“What If He Wasn’t Black?”

Are Americans’ opinion of the President influenced by race?

It’s a question that must be broached when assessing the job President Barack Obama has done and whether he’s deserving of another four year term.

When the people elected Obama they were hungry for change, tired of partisan politics, aware of failing banks and a financial crisis driving us into recession, weary of endless wars in the middle-east, and losing jobs at the highest rate in over 70 years.

Barack Obama, unlike John McCain, represented hope and change; a chance to restore America to its past glory.

So, how has he done?

Pretty damn well, thank you — despite the economic mess he inherited and the unprecedented obstruction he’s faced.

Though, as a supporter of Obama, I have been disappointed with some of his actions or inactions, not once has my disappointment been influenced by his blackness.

As President he has represented the country well, governed well, displayed an intelligence far superior to his predecessor, and approached the job with dignity and integrity. Though at times he’s seemed aloof he has always shown concern for all Americans.

What disturbs me most are those that hate him, will not acknowledge anything he does, nor show respect for the position he holds, blinded by the color of his skin. We’re subjected to an ugly vociferous redneck mentality that separated this country half a century ago.

For many years we’ve been living in an increasingly ignorant country — trapped in an endless slide to the lowest common-denominator.

Despite this intractable decline, the country seemed to have overcome the age of intolerance, the extreme bigotry, and prejudicial ignorance with the election of our first black president.

But, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

In fact, the intransigence of the white party is not only driven by their political ideology, but by an undercurrent of racism.

To be brutally honest, Obama has done many things that would have been applauded and revered if he were white; achievements equivalent in benefit to ‘the people’ and the country as Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Dwight Eisenhower, and John Kennedy. But he receives no credit for these good policies.

Nor does he get any help. His proposals have been watered-down or impeded by insidious congressional members that infest capitol hill.

His most important short term achievement was the stimulus which kept the economy from going over the right-wing cliff. It saved the economy by saving jobs despite being shaved to a less effective amount by an obstructive minority in Congress — the Republicans.

Health Care, mostly a Heritage Foundation incarnation, took more than a year to approve because an obstinate political party was loathe to allow a potentially successful program pass – especially one that would make America and its citizens healthier. Instead they created disruptions and interference — wasted time in an effort to derail greatly need healthcare reform. This type of recalcitrance has become a Republican legacy!

Issue after issue a dogmatic right-wing cabal has blocked potentially effective initiatives and legislation they would have embraced if the President were white — or Republican.

Their war on women, on the unemployed, on unions and voters, gays and the military, on working people and veterans are permeated by an underlying racism — a desire to assure our first black president doesn’t succeed — doesn’t get reelected!

Obama, the man, takes out Somali pirates and pulls the trigger on the most notorious terrorist on the planet — Osama Bin Laden — and gets criticized by lesser men on the right.

The President tries to help women receive better pay and get better health coverage and is attacked, not only by a party engaged in a systematic evisceration of women’s rights, but by a religious body dominated by aged white men overseeing a church steeped in hypocrisy.

They ridicule the auto bail-out because it saved jobs, an entire manufacturing industry, and over a million jobs on the periphery. Ridicule 27 straight months of private sector job creation while they block bills that would create jobs for all Americans — The American Jobs Act and the transportation bill already passed in the Senate, but stalled in the House.

Republicans discredit food stamps and unemployment benefits by inferring an undertone of racism despite being the ones who caused the need for the extensions and recession caused growth in these programs.

Personal income taxes are at the lowest rates in over 55 years yet right-wing zealots claim that this black President has raised taxes — lying and misrepresenting the truth. A dishonest cracker, Grover Norquist, should be applauding Obama’s reluctance to raise taxes during this recession, but will never because that would be admitting that a man of color has done the right thing.

The bigotry, especially from people in the southern states, is palpable and unacceptable. But, they are inundated daily with a barrage of lies and the hidden racist agenda of Fox News. The prejudicial ignorance south of the Mason Dixon Line cannot be tolerated if this nation is to succeed.

Let’s not forget! It was a white man — a Yale educated business man — that drove us to the edge of the cliff. It was a black man that pulled us back from the precipice.

There is no place in a civilized country — in a mature democracy — for biased white men and women who have no other purpose than to drag us back to a time of hatred and unrest, to be allowed to govern.

Therefore, it must be asked — “What if he wasn’t Black?

We’d surely be supporting his efforts to move the nation forward, his attempts to restore our country’s greatness, and his desire to rebuild the middle-class.

If you hate the President because he is black then come out and say it. Quit hiding behind your masked bigotry and be honest for a change.

Maybe then we can begin to move forward!


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