Does Barack Obama use race to bait others or is he merely a racist. We have a man occupying the White House who is celebrated as the first "black" person to hold the highest office in the land. In reality he's only half black as his mother was white but that is semantics if you're trying to make a point about America and race.
But we have Obama visiting an all male, all black college, Morehouse, to make a commencement address. He has some very good things to say if you look carefully at his speech. Yes, I actually used "good" in a sentence concerning Barack Obama. Even a broken clock is correct twice a day.
He discussed the importance of fatherhood and its importance to a group belonging in a category generally missing from homes where they've fathered children. Yet, he found it necessary to specifically bring in race and identify the existence of racism as if only black's are victims of race and prejudice. I know many black people who seem racist, they resent dealing with whites and many times I think it's because they feel empowered by Obama's elevation to high office and they are entitled to payback.
I saw reverse racism years ago in a transitioning Gary, Indiana when the first black mayor was elected and whites began leaving and the term "white flight" became a common excuse for the resulting downturn of economics in Northwest Indiana. Yet I witnessed a new found power in blacks and they used it racially, and once again I believe it was payback. Whatever the reason it was still racism.
Only blacks were chained and shackled in America but prejudice is nothing new and exclusive between races, it's merely a convenient term. My immigrant father couldn't find a place to rent because of his thick accent and he said it was the Irish who were turning him away.
Racism and ethnic prejudice exist today and will exist forever. Governments can't regulate this, brainwashing can't remove it, making someone feel guilty about it won't stop it. Teaching against racism and ethnic prejudice will certainly help but it won't entirely remove it from our culture.
Racism, prejudice, personal and cultural hate has always existed and will remain to exist for all time. It's very sad but unfortunately a part of life.
However, when you sit in the most powerful office in the land, possibly in the world, you have an opportunity to change things for better or worse. In four and one-half years Obama has worked diligently to make it worse. He has pitted sides against each other both politically and racially. He has chose to divide America, use policy to defeat from within and has demonstrated his personal agenda and that of his party is one of eliminating what they don't like, not working with other beliefs or groups unlike his own both white, black, Hispanic, Jewish or any other group.
But Barack Obama on the surface looks black, it's what people see, what they believe and at Morehouse College he couldn't merely discuss personal responsibility to a class of black men, he found it necessary to use race. Call it race baiting or racism, I believe the two go hand in hand.
Obama told the graduates they have a "special obligation" urging them to “transform the way we think about manhood.”
“There but for the grace of God, I might be in their shoes,” Obama said. “I might have been in prison. I might have been unemployed. I might not have been able to support a family — and that motivates me.”
“My whole life, I’ve tried to be for Michelle and my girls what my father wasn’t for my mother and me,” Obama said. “I want to break that cycle — where a father’s not at home, where a father’s not helping to raise that son and daughter. I want to be a better father, a better husband, a better man.”
“Laws and hearts and minds have been changed to the point where someone who looks just like you can somehow come to serve as president of these United States.”
All very positive and inspiring to young students about to enter the scary world to find employment, begin a career and face life more independently where things become difficult, there are no guarantees, obstacles stand in the way, challenges exist and must be met if one is to succeed. One of the largest economic obstacles to Morehouse College graduates finding a job is Obama's economic policies.
With Barack Obama taking the high road is always met with another purpose, an alternative motive so he didn't disappoint when he jumped at the fork in the road to take the lower highway.
“As Morehouse men, many of you know what it’s like to be an outsider, to be marginalized, to feel the sting of discrimination. That’s an experience that a lot of Americans share,” Obama said.
Hispanic Americans, Obama lamented, are told to “go back” home while strangers pass judgment on the parenting skills of gay men and lesbians or stare at Muslim Americans with suspicion.
Yes, Obama brought in race, LGBT, Hispanics, Muslims all in one brief sentence. He touched upon his agenda not once mentioning that the United States Constitution offers equality for all people who follow the rule of law. It's comes down to individuality in a free society if you have the opportunity to achieve your goals. What other country offers greater opportunity than America?
Then Obama mixes it up, blending a positive only to end with a negative while discussing racism when discussing "bad choices."
“Growing up, I made quite a few myself,” Obama said. “Sometimes I wrote off my own failings as just another example of the world trying to keep a black man down. I had a tendency to make excuses for me not doing the right thing.”
Then Obama, a man who has said we must have redistribution of wealth, made a remarkable statement.
“In today’s hyper-connected, hyper-competitive world, with millions of young people from China and India and Brazil, many of whom started with a whole lot less than all of you did, all of them entering the global workforce alongside you, nobody is going to give you anything you haven’t earned,” he said. “Nobody cares how tough your upbringing was. Nobody cares if you suffered some discrimination.”
“Moreover,” Obama continued, “you have to remember that whatever you’ve gone through, it pales in comparison to the hardships previous generations endured — and if they overcame them, you can overcome them, too.”
Right when you applaud Obama's words, quite possibly for the first time, he doesn't fail to throw ice water on your party.
Speaking about Dr. Martin Luther King's experience at Morehouse College he turned another corner back into race or race baiting or racism.
And it was here, at Morehouse, as Dr. King later wrote, where “I realized that nobody…was afraid.”
Think about that. For black men in the forties and fifties, the threat of violence, the constant humiliations, large and small, the gnawing doubts born of a Jim Crow culture that told you every day you were somehow inferior, the temptation to shrink from the world, to accept your place, to avoid risks, to be afraid, was necessarily strong.
Whatever success I achieved, whatever positions of leadership I’ve held, have depended less on Ivy League degrees or SAT scores or GPAs, and have instead been due to that sense of empathy and connection – the special obligation I felt, as a black man like you, to help those who needed it most; people who didn’t have the opportunities that I had, because but for the grace of God, I might be in their shoes.
Obama doesn't see one America, he see's a divided America, one that is black and white, not mixed cultures who can work together or not. He believes each person is working for a greater good of the whole but doesn't discuss individualism and individual success for the good of only that one person or that persons family. He believes in a free market society you are not bound to succeed to help yourself, you are bound by the "greater good" of helping others.
Unfortunately, Obama doesn't see the greater good across America at work everyday. Charities are in existence by the thousands, groups of blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians, Muslims and hundreds of others of different races and ethnicity are working independently and collectively for the greater good. The difference it's a personal choice not forced by government or by a belief developed out of Obamaworld.
American donates billions in dollars connected to goods and services for the greater good everyday. It has nothing to do with race, it's not separated by cultural barriers, it's a product of the giving spirit of good American's. They didn't have to be told to do good, or to be made felt guilty because they may be white and a black person has less. They just got up and did it. They took the high road because they wanted to, they were not told to.
Slipping Jim Crow and race into a speech to college graduates isn't necessary, but it's the Obama way. Divide and conquer.
There is a term we learned in college years ago - Synergy. In the context of organizational behavior, following the view that a cohesive group is more than the sum of its parts, synergy is the ability of a group to outperform even its best individual member.
Synergy works best when it is merged voluntarily not forced. Groups with common values, beliefs, education and goals work very effectively together. Forced labor camps turn out like North Korea.
In the end, Martin Luther King Jr. said:
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
Nothing about race in King's statement. He took the high road.