Andrew Cotto argues that there are some people for whom it does not matter what the president does or does not say; they only care about the color of his skin.
President Obama will be addressing a joint session to both houses of Congress this week. The subject will be our nation’s deeply troubled economy. Much attention will be paid to the speech, before, during, and after its delivery. Considering our serious economic plight, the nation’s (and the world’s) focus on today’s speech seems appropriate. There is nothing more important to most American’s right now than the economy. The President should be speaking about it to the nation vis-a-vis a joint session of congress. Sadly, the President’s speech won’t matter.
It doesn’t matter what the President says. It does not matter what facts he points out, what encouragement he provides, or what ideas he presents. It will not matter if he lays out a clear, brilliant, revolutionary plan that would begin to ease our nation’s financial woes and put people back to work as soon as Friday morning. None of this matters because there are members of our government who do not care what our president says or does. This president’s policies do not matter to them. The only thing that matters is that our president is black.
The race card is not pretty. I know. But these government members to whom I refer play the race card, again and again, and their obvious subterfuge must be recognized because the nation is suffering as a result. The attempt to marginalize the President on racial ground has been going on since he won the Democratic nomination. And since that time, it’s been open season in race baiting, in relentless and unprecedented ways, on the candidate, president-elect and sitting-president. He’s been called a Muslim married to a militant with whom he trades terrorist fist bumps. The President of the United States is also a Kenyan-born socialist who wants to kill the elderly through his malevolent health care bill. His omnipresent teleprompter is filled with eloquent words written by somebody else, which explains his speech giving prowess. He’s been called out as a liar by a member of Congress in the middle of a State of the Union address. He reportedly spends, spends, spends on entitlement programs, all the while, at the White House, hosting profane rappers and hip-hop barbecues. The new line is that, despite all indications to the contrary, he’s just not smart, and his academic achievements and professional ascension are the results of affirmative action. The insidious and relentless message is that he is not one of us (i.e. regular, hard-working, deserving, white Americans). And those creating this cynical narrative are singularly focused on the removal of this outsider from our midst, and they will tear down our country in order to rebuild it in their image.
I’m willing to accept that some of the criticism of the President is not racially motivated (and even justified, in many cases), but I refuse to believe that race does not play the key role in the motivation of his most ardent and preposterous critics who, since the last elections, have held this country hostage. I’m speaking of elected officials who have a singular focus of crippling our country in order to remove the sitting president from office. Damn those Americans who suffer along the way. Damn those in need of a job. Damn those in over their heads from flood waters or debt. Forget the myriad of other problems that face the nation. Their objective is not to govern but to paralyze and discredit and denounce our nation’s President until they can assume absolute power, as is their assumed right. These are not people of science or reason; these are those who employ tactics reserved for the desperate and delusional; the behavior of zealots who are deeply afraid of something that threatens their core beliefs. I don’t blame them. If I thought that America was founded for the (white) people, by the (white) people, Barack Obama would scare the crap out of me, too: a young, educated, intelligent, charismatic, centrist, family-man with the ability to inspire millions. Damn. And there could be more where he came from…
This raw power play seems to be working. The President’s approval ratings have hit an all-time low. The current perception of him is that of an inept leader. Someone who is too willing to compromise and not willing to make a stand on behalf of the American people (a perception to which the President has contributed via his own actions). While some criticism is justified, to certain members of government, he’s an unqualified Kenyan emperor without a loin cloth. But the reality is that President Obama did quite well during his first session of congress as President. He presided over a Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and Senate that accomplished more than any single Congress, on matters both domestic and international, since the 1960’s. Included in these accomplishments was the quelling of the economic disaster inherited from the Republican mismanagement of our nation’s finances during the two terms of George W. Bush. But more must be done. The damage still lingers. Ironically, and cynically, the financial narrative, in conjunction with their false personal narrative, is what the adversaries of the President are using to bludgeon his standing with the American people.
The distort-the-script tactic worked to regain control of the House in 2010. And here we are, with a faction of true believers dead set on doing absolutely nothing until the next elections roll around. And this is why the President’s upcoming speech on the economy won’t matter. No matter what he says on Thursday night, his ideas will be rejected. He must not be reelected, no matter what. The black man must be removed from office, by any political means necessary.
—Photo AN HONORABLE GERMAN/Flickr