That was among the search terms used to find my recent posting about President Obama. More precisely, an ugly American wrote in his search engine, “michael benjamin praises nigger obama” to access my blog.
The dreaded “N-word” was used to describe the President of the United States. Wow! I thought.
Earlier that day, a friend sent an email response to my NY Post op-ed, A Prez fit for ’24’, saying
“Way to disarm the conventional wisdom!! A lot of unused gray matter will be working overtime to get around this one.”
I know that much of the opposition to President Obama comes from a latent racism. The anonymity afforded by the internet permits these closeted racists to spew their poisonous bile.
Those who hold elected office simply question his American character, call him a ‘liar’ or like Rush Limbaugh project their unease by calling him ‘anti-white.’
The published op-ed praising President Obama left out my characterization of the GOP presidential candidates as a Swiftian “confederacy of dunces.”
[Swift’s sentiment is applicable to] … Obama given the lineup of Republican and Tea Party affiliated presidential candidates and right-wing talkers and pundits arrayed against him. …
The President’s genius isn’t so much his fiscal and domestic policy making but his ability to get unelectable cranks, secessionists and plutocrats to dominate the Republican presidential field.
I suspect that had these paragraphs been published, the dispeptic and bilious responses would have been far greater.
The President is experiencing on a very public stage what many black American managers, shop stewards, NCOs, executives and others in positions of authority have faced in some workplaces. Co-workers question their ability, their credentials, their leadership skills, and joke about affirmative action.
The psychological discomfort felt by a significant segment of the American population over Obama’s presidency must be addressed. There is no doubt that black and white Americans perceive the society around them differently. We have distinctly different ways of seeing the world around us that has been shaped by our biases, cultures, family and personal experiences.
We can disagree on whether or not the slights, hostility or opposition experienced by President Obama is racially motivated. But we should be able to agree that he is the duly elected and sworn in President of the United States. We should also be able to agree that those persons who would hurl racial epithets and other insults at him, Michelle and their two daughters deserve to be called out and ostracized.
Political dissent is fine. But our discourse should be tempered by a respect for the holder of our nation’s highest office. And goes whether the President is a Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, black, white, Asian or Hispanic, etc.
To the person who used “n****r obama” in his Google search, I say, look into your heart, confess your wrong, and access the better angel that resides there. Release your anger. You’ll feel better.