turn her from the path of racial bigotry into a truly United States of America even as cynics and those profiting from racial discords pooh-poohed his ideas as naïve fantasia.

With the benefits of hindsight, they knew what they were saying back then, because they had no intentions whatsoever of bridging the racial divide in America. As far as they were concerned, Obama was no Christ and should not throw his naïve idealism in their face. It takes more than idealism to reprogram the genes of racial bigots and Obama was no programmer of genes. Genetic engineering is not his forte. It takes more than wielding a Black Berry smart phone to reprogram genes and the technology to reprogram human genes has yet to be invented even if it has for plants and animals. He wished it had. But who wants his genes reprogrammed anyway, least of all racial bigots?

They longed to go back to the days of their slave-owning ancestors, who built a brand new nation from scratch on the backs of black slaves. We were all witnesses to their riotous rallies during the campaigns with Mama Sarah Palin as their arrowhead and she still is even today as their rallying point.  But try as they did the racial bigots could not hold back the tide of history and in the end democracy imposed its will on the race baiters and Obama and the United States of America as a nation prevailed against them. However, to Obama’s credit, he has stuck to his post racial posture as president even as Republican race baiters continue to test his limits of endurance and tolerance. There are no limits to the insults they haul at him.

Post racial America? Not so fast, they seemed to have vowed, and thumbed their nose at the world for being too dreamy. The world couldn’t be more wrong into reaching such a hasty conclusion. Post racial America is still light years away even if a black man or Latino is president! It changes nothing. These folks do not dream about anything else but to conquer and vanquish others and impose their will on the weak—in other words, thugs and bullies that must be confronted frontally with the same weapons they apply on others otherwise they will yield no quarters. They’ve been socialized to dominate others right from the days of slavery and on down, and equality is antithetical to that paradigm even if the laws of the nation demand it.

There are limits to what the laws can do. For one, they can’t reprogram genes. The only language they understand is power and domination. And that’s what must be resisted with all means necessary because justice and fair play to them is sheer bunkum and no more than crutches for weaklings. Only underdogs talk about justice, equality and fair play. But for the progressive American judiciary the ideals of racial equality, justice and fair play would have remained a mirage with these reactionary forces in power.

Those words so loved by oppressed underdogs are poisonous to the ears of oppressors. Yet the fact remains that anyone who is afraid of and resistant to racial equality, justice and fair play is inherently insecure and afraid of competition which is the bedrock of free market and civil society.

Even so a post racial America with racial blind spots that gives every American equal opportunity was and still a darn good dream. Obama’s election was a darn good dream that came to pass and rather quickly too. However, its hoped for, post racial accompaniment was one good dream too many too soon. It would seem that America was biting more than it could chew at the same time and getting constipated in the process. So says America’s Sarah Palin’s Tea Party movement seeking to abort the promise of that dream in the womb of time with particularly vengeful aplomb.

All of America’s racial progress had been made through incremental baby steps, not revolutionary ones. Obama’s success at the polls was a culmination of those baby steps of previous eras. And a post-racial America may well come to be in no distant future if Americans of good will continue to work hard at it because there is no avoiding it. America, by its unique demographics is predestined to come to that pass in the fullness of time.

But make no mistake about it: Obama is greater than Barack Hussein Obama. He’s a symbol of what’s possible in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Obama is a dream fulfilled and hope realized not just for blacks but for other minority racial groups in the US. He has removed the glass ceiling of achievements for all blacks and Latinos in America and powerful role model for the black male everywhere. His election has taken away the scourge of low expectation in the minority communities. And that’s why he’s not just an inspiration but an institution already. And he’s the face of the new America who has given meaning to the term “racial equality and justice.” He has changed the country forever and America will never be the same again regardless of the desperate antics of the reactionary forces at play. And that change is irrevocable and irreversible.

 

If you’re a Nigerian reading this article and this is sounding too much like Nigeria to you, you’ve got plenty of company. Racial bigotry is cousin to ethnic bigotry that’s wrecking the Nigerian nation and their practitioners behave the same way though separated by hundreds of thousands of miles. It’s a genetic disease that respects no geographical boundaries and it’s basically incurable.

