The GOP wants you to be afraid, very afraid

flying flagFear is a powerful emotion. It can motivate you to act or it can render  you completely helpless. It is also a powerful weapon in the hands of the wrong person. Fear combined with lies is downright deadly. Don’t believe me? Turn on your television or listen to talk radio and tell me what you hear.

If you’re black like me, you might be slightly alarmed that the election of a black president has produced outright racism masquerading as political discourse. But when I hear my fellow citizens who happen to be elderly and white tell me they are afraid of where our country is heading because it’s not the country they were born and raised in I have to shake my head and say, huh?

Are you telling me that you want the America that denied women the right to vote? Do you want the America that enslaved millions of people and then treated them like less than human for more than 400 years? Are you telling me that you want the America that drove native people off their lands, killed them and cheated them out of their way of life? Are you telling me that you want the America that rounded up Japanese Americans and locked them in internment camps? I don’t know what glorified history these people have created in their minds, but American history is not pretty. It’s pretty shameful in large respects. But I have to wonder what they are referring to when they say they want the country their forefathers intended.

Let’s see. That would include holding these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. I know the declaration of independence is not a legally binding document. However, it is the document that our founding fathers created to govern themselves until the consitution came along. According to Jefferson, hypocrite that he was, I have just as much right as anyone else to be American and enjoy the privileges of my citizenship. Yet, I don’t feel very welcome in my own country right now.

Call a spade a spade and admit that this climate has nothing to do with health care. No one was shouting down bush when he increased the size of goverment and the deficit during his eight years in office. You cannot convince me that Obama was the last straw. No, he was the black straw. Nothing anyone says or does will convince these racist people that he has the makings of a great president. He will not always make the best choices and he will not always succeed on everything he tries. What president has? But when he is only judged by the color of his skin and not the content of his character I feel what my mother must have felt as a little girl in segregated Kansas City when she heard her white teacher say she wasn’t going to teach any little nigger kids.

America is not one big happy family. She is a large, rampunctious, dysfunctional family that has the ability to do extraordinary good and cause extraordinary harm in the same breath.

I love my country but I will not lie and say I’m always proud of her. I would like to believe we have come a long way since the civil rights movement but the rhetoric of the day lets me know that we have a long way to go. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar.

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