Right to the Point (11/25/09)

Opposing Obama is not racist

Nov. 25, 2009

By Mike Benevento

Have you noticed that opposition to President Barack Obama’s agenda has elicited a strong response from his supporters? Because he was their choice, they view any criticism as a personal attack. Many mistakenly cite racism as the reason people oppose his policies. Although racism still exists in the United States, almost all who resist President Obama’s ideas do so not out of bigotry but because they disagree with his liberal programs.

In mid-September, former President Jimmy Carter stirred racial tensions by stating, “I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African American.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele disagreed, saying, “President Carter is flat-out wrong.” The African-American Steele wrote, “This isn’t about race. It is about policy.”

Without a doubt, racism lingers throughout the country, especially in the south. However, compared to any other time in U.S. history, race relations are at their all-time best.

That does not mean racism has been eradicated. There are individuals who disapprove of Obama solely because he is black — and will always do so. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of Americans are not bigots. If they disapprove of Obama, it is because his vision for America greatly differs from theirs.

The mainstream media remains one of Obama’s staunchest supporters. It does its best to portray the president positively. Unfortunately, some in the media did not hesitate to blame racism once Obama’s socialist agenda ran into inevitable roadblocks. For instance, Maureen Dowd of The New York Times wrote, “Some people just can’t believe a black man is president and will never accept it.”

Walter Williams, professor of Economics at George Mason University, writes that Obama’s presidency is a remarkable commentary on how far Americans have come in resolving matters of race. Williams noted that Obama won 53 percent of the popular vote.

“So now,” Williams observes, “Jimmy Carter, Dowd, (House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie) Rangel and other race-carders want us to believe that the massive discontent with Obama is racism. I say nonsense!”

Williams continues, “For these people, it is inconceivable that many Americans are outraged by the president’s spending policies, budget deficits, industry takeovers.”

In truth, while prejudice plays a tiny part, the ire is mainly over Obama’s efforts to remake the nation into a socialist-like state. Many Americans — especially those on the political right and middle — are seriously concerned about Obama and Congress implementing their liberal agenda.

To his credit, the president refused to play the divisive race card.

“Are there people out there who don’t like me because of race? I’m sure there are. That’s not the overriding issue here,” Obama insisted in a CNN interview. He said the “biggest driver” for the intense resistance to his plan is from people who are “passionate about the idea of whether government can do anything right.”

Obama noted that, historically, presidents attempting to make radical changes encounter much more fierce opposition. He cited criticism of President Franklin Roosevelt’s actions as an example. Obama added, “Things that were said about (President) Ronald Reagan when he was trying to reverse some of the New Deal programs were pretty vicious as well.”

Those who peddle racist falsehoods know they are losing the argument. Unable to win the battle of ideas, they desperately use their tool of last resort — race — by accusing others of being racist.

However, upstanding Americans are getting tired of the race game and will act one day. That time may come during the 2012 presidential election. By then, Obama may find himself as a one-term president — not because of racial bias — but because of his policy decisions.

The grassroots 9-12 Project aims for the people to take back control from an out-of-touch Washington. Like the Tea Party protesters, 9-12 participants are ordinary Americans tired of politicians eroding their freedom while simultaneously invading their wallets.

On Sept. 12, the movement held rallies across the United States protesting President Obama and Congress taking the country in the wrong direction. When reporting on the events, the mainstream media attempted to portray the groups as racist — inserting words like “hate” and “anger” into their coverage. Too bad the media chose not to be neutral.

During one of the 9-12 citizen marches, a man displayed a sign that sarcastically serves as a reminder of the media’s bias. The homemade poster read, “It doesn’t matter what this signs says. You will call it racism anyway.” Unfortunately, it is not too far from the truth.


Michael Benevento is a former Air Force fighter jet weapon systems officer. He has a bachelor’s degree in Military History and a master’s in International Relations. Mike resides in Williston with his wife Kristine and their two sons, Matthew and Calvin.