The only thing we should feel, at this late stage of the game, is outrage and disappointment. Truthfully, these continued, subtle racially contrived attacks on the President are becoming increasingly tedious. It’s like these cats are little children who are coming out of their time-out still annoyed and acting up because they can’t have any ice cream before supper.
At some point it has to become either crap or get off the pot, i.e. either you accept and respect us or you don’t. But the republicans have continually shown their disdain for all things porcelain during this administration, choosing instead to stand and just let it all hang out in their pants. And they do the deeds while simultaneously and incredulously wondering why their party is going down the toilet instead of realizing that what they’re loading up in their own chinos is at the root of all their problems.
And what does America do? Instead of chastising those who do harm, harm to themselves and to the country as a whole, some, more so than should be allowed, applaud them like they’re some sort of returning heroes risking life and limb fighting the evil emperor by daring to speak the truth. But as we reach a milestone in American history, the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, it’s time for us to be better than that, collectively. It’s time to start living up to the words of the US Constitution.
It is a terrible thing for an entire people to surrender to the notion that one-ninth of its population is beneath them. Until the moment comes when we, the Americans, are able to accept the fact that my ancestors are both black and white, that on that continent we are trying to forge a new identity, that we need each other, that I am not a ward of America, I am not an object of missionary charity, I am one of the people who built the country–until this moment comes there is scarcely any hope for the American dream. If the people are denied participation in it, by their very presence they will wreck it. And if that happens it is a very grave moment for the West.
In 1965, Poet and author James Baldwin wrote, The American Dream and the American Negro, an excerpt from which is above. Considered by many to be a jeremiad concerning the state of affairs for the US, circa 1965, he paints a picture of a country full of promise but only for a few. He goes on to imply that continuing down such a path is fraught with disaster in that if all man can’t be treated as equal then none of us will ever truly thrive, or even survive.
Sound familiar, it should because we could easily be talking about 2013 as much as we’re discussing 1965. Today, all Americans should be outraged that in this day and age, some still seek to depict African Americans wearing blackface or tails. All Americas should be disappointed that these same, partisan and artistic minds can’t keep their political discourse clean and respectful but instead seek to ingratiate themselves to that lowest demographic bent on some form of racial upheaval.
There is, however, one other emotion to feel during these trying times, a necessary one. That emotion is resolve. For the sake of America, each of us must resolve to be a better man or woman. All of us must become more empathetic of all of our fellow countrymen. We should move forward and go beyond that sense of charity that has taken us this far in our nation’s growth instead of retreating to a sad and dangerous time of every man for himself, which is what “pulling yourself up by your boot straps” means in republican-speak.
If we cannot or will not do so then the die will be cast for us. We will continue to slide backwards, returning to a Jim Crow America, one where the institution of slavery is replaced by other equally, insidious practices; increased income inequality, joblessness, healthcare disparities, profiling, suspension of habeas corpus and education disproportion. It’s an America that I don’t think any of us would want to live in. Unfortunately, it’s an America that isn’t long out of our past.