One of the great challenges of our nation has been and will be to reconcile the racial tension of our past. The historical ramifications of slavery are still felt in the streets of West Baltimore, the country roads of the Mississippi Delta and corridors of the United States Congress. When our nation gathered up enough strength and courage to elect the first African-American president, in the words of our great GlobalGrind blogger, Erica Williams, "our nation did not become post-racial, but we're making every effort to be post-racist."
During the president's first year of his term, often has our nation endured various situations that dealt with race, including Skip Gates' arrest, the "birthers" movement, the "Witch Doctor" poster, amongst many others. Although we have made tremendous progress in our discussions revolving around race, one consistent reminder that we have not reached a state of high consciousness is the ability of the few to co-opt the opinions of the masses. As the Republican Party has tried hard to give itself a new face, with Michael Steele becoming the first African-American chairman in its history, it is sadly still the race-baiting commentators that dictate the agenda.
This week, Rush Limbaugh made a sickening comment in his attempt to interpret the words of Rev. Jackson, when he said that the "black frame of mind" is "terrible" and that "Tiger Woods choice of women sure didn't help it." When three Republican U.S. Senators and half a dozen evangelical preachers do it, why isn't he saying it depresses the white race? Limbaugh's bringing in Tiger's infidelity as if it's related to black culture goes back to an old and deeply evil racist connection of black men and sexual promiscuity. To use the image of the black man as the sexual predator is the oldest form of race baiting, dating back to Emmit Till and before that, the slaves on the plantation. Moreover, Rush is using Tiger as an Obama surrogate, using Tiger as a way to say that these men cannot be trusted. Rush knows exactly what he is doing by being the first to link the plight of the black man to the sorrows of Tiger Woods.
It was only a matter of time, before the new face of the Republican Party resorted back to their old tricks. And if you keep these type of games going, we will get another four years to pass our progressive agenda, because the majority of Americans, including Republicans, are tired of it. If you think, for one minute, that the real "new" face of the Republican party, the new emerging young conservative voice, want Dick Cheney or Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh as their leader, you are foolishly mistaken. Young people are tired of blue and red America...they want purple America. Young people are tired of the divisive name calling, they want to work together to solve the nation's problems. Young people are tired of fighting two wars, they want peace. So, Mr. Limbaugh and your cronies, you can continue to spew your hate all you want, because this type of racism and pain will only work for so long.
We will build a new America, together. We will build a post-racial America, together. We will build a nation that will no longer tolerate racism, new or old, together.