I’m sure most of you have seen this viral picture that’s going around the internet by now of Archie Hackney, the 90-year-old World War II veteran that had the opportunity to meet President Obama recently. In the photo, Mr. Hackney is rising from his wheelchair to shake the president’s hand. There’s a saying that says a picture is worth a thousand words…well this one certainly says one huge word: respect. Respect is something that this president has not been given since the day he took office.
Once upon a time, people would talk about the poor policies of a president or about a scandal that the president was involved in, but if they were ever face to face with him, they treated him with respect. Since day one, this president has had to deal with Congressmen interrupting him during a speech he made to a joint session of Congress, governors shoving their fingers in his face on airport tarmacs, and new commentators taking shots at not just him, but his family as well. The man has been called the anti-Christ, a Muslim, a Communist, a Fascist, a Socialist, an anti-American, and the list goes on and on. His face has been plastered on NAZI posters with the famous Hitler mustache drown on his face. Another picture, generated by Marilyn Davenport of the Orange County California GOP in California, showed the president’s face on a chimpanzee holding the hands of two parent chimps and the words “Now you know why –no birth certificate” printed on it. Newt Gingrich called him the “food stamp president” and Oklahoma Senator Tom Colburn said he was exploiting welfare because “his intent is to create a dependency because it worked so well for him as an African-American male.” When the debt ceiling standoff was in full swing, the president called Speaker Boehner on the telephone, and Boehner refused the call. The president called back the following morning to be told that the Speaker would return his call at 5:30 that evening…which didn’t happen either. The most amazing part of it all is that he has taken it all with class and not duped down to their levels to try and get even.
It’s clear that American, especially on the right, have lost all respect for the President of the United States. And as much as you want to try and sugar coat it and try to deny it…there’s really only one reason for that. There’s been plenty of president’s that have been more deplorable that this one, and he has been garnered a certain amount of respect. President Clinton was impeached but is still looked upon with respect by many. President Nixon left office after Watergate, but wasn’t treated as President Obama has been. President Reagan sold weapons to terrorists such as Osama bin Laden, who turned around and used them against us, but he’s still viewed as the greatest president in history to the GOP. Yeah, there’s just soooomething different about President Obama from the 43 men that assumed the office before him. I can’t exactly put my finger on it though. No president has ever been hackled for months on end about a birth certificate. Why don’t they think he’s American? Hmm…I wonder. It can’t be the color of his skin because no one in America is racist!
It’s so funny to hear people in Alabama when you begin talking about racism. I’ve heard “oh I’m not racist, I work with a few colored folks and talk to them” and “shoot I’m not racist, I played ball with a couple of black guys the other day at the gym.” That doesn’t mean that you aren’t racist. Whenever you’re walking down the sidewalk and notice a black guy walking towards you and you automatically think about swapping to the other side…there’s a reason for that. Whenever you reach a run-down neighborhood and you automatically think you’re in “the hood” there’s a reason for that. The way you may look through a stack of applications and call Mary before your call Marshay…yeah there’s a reason for that. It isn’t because you’re more inclined to lean towards the side of caution…it’s because you’re racist and don’t want to admit it. It’s the same way that when a governor sees a black man getting off Air Force One and feels like she can degrade him by shoving her finger in his face in front of cameras…the same governor that passed a harsh law pretty much targeting Mexicans living in that state. So before you start commenting or saying to yourself “oh here he goes with the racism card again…just like a liberal, can’t have an argument without it” I just beg you to wake up and look at reality. But the likelihood of that happening in this country, and especially in this state of Alabama, are slim to none…and that’s too bad.