The discovery of hate-based and racist graffiti at the entrances of off campus residences of students at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville is, we believe, the outgrowth of a continuing racist tone that our nation adopted when President Barack Obama assumed office.
Subtle and not-so-subtle racist actions by a number of Americans the last two years have embolden a few small-minded fellow citizens to express outwardly what they have kept to themselves or whispered in hushed tones during the politically correct era of the last decade: A U.S. Congressman shouting “liar” at President Obama as he addressed Congress on the nation’s economic crisis.
The New York Post newspaper cartoon of a police officer shooting an out-of-control monkey who represented not only the economic stimulus, the president’s first victory in office, but Obama himself; a picture of the White House lawn covered in watermelons, questions about President Obama’s citizenship and religious beliefs and the rise of the Tea Party, whose rallying cry of “Take my country back!” sounded more like “Take my country back from Blacks, Browns, illegals…and President Obama and his ‘Obama-care’!”
We could go on and on. But the few aforementioned incidents that have taken place during the President’s first two years in office more than aptly describe the racist vitriol that has cast a pall over our nation and its vaunted ideals of democracy, freedom, liberty, justice, acceptance and tolerance, ideals we encourage other nations to adopt.
But such lofty proclamations fall on deaf ears in these countries when the actions of some Americans run contrary to what we purport to believe in, especially for a nation with a history of slavery, racism and discrimination like the United States.
Whether we want to admit it our not, the whole world is watching how we react as a nation in reference to President Obama—the nation’s first Black president—and his governance. So far they’ve seen our “walk” fall short of our “talk.”
America can’t sell its brand of democracy to developing third-world nations as long as we have a small minority of “haters” spew and/or display malicious and ugly words and actions at our leader.
As we said on more than one occasion, anyone who still believes racism is dead now that we have a Black president, we have some desert property we’d like to sell you…at the South Pole.
August 19, 2012 //
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