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Katrina L. Rogers Headshot

Three Thoughts on the Brewer-Obama Spat

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In case you've spent the last 48 hours hiding under a rock somewhere, you know about the -- what some would call animated -- exchange between President Barack Obama and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. You've probably seen the clips of finger-point-gate and formed an opinion on the matter. I thought last week's events fell in line with what seems to be Brewer's modus operandi. I've made a list of epiphanies that yesterday's event helped foster.

One: White privilege is real and white female privilege is too.

Gov. Brewer had the audacity to do something that most people simply would not do to a sitting president. Let's be honest here, if Brewer were a man, those actions would have been seen as extremely aggressive and maybe even violent in nature.

If Brewer happened to be a Black woman, she would have been labeled the epitome of an "angry black woman," she may have even been forced to resign. Funny how our first lady has been called angry -- however, I've yet to see her put her finger in anyone's face or act belligerent in any manner.

Brewer said she felt intimidated by the president. But, when's the last time you all but charged at someone who intimidated you? Actually, who feels intimidated by a sitting president -- in public, in broad daylight, with lots of people (especially reporters) around? What was he going to do, give her "The People's Elbow"?

Two: Arizona needs a publicist.

You remember that blatantly racist immigrant thing? And the guy running for president and selecting Sarah Palin as his running-mate? What about refusing to observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day? Or how about Brewer wants to save money so she's letting people die by cutting their insurance coverage?

Last year, I was offered the opportunity to attend an amazing all-expense paid training session for journalists. I was beyond excited until I thought about it being in Arizona. As much as I wanted to participate, I felt it necessary to stand by my beliefs and decline the invitation. I'm sure my lack of revenue to the state didn't matter much, but it felt really good to not help a state that seemingly doesn't believe in helping her citizens.

Three: President Obama gets disrespected, a lot.

To be fair, I haven't lived through that many presidents but, I've concluded that when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor say his top objective is to make sure Obama is a one-term president, it's a probably a really active and unkind climate for Obama.

I've had the opportunity to experience Tea Party people first hand. They really aren't feeling the president. In the eight years George W. Bush occupied the White House, I don't recall being impressed or proud to call him my president. I disagreed with many of his decisions and felt his administration abandoned the Gulf when we needed our government the most.

But, I also don't remember ever showing up to one of his speaking engagements sporting an assault rifle. I don't recall spitting on members of Congress who supported his legislation. I never called for the assassination of him and/or his daughters or likened Mrs. Bush to any animal. And I never would do any of those things. Why? Well, mainly because I'm sane. This environment, this pure and unadulterated loathing of all things Obama based on fanatical and disillusioned rhetoric is nothing short of amazingly pathetic.

I can't explain why Brewer thought her actions were appropriate. But I can say this: Considering how this first family has been treated since Obama became a viable candidate, it's not shocking; considering it came from Gov. Brewer, not shocking; considering she handed Obama a handwritten letter asking him to sit and discuss the "Arizona comeback" while behaving in such a manner, well, that one actually shocks me.