Thus while the rest of the world was basking in the euphoria of that epochal statement immanent in the Obama election a tiny minority of racial bigots was nursing its deep racial pains and liking its self-inflicted racial wounds in the United States. Celebrations of Obama’s victory were a source of pain and anguish for them.

Thoroughly routed at the polls by progressive Americans and unnerved by Obama’s initial popularity, these fringe groups withdrew into their shells for a while like wounded lines waiting to stage a comeback at the appropriate time. They simply couldn’t help themselves. Mind you, racial or ethnic bigotry is a mental affliction that cannot be wished away with good talks. Obama is just finding that out now after getting push backs and rebuffs at every turn. His message and efforts of bi-partisanship in governance is being laughed to scorn by the Republicans. 

 

Republican Bigots in Attack Mode

They have all along been sending probes looking for openings to strike back, however little and however absurd the openings might be. The national gripes over the lingering economic woes and fringe issues like the building of a mosque in New York City have provided them with forced openings to demonize the president by characterizing a growing but slowly recovering economy as evidence of Obama’s failed economic policies.

Failure has new meaning. Obama’s economic policies failed when he willfully prevented the collapse of Wall Street. His economic policies failed when he prevented General Motors and Chrysler Motors from going under into bankruptcy and throwing out hundreds of thousands of its workers who knew nothing else but build cars into the already bloated job markets to drain unemployment insurance funds. His policies failed when he saved those jobs and created more than one million new jobs in under one year since the recovery began when their own Republican President, GW Bush, was losing half a million jobs every month and lost approximately 5 million jobs before he left office. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Yes failure has new face. Obama’s economic policies failed for investing in renewable energy and information technology and making the United States competitive in the new economy like most of the other developed nations and even developing ones like China which are way ahead in the game under Republican watch. Someone has got to change the definition of failure in the next revised edition of the Oxford dictionary to accommodate its revised new meaning.

Thus if anyone thought that the white racists in the Republican Party, who were livid with rage, predicting doomsday scenarios, and many of whom had, in fact, threatened to quit the United States for Canada should Obama ever get too close to Oval Office as president, would, all of a sudden discard their coats of racism for a post racial America, that one must have been handed a rude awakening by the resurgence of anti-black sentiments now institutionalized in the Republican Party’s Tea Party movement in America led by the brain dead rambler, Sarah Palin whose expertise in foreign policy is the boundary her state of Alaska shares with the Soviet Union. “I can actually see Russia from here in Alaska!” Sharing a boundary with a country is her qualification in foreign policy. Such an intellectually challenged rambler is the leader of the Tea Party. Do you blame those who called them nuts?   

The race baiters are trying hard to stir up racial sentiments in America to get the white majority on their side and use that to capture Congress in the midterm elections, cripple the Obama administration and ultimately drive Obama and the Democrats out of power. That would end their nightmares.

For having the courage of his conviction to design, pass and execute a revolutionary healthcare Act that has provided more than 30million Americans healthcare benefits unseen in the annals of America’s healthcare system—an achievement which has been roundly hailed by historians as an historic milestone akin to the Social Security Act passed in the 60s, Obama is being accused of being a closet socialist by the racists.

To the racial bigots, Obama should have left the over 45milion Americans without health insurance and majority of whom are disproportionately from minority communities hanging on the cliff of ill health leaving them to swarm emergency rooms as their only option and forcing tax payers to pick up the tabs. The fact that blacks and Latinos from minority communities, who had been going without healthcare benefits all their lives, will become major beneficiaries of the healthcare Act as indeed poor whites has not gone down well with the racists even without public option included in the Act. That to them is “socialized healthcare,” that would benefit some lazy bums who don’t want to work. Yet they’re first to bemoan the acute unemployment scourge in America. It makes no difference that there are mandates in the Act, which, quite remarkably, the same people are kicking against as forced imposition. Many Republican controlled states have, in fact, gone to court seeking the nullification of aspects of the Act containing mandatory health insurance just as it is in automobile insurance for drivers.

