“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
What is racism? According to Webster, racism is a belief that some races are by nature superior to others. Racism is also discrimination based on such belief. The bitter fruit of racism is well documented: ethnic cleansing, slavery, deportation and even outright extermination (genocide), the defamation of entire people, hate crimes including torture and murder, cruel discrimination, separation, and segregation. Less severe, but no less offensive, are the prejudices, partiality, and unkind words that come from anyone who is a racist.
I have never been racist and am extremely disgusted by anyone who is. I often wonder what makes someone racist, while others are not. Is it taught or caught? I can’t even imagine being discriminated against just because of the color of my skin. Unfortunately, it is part of our history and is still alive today.
I grew up in the 70’s when racism was still prevalent, and as a young girl, did not understand why. Even though I was never the target of racism, I did witness and was subjected to it. When I was growing up I had two stepfathers (both deceased) who were racist, and even called me names because I dated males of color. This angered me deeply and I resented them for it. Even as a young adult in the 80’s, it seemed that interracial relationships were still not widely accepted. Today it is refreshing to see my daughters' generation become more color blind!
I am a Conservative and a FOX News viewer, however, I do venture off to other news media, including CNN and MSNBC. I am open-minded and I don’t always agree with my political party, thus I prefer to get the news and political commentaries from both sides (left and right—Liberal and Conservative). That way, I can form balanced opinions on issues (political or not) of the day.
I realize this is old news, but while I was “news hopping”, I did happen to catch an interview that Keith Olbermann (MSNBC) had with Janeane Garofalo (comedienne, liberal activist) which I think is worth confronting.
Her words penetrated my soul and are clear in my mind today, “…this is about hating a black man in the White House…this is racism straight up…nothing but a bunch of tea-bagging red necks." Garofalo was referring to the Tax Day Tea Party which took place on April 15, 2009, in which hundreds of thousands of citizens gathered in more than 800 cities to voice their opposition to out-of-control spending at all levels of government.
During this interview, she continued to mock Conservatives; "this is about racism", "these guys hate that a black guy is in the White House", "these people…Fox news loves to foment this anti-intellectualism", "the Conservative movement has now crystallized into the white-power movement", "right wing has….there’s no shortage of the natural resources of ignorance, apathy, hate, and fear”, “who else is FOX talking to, what is it, urban, older white guys and the women who suffer from Stockholm Syndrome.”
Garofalo is a hostage to her own deranged opinions — straight up! I was appalled by this woman’s words and I resented her implication that everyone who disagrees with President Obama is a racist. Equally disturbing was Keith Olbermann (as usual), savoring every moment of this interview. But Countdown with Keith Olbermann is all about bashing Bush, Conservatives, and FOX News anyway!
Even if you did not agree with or take part in the Tax Day Tea Party, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that this assembly had nothing to do with racism. Is Garofalo that ignorant (or is it just hate for the right?) to think that just because people gathered all over the USA to speak out against the massive spending (the bailouts, the stimulus with all the pork, the budget, and more to come) by this current administration, that they are all racist? I realize that there were a few ignorant, ugly racists in some of the Tax Day Tea Party crowds, and I’m sure you will find some in both the Republican and Democratic Parties, but does one bad apple spoil the whole bunch?
I was delighted and extremely moved that we finally elected an African-American for our President, however, I just wish he were a Republican. I am a Conservative who happens to disagree with President Obama, not because of his skin color, but because of his policies. Does that make me a racist? I was offended too that some Americans were called “un-American” when they spoke out against President Bush and the war in Iraq. It is American to speak out when we think our government is doing something wrong, because it is “we the people” who make up this nation, and it is through our speaking out that we can sustain what is good about America, change what is bad and fulfill the vision of our forefathers – “to form a more perfect Union”.
I am grateful for our constitutional right to free speech, However, when are we going to get to a place in our political system when our words and assemblies (another constitutional right) are not misjudged and publicly displayed to create more confusion and division, especially by the media and so-called movies stars? I refuse to be labeled, especially with such a hate-filled and inaccurate view of Conservatives such as that authored by Garofalo. Unlike Garofalo and Olbermann, I don't categorize them personally or hate them for being Liberals; I am just criticizing their judgment and prejudice in this particular case.
We’ve come a long way against racism in our society and still have a ways to go, however, since we do have an African-American President, let’s not turn everything into a racist commentary – Obama doesn’t – for which I admire him. Grow up Americans (or should I say Garofalo and Olbermann); we have more important things to do with regards to racism, resolving the evil within that controls the real racist!