by Tola Adenle
With the Republicans’ self-inflicted wound on the way to the 2012 elections festering and not letting up, racists of various stripes are crawling out of the woodworks.
The opening salvo of this new face of America – rather, America’s ugly past – was fired during the bitter 2008 campaign. While no one would describe the Clintons as racists, the dismissal of Barrack Obama’s victory in the South Carolina Primaries as being nothing more than Jesse Jackson’s in the same state in 1984 by former President Clinton definitely had racial undertone. I believe that long-standing South Carolina House of Rep member, James Clyburn’s defection from Hillary Clinton’s camp for Obama was eye-opening moment for African-Americans.
At the general elections, Senator McCain’s running mate, the famously-illiterate Sarah Palin would go down in history as the one who actually lit the fire of America’s return into her ugly past with her infamous “not like us” statement. While the so-called Tea Party was supposedly built around making America more fiscally responsible, reforming the tax system, etcetera, the movement has made bringing Obama’s government down its goal: opposing the efforts of the Administration to enact health care reforms, opposing all Obama appointees at confirmation hearings, etcetera. And “mainstream” Republicans are tagging on to Tea Party ideals or they may lose their seats.
Pointed remarks about getting President Obama assassinated by the fringe right of the Republican Party are glossed over if not directly and actively encouraged. Television and radio commentators of the extreme right have gone beyond being rude to Obama, often crossing the line of bringing to disrepute the office of the president with overtly racist remarks for which saying ‘sorry’ can never change the messages these neo-racists are trying to get across.
The pictures illustrating this story are a few of the many now on the web that shows the depth this group of Americans is ready to plumb to get at African-Americans but I feel almost certain that the real America that fought a war over slavery, that enacted the Emancipation Declaration in spite of parts that preferred the status quo, the America that saw the Civil Rights Act enacted and pursued with legal muscle when certain states stood in its way and the America that had most of her citizens welcome with open hands Barrack Obama’s swearing in as the first African-American President – will resist the urge to slide back into a sad past.
America must fight back at the politics of fear-mongering and race-baiting. It IS time to really take America back.