Now, if extending a helping hand to economically battered American citizens is the meaning of socialism for racists, so be it. There can be no apologies for helping the poor whether they are blacks, whites, brown, green, purple, blue, red, whatever. Medical treatment for sick individuals doesn’t have to be a function of wealth and if that’s socialism it’s all well and dandy by me. Most of the developed nations like Canada, Britain, Germany, in fact, nearly all of Europe, is practicing socialized healthcare and their citizens are healthier and happier for it. They don’t have 45 million citizens going without healthcare and that’s a plus for socialized healthcare.

Obama and Americans don’t have to cringe at the word “socialized” thrown in their faces by the Republicans. If socialized healthcare makes the whole of Europe socialist what is there to regret when their citizens have better access to healthcare than the citizens of the United States? Many US citizens go to Canada to get healthcare due to the astronomical costs of healthcare in the US and other strictures imposed by HMOs. Thousands have lost their lives due to the inhuman practices of HMOs that refuse to cover treatment of pre-existing diseases. If Obama has saved one life, just one life with the new Healthcare Reforms, he’s done the work of God and the reforms would be justified. And if he got just one more person covered the reforms would be justified. But guess what, he got 30 million more covered! And if that is not success and progress, I don’t know what is. 

Yet one has to wonder how in the world would a people who put the name “God” on their lips 24/7 would be upset with anyone giving a helping hand to the poor through healthcare.  One could not but a let out a cry, Oh, what hypocrites! “They worship me with their lips but their hearts are far away from me.”

Total indifference to the plight of the poor is not one of the greatest attributes of the Christian religion as we knew it which they so loudly proclaim except there have been some changes in the liturgy that I’m not aware of. Is that the meaning of capitalism? I doubt it too. These people are giving capitalism a bad name it doesn’t deserve. The only place it can sit comfortably is in the court of racists. And one would want to know: where is the compassionate conservatism mantra preached by GW Bush, a Republican?  

For passing the $878bn American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which has been hailed by economic experts as not only halting the downward slide of the US economy into the abyss, but reversing the trend and launching it on the path of sustainable growth with the growth rate in GDP in the last four consecutive quarters averaging 2.8%, the racists are calling him a socialist for bailing out Wall Street and Detroit. To them Wall Street and Detroit should have been left to collapse and go into bankruptcy rather than the government stepping in to help them out when no one else from the private sector was willing to step in. These banks should have been left to die quietly with billions of dollars of citizens’ retirement benefits, equities and savings trapped in and lost forever.

And you’ve got to wonder: do these people have a heart? How much does deposit insurance cover? It’s mere $100, 000.00. What’s that to those high net worth individuals and institutional investors with millions and billions of dollars trapped in failed banks that would have gone under but for Obama? Peanuts! They have no qualms with millions of American workers losing their jobs in Wall Street and Detroit combined in a free fall economy in the name of capitalism. To the racist bigots that’s the meaning of capitalism and free market economy—no public assistance to individual Americans who are badly hurting and losing their jobs, their homes, dignity and self-worth in their millions. And no public assistance whatsoever to private sector that was going under at all in time of acute economic distress. So why didn’t they call their own GW Bush a socialist and big spender for bailing out Wall Street with over $700bn before he left office voted for by the same Republicans in the Troubled Assets Recovery Program Act (TARP) passed by a Republican controlled Congress. Again, one could not but let out a cry: Oh, what hypocrites! Again, where is the compassionate conservatism mantra preached by GW Bush? This is shameless hypocrisy.

It’s a pity though that the same Wall Street that got this largesse from both the Bush and Obama administrations to shore up their finances has refused to hire laid off American workers to help shorten the unemployment queues even as they’re declaring huge profits and sitting on pile of cash in their gleaming corporate headquarters.

Rightly or wrongly this unofficial “no hiring” policy has led some to suspect deliberate economic sabotage on the part of corporate America of the Obama administration so as to damage its record before the midterm elections and return the Republicans to power. Although I’m unwilling to go that far, the fact that Wall Street has been making huge campaign donations disproportionately to the Republican Party in this election cycle before the midterm elections is clear indication of where its political loyalty lies at this moment in time. For whatever reasons not the least of which is the passage of the Obama financial reforms, Wall Street is now firmly in bed with the Republicans. However, race probably has little or nothing to do with it. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt in that regard. 

