At the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, Sen. Barack Obama said, "...There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America -- there is the United States of America."
Those were welcome and commendable words. Unfortunately, they appear to be only words. Since then, Obama has divided us along race and class lines more than any modern president.
Some of his strongest, high-profile supporters in the black community are now saying that Obama's race, alone, should be enough for black voters to vote for his re-election.
Krissah Thompson of The Washington Post reports that on "The Tom Joyner Morning Show," which has an estimated 8 million radio listeners, Joyner, who is black, said, "Stick together, black people." The show reaches one in four African-American adults.
Rev. Al Sharpton, who also has a radio show and a gig on MSNBC, admonished blacks who have been critical of the president, "I'm not telling you to shut up. I'm telling you: Don't make some of us have to speak up."
The attempt at poetry is getting tiresome, Al. Why don't you leave that to Jesse Jackson?
Joyner went even further on his blog, writes Thompson: "Let's not deal with the facts right now," he said. "Let's deal with just our blackness and pride -- and loyalty. We have the chance to re-elect the first African-American president, and that's what we ought to be doing. And I'm not afraid or ashamed to say that as black people, we should do it because he's a black man."
Try that in football. Never mind that the black quarterback continues to throw interceptions or drop the ball, keep him in the game simply because he's black. If that happened, he'd be booed until the coach pulled him off the field, and those boos wouldn't just be coming from whites.
In the same week the memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was dedicated in Washington, Joyner and Sharpton are saying that Barack Obama should be judged not on the content of his character and policies, but rather on the color of his skin. How sad. How racist.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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