Monday, September 14, 2009

This Makes Me Sad

An article in today's Washington Post. The article was ostensibly about the Black Family Reunion, a positive annual event held on the National Mall in Washington where African American families gather to celebrate their shared culture, values, goals, hopes and dreams. It occurred this past Sunday. Today's article was about the view of some who were interviewed who believe that the people who protested against the President's policies were motivated by racism. Nothing else. Racism.

Yes, it was a reaction to the angry protest that occurred on Saturday. Many conservatives were demonstrating against the President's policies. I can understand why many people of all colors were unhappy about that demonstration. Like most public demonstrations (from all political spectra), this was loud, angry and unpleasant. These people are really unhappy. But it wasn't about race!

What's sad too is the attitude that disagreement with the President is solely based on racism. This attitude stifles dissent within the African American community. And pressure to conform is a huge impediment to progress for any community.

This linking "criticism of President Obama = racism" is just as unpleasant as "conservative Christian = Limbaugh fan." Or how about this one -- "Christian = Patriot". The clear implication of that would be "Non-Christian = Unpatriotic." Not only are these things bad logic, they're hurtful, untrue and destructive.

There's a quote from a 97 year old woman who said, "I've never heard anyone say that they wished the other presidents would fail." Well apparently she wasn't listening. For eight years after the "stolen" election, many of the people I know in the D.C. region folded their arms and resolutely refused to do ANYTHING positive to support the former president. There was an attitude of "if I can't have what I want, I just won't play until the game changes." They trashed him publicly, privately, and in our schools. They acted like spoiled children. So now the candidate they worked to elect is in office. Should conservatives take the same tack they took for 8 years? Of course not! If we all continue to do so, this country is doomed.

The whole business of painting with a broad brush is distasteful and unfair. It vilifies entire groups of people and prevents movement forward. We spend way too much time in this country focusing on what divides us, not what unites us. If we didn't learn anything else from the attacks on 9-11, we should have learned that.

So now, in addition to giving up TV (we did that a long time ago), and minimizing my audio intake from talk radio, I may just give up reading the Post. If their goal in journalism is to highlight what divides us, that's just hate-mongering.



Anonymous said...

Every since Obama took office, all I have ever heard, for the most part, is how if you disagree with his policies you do that because of his race. Then if you criticize him you hate him. After coming off 8 years of Bush, whom yes I thought was excellent, made some wrong choices, but they all do in that office, I was ready for a change. I am willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt. I don't for his policies thus far and he is sinking us so far in debt that it frightens me. And I say this and I don't care if he is purple, green, white, black, red, yellow...whatever color. It is a sad day that those that truly support him believe that when someone such as myself says something like that it is all based on the color of his skin. They couldn't be more wrong and it always amazes me that they forget that for 8 years I had to put up with their BS about Bush, and to this day still do. Yes, they have that right but so do I. And it isn't about race.

Quilldancer said...

Love the new header.

If I don't believe in something I try very hard not to support it. My TV is off. I am very cautious about believing even what are considered to be reputable news sources and do not support the ones I know to be sensationalists. If more people would react with their wallets, things would change. Society is offered what sells, and right now truth isn't in demand.

Janie B said...

You make good sense. Hi! I'm visiting from Raven's blog. I like your blog and will be back.

Barbara H. said...

I so agree with what you're saying here. It seems to childish and immature to stoop to those kinds of accusations -- that it's about race or party or whatever -- instead of rational discussions about disagreements.