During the 2008 presidential election, I watched in horror as some white people in America exhibited racial prejudice aimed at blacks in America at various town hall meetings and rallies. I’m seeing the same type of thing at the recent town hall meetings to discuss health care. Is it a concern for health care or is it racism?
I remember during the election when some whites accused Obama of being un-American and a terrorist. I remember when a white police officer got on stage at a Palin rally and shouted “Barack Hussein Obama” to the crowd, emphasizing the Hussein in his sentence. I remember the death threats and the shouts of “kill him” in the crowds.
There’s the racist buttons, bumper stickers and t-shirts that I’ve seen online. For example, one button reads – “If Obama is President… will we still call it The White House?” This and similar products and images, in addition to lots of racist websites and racist comments on sites like Twitter and Facebook, are unabashedly directed at Obama. I believe in freedom of speech, so I do not believe they should not be available. It simply has opened my eyes even further to the problem of racism.
Obama became president, despite all of that. However, now I’m seeing some of the same anger, at the recent town hall meetings regarding health care, that I witnessed when Obama was running for president. Some black representatives at these meetings have been sent racist letters. Fights have broken out between black and white attendees. Some whites are screaming that Obama is hurting white people.
Since when is health care a black or white issue? I guess it is when you have a black president.
Are some of the angry white town hall meeting participants concerned about health care reform or are they channeling their anger about other things – the claim that Obama was not born in the United States, the fact that a black man and a black family in the White House is a reality?
Not only am I a black woman, I’m married to a white man. I associate with many white people. I am not an angry black woman. If I’m angry at anything, it’s the media. My opinion of the media, especially after the election, is that they feed on sensationalism – big time. If they can pit black against white – a tactic that always gets a lot of attention – they’ll do it. They’ll milk it until nobody is listening and then they’ll move on to the next sensation. I’m a contributor to AC, which gives me a platform. But my personal goals do not include reinforcing the negative.
Is it a concern for health care or is it racism? There will always be racists. I just wish that the voices of those who are sound and reasonable and non-racist were heard instead of constant attention being placed on those who aren’t.