Glenn Beck, a foaming-at-the-mouth maniac who works at Fox News, caused quite an uproar recently when he called President Obama “a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.” He was wrong, of course. Barack Obama is not a hater. He is a reconciler.
But if Obama did hate white people and “the white culture,” I would understand why.
What other group of people and what other culture would choose to ignore Obama’s white heritage? To quote from one of his books, his mother was “white as milk,” his father “black as pitch” (photo at right). Yet he is routinely referred to as “black.” A few years ago, he would not have been permitted to drink from “whites-only” water fountains in St. Petersburg, Florida, or in many other Southern U.S. communities. He would have had to sit at the back of the bus. The black part of his heritage would have branded him as unfit for association with racially pure white Americans. Contaminated, in effect.
That kind of scorn breeds hatred. And don’t believe it is a thing of the past. It is more evident in the “white culture” now than it has been for many years.There has been a recent torrent of racial slurs directed against the President and his family, even against his 11-year-old daughter. And the phenomenon is not peculiar to America; it seems to be spreading worldwide.
Rabbi Yigael Shandorfi, representing Jewish settlers protesting Obama’s request for a West Bank settlement freeze, recently used an insulting Hebrew expression for a black man to describe the U.S. President. And Yitzhak Shadmi, leader of the regional council of settlements, called Obama a “racist.”
I am old enough to remember when Jews were not considered “white people” in America. A Jewish friend told me that as a little girl she saw signs in Miami store windows that said, “no dogs or Jews.” Indeed. there was a time when the Irish were also considered a lesser breed. Want ads proclaimed “no Irish need apply.” Italian immigrants endured their share of “racial profiling” and ethnic denigration.
And so on…
Now, the descendants of these “ethnic” immigrants are part of the mainstream “white culture,” and it seems they have short memories. So, lest they forget…
It was the “white culture” that exterminated six million German Jews.
It was the “white culture” that drove Irish Catholics from their homes in Northern Ireland and replaced them with Protestant families from the British mainland.
It was the “white culture” that rounded up thousands of Scottish Highlanders and shipped them off to the Colonies.
It was the “white culture” that waged war against the Chinese in order to protect the international opium trade.
It was the “white culture” that decimated the native Americans and stole their ancestral territories.
And it was “the white culture” that brought captives from Africa to work as slaves in the American and Caribbean colonies.
I could go on and on. But I am sure you know enough history to recognize how evil that kind of “white culture” can be.
That’s why it is so hateful to see its current resurgence. Of course, it is more effectively disguised today. For example, CNN’s Lou Dobbs would probably deny he is being racist when he launches relentless attacks against “illegal aliens” or provides a platform for the “birthers” who insist – despite all the evidence – that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, that he is “not one of us.”
And opponents of health care reform would probably deny they are being racist when they whisper that Obama wants to take away benefits enjoyed by “white folks” in order to care for uninsured African Americans and “illegal” Hispanics.
But the obvious truth is that a segment of “white America” cannot abide the thought of a “black” family in the White House. Their hearts are filled with rage and fear. And I find this “white culture” hateful, indeed.