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Mourning In America

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Just how strange has this week been?

Real strange.

Thursday morning, I appeared on Fox & Friends, the morning talk show on Fox News Channel. I was to “debate” Lanny Davis, the longtime Clinton loyalist.

Obviously, the show wanted a reaction to this week's election from a liberal like Lanny and a conservative like me. I thought I'd have some fun and at the last minute, affixed black duct tape to my right arm.

The way the week turned out for the GOP, I figured wearing a black armband on TV would be pretty appropriate.

Poor Lanny didn't seem to get the joke. “It's pretty silly to be listening to someone give advice to the incoming Obama administration while wearing a black armband”, he sputtered.

Liberals never seem to have much of a sense of humor, even in victory.

Besides, Lanny, I wasn't giving any advice, I was just expressing an opinion. Unless you guys get your wish and the return of the Fairness Doctrine knocks people like me off the airwaves for good, I think I'm still allowed to express some views, aren't I? But things really took a turn when I got to my radio studio office after the TV appearance and found a bunch of angry emails waiting for me.

The nature of the complaints? That I was a racist because I wore a BLACK armband as a way to express my dissatisfaction with the election.

I'm not kidding.

Here's a sample:

“Gallagher, you racist pig. How dare you wear a black armband on Fox? Do you not know what that means to black people? I'm glad your bigertery (sic) is finally on display for the world to see.


Houston, TX”

And another: “I'm a little surprised you didn't wear a white hood on TV this morning, Gallager (sic). You are a big, fat, racist m***** *****r who needs to have his butt whipped.


Los Angeles”

And one more gem:

“Watching you wear a black armband, which everyone knows insults black people, made me immediately wish for your painful death. I'd like to think that will happen, but it probably won't. I'm a pessimist by nature.

Bill L.


Wow. And I thought Lanny Davis was grumpy.

These angry people even motivated me to try and Google references to black armbands somehow being offensive to Black people.

All I found was precisely what I thought, that it's a symbol of mourning, a sign of grieving or sadness. Nothing at all about race.

Then again, there are people who manage to find racial turmoil everywhere they turn.

The great Shelby Steele of the Hoover Institution wrote a terrific piece after the election about how President-elect Obama managed to tap into the stigma that many White Americans feel about race. He opined that many people have been looking for something -- anything -- to relieve the burden felt by years of being blamed for racism.

What better solution than to elect a Black man president?

Naturally, race played a significant factor in this year's election. Finally, there is an answer to the rhetorical question, “Is America able to elect a Black president?”

And I expect that there is a pretty simple response to those who wonder if we can finally retire the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world and move beyond arguing about race relations incessantly.

Yes we can.

And we should.

Over and over, we were told that a vote for Barack Obama would be a way to “pay the debt” owed to millions of Black people. We would right the wrongs of the past; we would show the world how progressive we are.

I trust the debt has been paid.

Personally, I've always longed for the day when a Black person would be elected president.

Just not this Black person.

But by six percentage points, Americans elected Sen. Obama. Those of us who are the loyal opposition know that now, the battle begins.

We will do everything we can to encourage the Republican Party to rebuild itself. As Sen. Jim Demint (R, SC) told me, we need to find GOP leaders who are willing to adhere to the Reagan-era values that made many of us become Republicans in the first place.

We will challenge every crazy and wrong-headed move the Democrats come up with; we will follow the D.C. leaders closely and be sure to alert our readers, listeners and viewers to every misstep, every blunder, each and every attempt to run this country into the ground.

But for now, we will simply congratulate the other side for their victory. Sure, the mainstream media helped make it happen.

And of course the deck was stacked against Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin. But there's no sense crying in our soup. Come inauguration day, we just need to be prepared to take on the Democrat establishment.

As many parents have taught their children: never start a fight, but be sure to finish it. We shall do our best.

Just how strange has this week been?

Check this out: a listener to my radio show emailed me and claimed that the day after the election, the Illinois Lottery featured a creepy winning number and that I should check it out.

Sure enough, I confirmed the bizarre claim. On the day after the election, in the Evening Pick Three lottery drawing in Obama's home state of Illinois, the winning number was 666.

Don't believe me? See for yourself. www.IllinoisLottery.com Click on the “numbers/ jackpots” tab and look up Nov. 5, 2008.

I'm sure that's just a coincidence. I certainly don't believe those who fear that Obama is the actual anti-Christ.

Then again, what are the odds of the mark of the beast being Illinois' winning lottery number the day after the election?

I think I'll go back to wearing my armband. For a long, long time...

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