But what exactly does the Tea Party want? They are for tax cuts and yet oppose Obama’s tax cuts for small businesses? And you wonder: Are these the same people who have been accusing Obama of “killing small businesses” the bedrock of the US economy with taxes only a few months back? Something has got to be wrong somewhere. Don’t tell me this is politics. It’s sheer hatred for a black president taken to extreme levels and verging on the fringes of lunacy. When I mentioned to a white lady at my place of work that I listened to Rush Limbaugh and other conservative Republican Talk Show hosts all the time to get a feel of their train of thoughts, she retorted: “How could you listen to those lunatics and still maintain your sanity?” Yep, that’s a darn good question because believe it or not these nuts will drive you nuts if you don’t know why you’re listening to them in the first place.

Is Obama infallible? No, he’s not and no human being is and he doesn’t claim infallibility either. Do I approve all of his actions and policies? No, I don’t and why should I anyway? But does that give me license to call the President of the United States a “liar” to his face as one Republican Congressman did to him a few months ago? I don’t think so. That is not a policy but a personal attack on his person. Would they do that to a white president? Did they do that to GW Bush who in fact lied about Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in Iraq as a pretext to go to war in Iraq? I don’t think so either. Why was it so easy for the Congressman to call his own president a liar to his face?

The answer is simple: because of his skin color which happens to be black. The Congressman saw that as an accident of history that must be guarded against in future and he’s doing everything in his power to damage Obama before the American people by whatever means necessary, fair or foul. So common decency is thrown out the window and replaced with extreme crudity. If Obama’s election was an historical accident to him, he should be ready for more of such historical accidents as the US demographics continue to shift dramatically in favor of the minority groups who are becoming the majority as has already happened in New York City as of today. Next time around there will be a Latino President of the United States because Latinos are the largest and fastest growing demographic groups in the United States according to the US Census Bureau statistics.

No one is asking to support Obama’s policies blindly without question. I have a healthy disagreement with some of his actions. The operative word here is “healthy” disagreement as opposed to destructive disagreement. But don’t the Republicans have a right to point out his failures or missteps in the normal course of politicking? Of course, they do, but we must distinguish apples from oranges. They are not one and the same thing. When a party abandons policy issues and decides to veer into personal matters like Obama’s citizenship and his skin color, then it is no longer normal politicking but something else at play here. And we will not be true to ourselves if we shy away from calling it what it is: Racism, pure and simple. The fact that racism is carefully dressed up in borrowed clothes does not change its true nature and essence. Dressed up in borrowed clothes or not, they have made sure that the clothes are transparent or opaque enough for those who care to look a little closer and a little deeper to see the real beast hiding in those clothes. Their racist rants are barely disguised and one has to be a complete daft not to recognize them for what they are.

They want the US budget deficits reduced yet they want to continue the Bush’s tax cuts that are due to expire soon? Where is the money coming from to close the budget deficits if not from taxation? They want the US treasury to simply print the money to close the deficit gaps? It reminds one of what Bush Sr. characterized Reagan’s proposals during their party primaries debate back in the day—voodoo economics! Or voodoonomics, if you don’t mind the coinage. But they can’t have it both ways. It’s an either or proposition. 

When Obama bails out Wall Street they rail against him as being in bed with Wall Street crooks. But when he rolled out his comprehensive financial reforms legislation in Congress to curb corporate excesses that led to the financial meltdown and the consequent economic woes assailing the nation these same people sought to block it from passing and they were quick to denounce Obama as being anti-business and free market. They claimed he was “killing business” with “excessive government regulations.” If Obama helps Wall Street get its acts together to stave off a collapse he is denounced by the Republican hacks and if he goes tough with Wall Street he’s denounced by them too with equal vehemence. They want to have it both ways? Impossible! It doesn’t work that way. If he imposes taxes as he had promised during the campaign taxes on those earning more than $250,000 a year he’s clobbered as a big, socialist spender. And if he grants tax breaks to small businesses to help them grow and weather the financial storm he is equally denounced as a “tax and spend” president. No one including the American media can quite put a finger on what these people really want and it is as confused about the real intentions of these bigots as other Americans. They have no qualms speaking from both sides of their mouths on the same issues. If Obama moves he’s damned and if he does not move he’s damned. Head or tail he’s denounced by them. What do they want?

