Many Americans believed that a Barack Obama presidency would go a long way to finally ending racism in this nation.
Putting an African-American man into the White House surely had to bring us closer to Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream than we’ve ever been.
Unfortunately, eight months into Obama’s first term, America seems more racially divided than it has in decades, and un-according to Hoyle, the new president rather than solving this problem is actually enflaming it.
In Obama’s first racial test in July, he failed miserably when, without all the facts, he claimed the Cambridge Police Department had acted stupidly by arresting Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.
All but hopelessly biased sycophants saw this as a capricious response that made it infinitely clear that even the first black president has prejudices that cloud his judgment.
Now, as his popularity wanes in the midst of nationwide protests and rallies against his agenda, the president’s high-profile surrogates are saying those with opposing views are only being contrary because of Obama’s skin color.
Almost immediately after Rep, Joe Wilson’s (R-SC) “You lie” outburst during Obama’s health care address to the nation, Democrat after Democrat literally or implicitly accused the South Carolinian lawmaker of racism.
Former President Jimmy Carter said, “I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, following up this comment with an inanity of her own: “I have concerns about some of the language that is being used.”
The president responded by going on numerous Sunday talk shows and in classic Clintonian fashion gently disagreed with the sentiment being expressed without harshly condemning it. This was a missed opportunity. A real leader would have stopped this nonsense immediately.
There is nothing going on at Tea Parties, rallies, or town hall meetings that is at all related to racism and it’s time for the president of the United States to rein in this divisiveness and call upon his fellow Democrats to stop the race-baiting.
If Obama was a real leader, and not just a well-dressed, eloquent TelePrompter reader, he would advance this discussion in a fashion that could easily end his current slide in the polls while bringing Americans closer together than they’ve ever been.
Imagine for a moment if, next week, Obama did a nationwide television address from an historic location in Columbia, South Carolina, and standing by the president’s side were Congressman Wilson along with his entire family. Michelle, Malia, and Sasha should also be on the platform right next to the Wilson clan.
Obama should tell his fellow Americans at this gathering that dissent is valued in our nation, and that what Tea Partiers and town hall meeting protesters are doing and saying is not born of racism or hatred, but of a deep-seated concern for the country’s direction that he fully understands and dearly appreciates.
Obama should further state that he had an opportunity to talk to Congressman Wilson and his family, and he found them to be wonderful people that are far from the racists many claim. As a result, he wants all the accusations against Wilson and others to end, and for members of his party and those in the media to stop saying that every negative opinion about him or his policies is related to the color of his skin.
With this one speech, Obama could not only demonstrably change the race discussion in this nation, but he could also win back some supporters he’s lost in recent months as well as many he’s never had.
Unfortunately, the President won’t dare do this, for he knows that Democrats have been effectively using the race card for decades, and he’s not sure they can be successful without it.
As a result, Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream will have to continue waiting for a real leader to surface before it finally comes true.
Noel Sheppard is Associate Editor of the Media Research Center’s NewsBusters.org. He welcomes feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.