Former Republican Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of America’s Military blasted his party as intolerant, as he wondered how senior members of the party could remain silent in the face of some of the things which have been said about President Obama the Nation’s first African-American President.
I think what the Republican Party needs to do now is to take a very hard look at itself” and at the attitude of some Republicans toward ethnic minorities, he said, accusing unnamed Republicans of “intolerance” and “(looking) down at minorities.”
Powell criticized – although did not identify by name — former New Hampshire governor John Sununu, who served as chief of staff for President George H. W Bush and as an aide to 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney, for calling Obama “lazy” after his first debate performance and 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin for using the phrase “shuck and jive” in criticizing Obama’s explanation of the administration’s response to attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi.
Racial polarization and hatred is nothing new in America, today Wednesday the 15th of January marked the 84th birthday of Civil Rights Icon the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. As we celebrate the birth of Dr. King there are many who invoke the name of Doctor King out of one side of their mouths, even though they never supported anything he stood for whilst he lived.
Some of those who invoke his name did not even want a National holiday in his honor. We all saw the dirty underbelly of race in America after it started to appear that Barack Obama could actually become President in 2008. There were ugly visuals in the fields of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Iowa reminiscent of the images we saw in black and white pictures of what happened in the 60’s in America, and those were so-called Democrats, as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama duked it out for the Democratic Nomination.
The venomous vitriolic hatred which greeted Martin Luther King as he traveled around the country 50 plus years ago were no different from some of what happened in 2008 not in the south, but in the Mid West and northern tiers of this country.
Many argue that America is better now, There is a black family in the White House, Gays can get married in some States and can actually serve openly in the military, and the segregated drinking fountains of George Wallace’s Alabama are no more.You will have to decide if the country is better, have the hate dissipated or disappeared or has it simply retreated to a more comfortable place , just beneath the surface?
As the first African-American President Barack Obama has had to deal with the disrespect which has been meted out to Jessie Owens, Jackie Robinson, and other trailblazers who went before him. It is incomprehensible to me that there can be so much hatred within one country where the inhabitants all call themselves Americans.
How can a house so divided stand? The greatness of America did not occur because of the whiteness of America> The greatness of America occurred because of the diverse nature of America, no single group owns America, this land belongs to all the people of America! Yet if you listen to the tone and language of the people on the right you would think that all other people are interlopers, even the people their ancestors came and saw.
This nastiness is not new in American Politics, in fact, there is more than enough precedent for it, throughout this country’s history there have been incredible passions, there have been secession, and even a civil war.
The idealistic notions of a more perfect Union shared by some of us including the present occupant of the White House may be a pipe dream. It may be a bit naive to assume that because we have survived to the year 2013 that somehow, ignorance, bigotry, pettiness, and hatred have not filtered down to present day people.
The truth is, those characteristics are learned behavior patterns which ignorant, bigoted, petty, hateful people pass on to their kids through their words and deeds.
The passions which permeated the soul of the very first patriots who pushed through swamp and forests, through the deserts and over mountains from the Atlantic to the Pacific did not die when Barack Obama took the oath of office, and they won’t die long after he’s gone.
What everyone will have to learn is how to live together, I’m sure Obama himself is very conversant of this.
The nastiness which came to the fore in the General Elections of 2008 in the form of a not ready for prime time Alaska Governor, would be a catalyst for what many characterized as the worst they had ever seen.
That nastiness cloaked in name-brand duds and masked in lipstick, spread like wildfire over the terrain of the Republican Party. It gave cover to many dormant Racists who were hitherto restrained from saying things many considered were behind America before the emergence of Barack Obama.
But they weren’t, it took a semi-literate ignoramus dressed up in fancy clothes and a bright smile to ignite the embers of racial hatred which smoldered barely beneath the surface.
It doesn’t matter that Obama is half white, or was raised by his white grandparents. Rather than make Obama more palatable to the swamp creatures who engage in racial politics, it awakened them to castigate his mother as something other than an acceptable white woman, damaged goods if you will.
Such is the destructive nature of the ignorance of racial superiority, in actuality, they turned on their own. The Republican Party was not constrained from engaging in a type of rancid racial behavior many thought died in the 60’s, they actually turned on the moderate voices within the party and forced them out.
Longtime Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, Richard Lugar of Indiana, Governor Charlie Crist of Florida, former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell were just a few of the casualties. Though Powell and others like Olympia Snowe of Maine, and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska contend that they are still Republicans, the party has long passed them by.The new acronym for them is (RINO) Republicans in name only.
I will stop here before I bore you further.
I would like to uplift our heroes, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King, Bob Marley, Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers , Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, Harry Belafonte, Myrlie Evers, Coretta Scott King, Betty Shabazz, Jessie Jackson, Al, Sharpton, Mohamed Ali and all of the other fighters for freedom and social justice who have come and gone, each and every generation must carry the torch, freedom is never free.