Newt Gringrich, the former Republican Speaker of the US House of Representatives once likened Obama to a student who is handed a credit check to use and soon overshoots its credit limits. Obama inherited more than a trillion dollar budget deficits from the Bush administration but the Republicans are now quick to blame the US budget deficits on Obama when the ill-advised and manufactured war in Iraq alone has cost the United States more than a trillion dollars much of which is borrowed money as Obama has indicated in his address today to mark the end of the war in Iraq as I write this piece. These are not my figures; they came from the mouth of the President of the United States. All of a sudden the huge mess left behind by Republican GW Bush is now being blamed on Obama. Suddenly Obama is now responsible for the financial meltdown, not Wall Street and certainly not GW Bush. Suddenly, Obama is responsible for high health insurance premiums not HMOs and certainly not the doctors and hospitals. Suddenly Obama is responsible for the war in Afghanistan not GW Bush. In fact the RNC Chairman, Michael Steel, a black man like Obama, who was quickly drafted after Obama’s inauguration to put a black mask on a racist body to avoid racial charges and who would do the dirty job on Obama by getting under his skin, had called the Afghan war “Obama War.” A war started ten years ago and abandoned by GW for Iraq in the aftermath of 9/11 had suddenly become Obama war in the warped head of Michael Steele. I mean, how much more nauseating can it get?

Who do these people take Americans for? Dim witted, mono cellular organisms? Tea Party flotsam and jetsam might fit that description but Americans know who started the war in Afghanistan and detoured to Iraq midstream on false pretences without finishing the business in Afghanistan. They know under whose watch the great financial meltdown occurred that triggered the economic recession in the United States and all over the world. And heck, they know Obama inherited all this mess and a tattered economy from the Republicans and he’s cleaning up after them. Only a complete idiot suffering from selective amnesia would fail to remember that. Heck, they remember that as GW Bush was quitting the White House on Air Force One he took the US economy with him to his ranch in Texas leaving Obama with its carcasses. He handed Obama a dying patient on a sick bed clinging to life by the threads and gasping for breath. Obama deserves great credit for reviving the patient and slowly but surely nursing her back to good health. Healing is not by decree but by careful and painstaking nursing attendance. 

As a I told that white American lady, the US economy has nowhere else but up to go however long it takes and the predictions of double digit recession by the Republican scare mongers will not materialize under Obama. 15million Americans out of work with 9.6 unemployment rate might sound scary in a country like US but it is not significantly brighter elsewhere around the globe and significantly worse in Europe. But the economy created 67,000 jobs in August which gave Wall Street a reason to rally at the news. If that sounds like a double digit recession to Republicans it is troubling and something must be wrong somewhere.

Obama is accused and denounced by this same group as Moslem as if it is somehow a crime in America to be a Moslem. His remarks supporting the constitutional right of Moslems to build an Islamic Center about two blocks away from Ground Zero, in Lower Manhattan, New York City, has ignited a firestorm in the Tea Party circles as a sacrilege as the Major of the city itself Michael Bloomberg has publicly expressed his support for the project and even went ahead to denounce the opponents in very strong terms. He said they should be ashamed of themselves for exhibiting such level of religious intolerance.

Now consider this: The Mayor of New City, Michael Bloomberg and majority of New Yorkers themselves have no problem with the building of an Islamic Center near Ground Zero, but Tea Party chieftain, Sarah Palin, coming all the way from Alaska has a problem with the project! Pray, what has an Alaskan got to do with the building of an Islamic Center in New York City? Talk about the stranger crying more than the bereaved in a funeral.

It’s not about 9/11, which is being used as a crutch by the antagonists of this project. Dig or just scratch a little below the surface and you’ll find the reason why. Racial and religious bigotry are at the root of it all! Bottom line: The stranger crying more than the bereaved is not mourning the dead but has other reasons for beating himself against the wall and weeping his eyes out inconsolably.

