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Earnest Harris

Earnest Harris

Posted: September 18, 2009 12:39 PM

Some White People Have Simply Lost Their Minds

What's Your Reaction?

There is no other way to say this but to put it all on the table. Some white people have simply lost their minds because they are besides themselves trying to figure out how in the world they slipped up and let an African-American man in the White House, as President of these not so United States.

While thankfully there are a few whites who have been willing to speak up about what is really bubbling up, or more like, spewing forth lately, people like former President Jimmy Carter, Tim Wise and some other bloggers here on The Huffington Post, most people simply have tiptoed around the huge white elephant in the room. The outrageous incidents, which seem to be increasing in frequency -- Glenn Beck's obvious racial appeals by saying Obama hates white people, Sen. Joe Wilson's unprecedented outburst before the world yelling at the President, the birther's refusal to accept the truth, the almost mob like town hall meetings where some people openly carried signs that were perfect for a Klan rally, Rep. Lynn Jenkins' "White Hope" remark, 'tea party" leader Mark Williams referring to President Obama as "an Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug and a racist in chief," the uproar over the President of The United States daring to give an inspirational speech to America's school kids -- I could go on but you get the point -- these are nothing more than the ugliest of racism that has simply boiled over the sides of our famed and mythical melting pot.

Right-wing whites have simply reached the point where they cannot take it any more. And the message seems to be that they will say and do whatever it takes to de-legitimize this President. And they seem to be certainly saying "never again." The saddest part about all of this is that it was just a few moths ago that many of us in the multi-ethnic coalition that banded together to usher in the Obama era were celebrating what looked like the start of a new seemingly post racial America. But just nine months later, I have to say I don't think I have seen a time when the bitterness and seeming us against them mentality was more evident. And by "us against them," I mean whites against the flood of people of color that are seeming to challenge the idea of what it means to be America and American. All you had to do was look at the faces of some of the Congressman in the crowd at President Obama's speech to see the venom that was only thinly veiled. It almost matched what we saw and heard from some of the people in the crowds at the recent town hall meetings.

The irony in all this is the challenge the Rep. Wilson's, Glen Beck's, Sean Hannity's and Rush Limbaugh's throw down by trying to intimidate the rest of us by daring us to call out this racism and to call them what they are -- silly men, and some women, who have seen the future and realize that the future is one where white men are not the only ones with a seat at the table anymore. And this scares the hell out of them. So they spew this crap and dare us to stand up to it and speak the truth. But we have to let them know that we will not back down, that we will not go away, that we will indeed call them out, no matter how many times they target a Van Jones, or whoever is next since they can't get to Obama. This country is changing, for the better, whether they like it or not, so they might as well accept it and find something else to do. The Republican Party can only make a fool of itself for so long before it completely implodes. And no attempt to put a Black mouthpiece like Michael Steele in front can disguise the fact that the Party is losing control of itself and some of these formerly disguised racists that pretend they are not anti-Black. No just anti anything from an African-American who dares actually have the gumption to call himself President and dare to do what he promised he would do when the country duly and fairly elected him.

I know President Obama is in a tough place and he can't really call these people out. He has to be "Presidential." But we can speak up. The issue is not health care reform or President Obama being too far left, because we have had people on the left run this country before. And we have had battles over health care, social security and other issues before. What we have never witnessed, at least when it came to the respect afforded our country's leader, whether it was former Presidents George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton, is this level of disrespect and overt vitriol directed at a President. All Presidents have had their opponents. But when you think through what has been directed at Obama, and his family for that matter with some of the truly low things that have 'slipped out" of people's mouths, like the South Carolina Republican activist, Rusty DePass, who said an escaped gorilla was probably Michelle Obama's ancestor, there is no denying this is beyond civil disagreement.

But I for one am not going to be intimidated into silence and I will call these racists what they are. I can accept and respect differing viewpoints, but what President Obama, and the rest of us, don't have to accept is racism disguised as patriotism. Let's call it what it is, racism born out of a fear that those darker skinned people have taken over. This is just not the America they expected, at least not so soon.

 
 

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