Perhaps it was unfair to expect that the election of Barack Obama would “bend the curve” on hundreds of years of racial attitudes and the politics that developed around those attitudes. Then again, for a man that entered office with a promise to calm the seas and heal the sick doing “post racial” should have been a piece of cake. Moreover, with all the talk of “hope and change” it was not outrageous to imagine that there might be some positive change in the tone surrounding discussions of race. Certainly it was not unreasonable to imagine that at the very least this President- who was going to win back the worlds respect -- would not stoke the fires of racial enmity here at home. Well, as my mother used to say: “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” Instead of bringing Americans together, this President is proving to be the most divisive and racially polarizing president in recent memory. And France still isn’t all that crazy about us.
The press of course has been filled with reports of the racism rampant on the political right. There is no doubt in my mind that there are American citizens that dislike President Obama because he is black, who are threatened with the increase in the population of “brown” people and resent the idea of a black man with as much smarts, power and charisma as Barack Obama. I am also absolutely certain that there are Americans that continue to believe O.J. Simpson did not murder Nicole, believe men from space have landed and infiltrated our citizen ranks or believe the recent healthcare bill passed by congressional democrats and signed by the President will actually reduce the deficit.