Pattern to Madness

There is a clear and distinct pattern to the Republican Tea Party madness. By quickly shifting from and abandoning policy debates to attacking the person of Obama, the racial bigots have shown us where they’re coming from. Their tirades against Obama have nothing to do with the economy or healthcare or public assistance or deficits but everything to do with the COLOR of his SKIN. In a survey carried out recently, an overwhelming majority of Republicans think that President Obama is not a US citizen even in the face of official records of his birth in the US state of Hawaii, which have been used for previous elections in his home state of Illinois to the US Senate and throughout his college years at both Ivory League Columbia and Harvard universities. Some of them even went to court to declare Obama a non-citizen and use that to nullify his presidency as if it never was and their cases were thrown out like pieces of trash. They have no regard for the Hawaii birth records. You’ve got to wonder if these nuts somehow got it into their heads that Obama got elected into the US Senate and then to US presidency as a Permanent Resident clutching a Green Card. How much more moronic can anybody be to cross over into the domain of lunacy? Psychiatrists and mental health practitioners should please help us here because it would appear that many members of the Republican Tea Party movement have breached the boundaries of insanity.

To them Obama is an alien from outer space who was never conceived, born, lived, schooled and worked in the United States. Part of him was born in Kenya and another part of him was born in Indonesia to complete his body. He’s not the US Senator from Illinois who acquired his first and second degrees from two of America’s most prestigious institutions. No, his is not the man who engaged Hillary Rodham Clinton in a grueling year long Democratic Party primaries that held the entire world spell bound and prevailed against her in the end. He’s not the man who took Senator John McCain, a white man, to the cleaners in three consecutive debates and eventually vanquished him at the polls. They still don’t know him because he’s too sartorial, suave, debonair and urbane for them.

He’s not a stuttering GW Bush who would climb on top an aircraft carrier with a banner behind him declaring the war in Iraq “Mission Accomplished” when the war had only just begun. No, he’s not that dumb.  He’s not so dumb as to stand proudly right next to then head of FEMA, Mr. Brown, and pat him on his back for doing a “heck of a job” in New Orleans during Katrina, when corpses of trapped American citizens were floating in the flooded streets of New Orleans with terrified folks hunkering down at the Dome with no help coming their way. Obama showed his smarts during the recent Gulf Oil spills by being on top of it and on top of BP too. He has been to the zone a dozen times since then. As a matter of fact he just got back from the zone to mark the second anniversary of the disaster. He wasn’t flying over the place in helicopter and looking down on desperate subjects gasping for breath and smiling at them as did George Bush during Katrina. He had his boots on the ground.

But did that prevent Republican hacks from attacking him instead of BP? The way the Republicans were gleefully but viciously attacking Obama during the Gulf Oil spill, you would think he caused it in the first place, not BP. Yet it was the lax regulatory regime under GW that allowed that disaster to occur. That was when corporate America, including BP, was allowed to regulate itself rather than the government doing the regulation. That was when regulatory agencies including financial regulators were put to sleep leading to the financial meltdown inherited by Obama.

They still can’t stand Obama. He’s too smooth, too polished, and too much of a digital president for them. The conservative Republicans many of whom can’t navigate their fingers on a computer keyboard will never be comfortable with digital president because they have been used to analog presidents all their lives. A brainy president like Obama is a definite put off for them. He doesn’t speak twang but Queen’s English. He’s just too brainy and too smart for them. They expected to see a no good, fumbling black man who would mess things up in the White House and who would be groping his way around the Oval Office not knowing his right from his left. They expected to see a black simpleton who would prefer to sleep in the Chicago or Washington, DC ghettoes to the well appointed bedrooms in the White House. Instead they got this super confident and unflappable high flying black kid who would dwarf his predecessor in intellect and smarts and they call it arrogance and elitism. Again it was Hillary Clinton who first used those words on Obama during the campaigns. It’s not arrogance it’s smarts! The same people who say Obama is arrogant and elitist complained the most when he went abroad bowing before foreign Kings in Saudi Arabia, Spain and Britain in humility and called that un-American. Where do arrogance and elitism end, and humility begins? Here again, they can’t have it both ways. 

