Race in Politics Not Headed in the Right Direction

There has always been a racial component to politics in this country.  Even after the Civil Rights Movement, this racial dynamic was clearly up for display.  As time wore on though, and more minorities became involved and elected in politics, that dynamic has shifted from obvious to a more underlying position.  Since the election cycle of 2008 that has all changed, and not just in Washington.  Ever since Obama was a candidate, that racial dynamic has once again begun to shift from underlying towards obvious.  During his campaign, it was widely discussed whether a black man could become president.  There were groups of people who would not vote for him simply because he was black.

It continued after the election and still continues with the rise in white supremacy groups.  But it is deeper than that.  As the mission of the republican party has become to not let  him succeed at all cost, the racial dynamic has moved from white supremacy groups to the halls of congress.  Even if they will not come out and say it, there has been a racial component to their strategy.  The questions of his birth certificate, the outright brashness of calling him a liar, interrupting the state of the union, and more recently the use of “tar baby” are unprecedented attacks on a president.  No president in history has faced the same kind of treatment from the halls of congress.  The rise of the tea party has not helped that dynamic either.  The racial atmosphere that appeared at tea party rallies during the health care debate was troubling.  Despite the rise of Herman Cain as a tea party candidate, you cannot deny the racial component to that movement.

Let’s take it one step further.  The attack on both a federal and state level on programs that are designed to help the poor, is also ripe with racism.  A disproportional amount of people who receive government assistance are minorities, and the disregard our elected officials have towards them is disturbing.  It is continues to bleed down to the lower levels of government as well.  The North Carolina State Legislature has been attacking policy like the Racial Justice Act, and early childhood for poor and at risk children.  If we take one step further, we can look at the Wake County School issue.  Regardless of how you feel about busing and socioeconomic diverse schools, the root of why people wanted to policy to change was a new approach to nimbyism.  A certain subset of people no longer wanted poor kids to be sent to the schools in their neighborhood.  Let them go to school where they live is written all over this, whether they want to admit it or not.

Many people wrongfully thought that the election of Obama pushed America into a post racial society. I would argue that it has done the opposite.  That election has had an impact on the racial dynamic of this country, but not for the better.  What it has done is moving racism back to the forefront.

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2 responses to “Race in Politics Not Headed in the Right Direction

  1. There is so much patent absurdity to your posting, it is difficult to know where precisely to begin. Let us consider, for a moment, that there is a racial component to the Republican Party “not letting [Obama] succeed at all”. What you seem to consider a harbinger of race-baiting, anyone with a functioning basis in common sense would know is D.C. business-as-usual. Or did you find a racial component in Democrats blocking and obstructing George W. Bush at every turn? Are Republicans simply supposed to kowtow to the will of President Obama simply because he’s black? Is there any opposition to him that you will allow is legitimate? What about the fact that the policies Republicans are opposing have not only been abject failures, but engendered at spike in unemployment, created the most debt in US history as a percentage of GDP and that he has wantonly flaunted Congressional authority on several issues?

    “No president in history has faced the same kind of treatment from the halls of congress”. Were you in a sleeping chamber from 2001-2009? Did you miss the presidency of George W. Bush? Somewhere between being compared to HItler and Goebbels or being blamed for natural disasters to being castigated for allegedly putting troops in danger to benefit his “buddies” in big oil, I would venture to say that Obama has received relatively tame opposition. DIsagreement with policy happens to be the crux of our two-party system in this Republic. Perhaps you missed that day in Social Studies or were too busy listening to race hustling grief pimps like Al Sharpton or Louis Farrakhan to understand that.

