Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ugliness Growing in the American Heart

     There is an ugliness, a viciousness, growing in the American Heart. Emboldened by racist attitudes within the Tea Party movement, more and more Americans are proudly speaking words of racism.  Recent comments by many Republican politicians echo this divisive, bigoted, sentiment.  Not since the Civil Rights era have we seen so many open, blatant expressions of racial hatred. Now, mainstream Republicans and Tea Baggers are sounding more and more like radical white supremacists. Racial slurs have become common, and America's Soul is being scarred by this toxic hatred.

     Less than two years ago the election of Barack Obama as President brought hope that America had grown up and put it's long standing legacy of virulent racism behind us at long last. There was a hope, a feeling of unity among many Americans of all races. Today, those feelings are being overtaken with sadness and horror as we see the ugly well of American racism spilling out bucket after bucket of racist poison onto the land.

     So great is the Republican rage at losing power that they will use any means to obstruct, undermine and neutralize President Obama at every turn. Stirring up feelings of racism is a tool that they have embraced, all the while denying it. By tapping into old racial resentments of economically squeezed white Americans, Republicans see a viable way to win control in the next election cycle. Race has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with our current economic woes, and scapegoating gays, Jews, non-whites and a black President is absurd.

     The financial crisis was brought to us exclusively by white guys at the top of the foods chain, not by blacks, minorities, or the average citizen. It's the mentality of Wall Street that has been allowed to operate unchecked and unregulated for too long that blew up America's prosperity. That, and disastrous trade regulations supported by the average Americans desire to buy cheaper and cheaper disposable foreign goods. In this regard, we are all responsible for part of America's economic collapse.

     When President Reagan disbanded the Air Traffic Controllers no one said a word in protest, and so began the destruction of the American workers' security. Never before had a President simply disbanded a Labor Union. In doing so, a signal was sent that anything goes, and soon jobs began to go offshore in staggering numbers.

     Once, not long ago, we were a country that embraced diversity, at least in theory, We saw ourselves as a just society; one that had navigated the rocky passage of desegregation, integration and racial divisions that were fundamentally unAmerican. Once we were moving in a positive directing that was healing the racially tinged wrongs of the past. Then this week Virginia passed an extremely racist proclamation celebrating the Confederacy, and politicians quickly answers any objections to it, with deliberately, pointedly racist comments. It is an outrage, not just to black Americans, but to all Americans.

     It is obscene that a new generation of black children should be exposed to such racist comments in this day and age. A minority of bigots and politicians are playing on the public's fears and poisoning the American Heart and it must stop. Racial, Ethnic and Gender bigotry have no place in a 21st century America.

     We must each of us, speak out when racist comments are made, by anyone, anywhere. Not doing so makes you a coconspirator in the attack on the American Heart. Voting Republican in the fall will send a message that racism and hatred are acceptable, don't send that signal.