They found a black man who is the toast of the world and couldn’t believe their race-blinkered eyes when the first black First Lady in the United States was feted by the Spanish Royalty in Madrid. Yet they claim they still don’t know him until he shows them his birth certificate. The bigots are demanding to be given the original copy of Obama’s birth certificate much like the doubting apostle Thomas, demanded to be shown the mark of the spear cut on the body of Jesus Christ before he would believe in his resurrection!

Obama was asked by NBC’s Brian Williams what he thought about some people still expressing doubts about his American citizenship despite the records. His answer was: “I can’t go around with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead to prove my citizenship.” But that’s precisely what the racists want him to do to prove his citizenship. When Obama sits in the White House they complain of not doing enough. When he goes out they complain of being too visible and allege an Obama fatigue. When he goes on vacation they complain about being too insensitive in times of economic turmoil. Obama should hunker down in the Oval Office gnashing his teeth about the US economy all through his presidency and forgo all vacations and family life and that would mysteriously make the economy bounce back to good health! They complain about Michele Obama’s trip to Spain on the invitation of the Spanish Royalty and they complain about Obama vacation with his family at Martha’s Vineyard. Whatever Obama does draws venom from their pent up racist glands even when he breathes or goes to the bathroom.

All these go to show the world the depth and extent of hatred and racial bile running in the veins of these Tea Party racists against Obama, all because of his skin color. But they won’t dare mention his skin color directly except for those who have decided to go broke on Obama and throw it all out on race. Like the proverbial green snake under the green grass they hide under other issues to unleash their racial venom.

 

Promises Made Promises Kept

But what has Obama done that was not entirely foreseeable or entirely unexpected in his presidency? When I checked the records I see nothing, absolutely nothing! Whether is about healthcare reforms, financial reforms, new energy forms, and foreign policy changes, he promised doing just that during the campaigns, morons!

Obama was voted into office on the basis of his campaign promises not on Republican agenda and he’s only keeping his campaign promises and his Democratic agenda together with the rest of the Democrats in Congress. He’s not acting alone, he is acting in concert with his party men and women and the party’s leadership in Congress. He’s not executing an Obama agenda. He’s executing a Democratic agenda overwhelmingly approved by the American people in the 2008 elections. Elections have consequences. He was not elected to execute the Republican agenda roundly rejected at the polls. He would be dumb to do that. He was not put in the Oval Office by Republicans so why should they want him to implement their racist agenda?

If he embarked on healthcare reforms, he promised that loudly as his signature program during the campaign. As a matter of fact, he fell short of what he had promised by not including public option in the reforms due to lack of adequate votes for it in Congress. Had she won the primaries and the presidential election, Hillary Clinton would have even gone farther than Obama by decreeing universal healthcare for all Americans. Complaining about Obama healthcare and financial reforms as well as his foreign policy both in Afghanistan and Iraq including his energy policies is therefore tantamount to complaining about fulfilling his electoral promise. He has got to keep his election promises to the American people just as he has done in ending the war on Iraq and bringing the troops home. The same is equally true in escalating the war in Afghanistan to prevent the Taliban from regaining power and providing sanctuary to Bin Laden and Al Qeda to plot and launch another deadly attack against the United States.

These are promises made and promises kept. And that includes keeping a bent economy under GW Bush on the mend. He’s keeping his promises one promise at a time. What part of that the Republicans and their Tea Party nuts do not understand? If President Obama’s approval ratings are low at this point in time it is not because he has failed to keep his election promises but because of the sluggish US economy which is not creating jobs fast enough to make up for the over 5 million jobs lost under President GW Bush. And guess what, the approval ratings of the Republican Party is no less depressing than those of the Democratic Party and that of the Obama administration at this point in time. Even though the only alternative to the Democrats is the Republicans Americans are not exactly rushing to embrace that party anytime soon after their long nightmares under the Bush administration. And who would blame them? And they know that much as they criticize Obama’s policies the Republicans have no policies of their own other than their simplistic tax cuts mantra except one of deliberate obstructionism to the Obama administration, which has earned it the unflattering sobriquet, “The Party of No!”