    As reality has it, there is NO racial component to the Tea Party. I would challenge you to provide actual FACTS to the contrary. Not conjecture. Not hyperbole. Not the made up statement of a Georgia Democrat who has since recanted. Give me a factual indication of racism within the Tea Party. You can’t because none exists. These are men and women of every ethnicity (yes, even a broad swath of the black community) who oppose higher taxes, onerous government, steep regulation and a stifling anti-business, anti-growth agenda from the Obama Administration. As it happens, the Tea Party calls out spineless GOPers, complicit Democrats and anyone else who they perceive as being part of the debt and deficit-deepening cabal. As you should realize, being an adult, disagreement with a black man is not simply, ergo sum, racist. We conservatives have always opposed heavy overfunding of welfare and state assistance programs without a figurative ladder or staircase with which to begin the extrication from the teat of government. While one of the few factual statements of your posting is that minorities are sadly overrepresented amongst the recipient class, then you must consider Obama a racist given that the welfare rolls have swollen over 25% since he has been affecting policy changes. Factually, the lot of minorities (especially blacks) have only improved in real economic indicators (overall income, home ownership and general prosperity) twice since LBJ’s Great Society: during the Reagan Presidency and the presidency of George W. Bush. If just throwing money at a problem and doing nothing to actually improve the stead of less affluent minorities were the antithesis of racism, then I suppose you’d be correct. But the Tea Party and conservatives in general have never believed that more government regulation and freebies will get anyone closer to the American Dream. This has been proven YET AGAIN during Obama’s abysmal failure as a President.

    Like so many who can’t handle the fact that a President who happens to be black is an abject failure, the only logical step is to blame Republicans and the Tea Party. Rather than accepting that Obama’s neo-Marxist world view and his adulation for absurd Keynesian economic theories have failed this country AND the most vulnerable amongst the poorer minorities, you are forced to blame the boogeymen. There is a rising trend of Americans who happen to be black who are true-blue conservatives and are some of the most vociferous opponents of Barack Obama. Herman Cain is one, yes. Also the brilliant Tim Scott and the freshman representative and fomrer lieutenant colonel and combat veteran Allen West to name a couple. Yet, these men view themselves first and foremost as patriots and guarantors of liberty in the legislative branch. Your claims of racism in the GOP and Tea Party ring hollow because they lack the most important component of any argument: the truth. Perhaps it is time to accept that Barack Obama has failed America at every turn not because of the color of his skin, but because of the content of his lack of character.

    • It has never been my belief that Obama cannot be criticized because he is black. In fact, I have written pieces that are critical of hi policies. That is part of politics and being President. However, as much as people disagreed with Bush, I don’t recall his state of the union address ever being interrupted with shouts from a congressman, I don’t recall bush ever being compared to a “tar baby”, or being referred to as a “boy”. The latter two of my examples are statements that are rooted in the racial history of this country. I don’t care if you come out an apologize for them, that doesn’t take away from the racial background of the comments. That is a level of respect that has been missing, regardless of how you feel about his policies.

      As for the Tea Party, I never even mentioned Cain as a racist despite his comments. I said, “Despite the rise of Herman Cain as a tea party candidate, you cannot deny the racial component to that movement.” No mention of his comments, rather making the point that just because they have a black man as a star in their movement does not take away from the racial components. I guess images of monkeys in nooses at Tea Party rallies is not enough to convince you of the racial component to their movement, then maybe the comparisons to Hitler will. I didn’t condone Bush being called Hitler, and similarly would not do the same for Obama.

      When I talk about Obama’s treatment from the halls of congress, I am not referring simply to disagreements in policy, that is a given and will happen. I am talking about the blatant disrespect that I have mentioned above. Also, the rise in home ownership during the Bush years was fresh off the hands of deregulation in the financial markets that led to predatory loan products that have led to our current housing crisis. Lenders have paid fines and are under investigation for targeting communities with predatory loans. Even under Bush the gap between the Rich and the Poor continued to grow. So I will not subscribe to your calls of Blacks prospering under Bush’s watch.

      I still would not call Obama a failure as he has still accomplished a lot during his first term despite challenges. Also, just so you know, I am not a fan of Al Sharpton or Louis Farrakhan as you implied. Just to be clear every person who has an OPINION about racial disparities does not have to get their message from these two. There are many who come to these conclusions on their own.

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