Coded Messages

Yet we know that all their idiotic complaints are just smokescreens designed to hide their real motives. But we see through these smokescreens to behold their dark intentions and no one is fooled but themselves. It would appear that the only thing that would appease the Republican racist tin gods is for Obama to forthwith quit the throne of their white forebears which the generality of the American people have been dumb enough to have given to a black man who should be playing basket ball at the Chicago stadium or singing rap music at the Apollo Theater in New York City, at the polls. They want to take their country and their throne back from a black usurper. Isn’t that something in 21st Century America?

When Republican Party activists howl from the rooftop about “taking our country back,” they are only using code words to say they are taking their country back from a black man in the Oval Office as if the country does not belong to the blacks and other minority groups in equal measures as it belongs to the white Americans. In their warped minds, they imagine American nation belonging exclusively to them and others are just nobodies. They fancy themselves as the “real Americans” and others are just tenants and settlers.

And you’ve got to ask yourself: how about the “real Americans,” the Indians? How could the descendants of immigrant refugees fleeing from their oppressive and repressive kings in their home countries in Europe claim to be the “real Americans” for crying out loud! For the avoidance of doubt, the United States of America belongs to every American—black, white, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, African, Russian, Briton, German Indians and, you name it. And none but the Indians are the “real Americans.” Every other American is a settler or descendant of a settler. And that’s why we have African-Americans, Irish Americans, Indian-Americans, Pakistani-Americans, Spanish-Americans and, heck Nigerian-Americans, just to mention but a few of the racial groups that make up the American demographic profile. And this is elementary history.

Other than the Indians none of these bigots running around talking about “taking our country back” have original, indigenous ancestry in the United States. All are descendants of immigrants just like the children of present day immigrants. Isn’t it laughable and indeed ironical that it’s not the descendants of the indigenous Indian tribes that are talking about “taking our country back” but the children of immigrants from Europe who are arrogantly doing this as if they hold an exclusive title to territories comprised in the United States of America?

This is travesty and a sacrilege that must be resisted by all means necessary by all men and women of good will who believe in equal rights and justice for all in accordance with the nation’s Pledge of Allegiance. 

The last time I checked, the American dream is not meant for one racial group only but for all racial groups that make up the demographics of the United States of America. Mainstream America understands, agrees and takes it as an article of faith and that’s why Obama’s dream of occupying the Oval Office was resounding blessed by it. Those who resist this reality are on the wrong side of history, and would accordingly, be judged harshly by it.

Take “our country back?” Take it back to where? Back to the 60s or back to GW Bush’s days? Back to racial segregation and white racist lynch mobs on the prowl?  Hell no, it’s not going to happen. The country is moving forward not backward and matching into the future with supreme confidence believing as it does in her manifest destiny. The racists are doomed to failure in their revisionist movement. America will never go back to Jim Crow years of lynching and racial segregation again. However loud and noisy the Tea Party crowd might be, its members should understand that they are a tiny minority even in the Republican Party itself, talk less of the general population. At best, they represent a racist fringe group that’s opposed to the values of mainstream America shared by blacks, whites, Latinos, Asians, and other minority groups alike.

 

Getting Used to It

The Obama presidency has come to stay and there is nothing they can do about it even if, God forbid, the Republican Party takes over Congress in the midterm election come November. The Obama presidency is a fait accompli and the earlier they get that into their dumb skulls the better for them and their sanity because many of them have lost their sanity merely seeing Obama in the Oval Office.

One can only conjecture as why many of them did not carry out their threat of quitting the US and go settle someplace else in Canada should Obama win. Well, the White House is Obama’s Family Home today and in the next two and half years at the very least and the bigots are still here in the good old US organizing Tea Party rallies in Washington, DC, right next to Obama’s home, not in Ontario Canada? Somebody has got to be kidding me!

Tea Party racist bigots: Are you still here? The more liberal Canada has rejected you? I’ve got bad news for you all. See you again in 2012 and get ready for Obama’s second inaugural bash. As Americans would put it: You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

May God Bless America and all men and women of goodwill!

 

Franklin Otorofani, Esq. contact: mudiagaone@yahoo.com




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