The vitriol that America’s first black president has endured is unprecedented – and unacceptable. He has been depicted as a monkey and a witch doctor, he has been compared to Hitler, his American citizenship has been disputed, and every racial stereotype in the book has been used to diminish him.
Some critics insist that his achievements are the result of special treatment because of his minority status, a product of such programs as Affirmative Action. They even suggest that the professors at Harvard gave him A’s when they would have given a white student C’s.
In their scorn for the president, these critics have not spared his family. His wife and even his mother have been smeared by a series of tasteless “jokes.”
Shockingly, Mitt Romney compared the president to one of his “boys” in Wednesday’s debate, describing how his “five boys” repeated lies in the hope he would eventually believe them, and implying Obama is just another lying boy.
In the latest assault, Romney surrogate John Sununu called the president “lazy” – you know, as in that lazy black guy sleepin’ in the noon-day shade, his belly full of watermelon an’ chitlins.
Now, former General Electric CEO Jack Welch is suggesting that the president illegally pressured the Bureau of Labor Statistics to release bogus unemployment figures to influence the election.
This insulting – and totally unsubstantiated – allegation has been picked up by the jackals at Fox News and throughout the Republican propaganda world.
Why do these Republicans think they are entitled to insult America’s president and his family in this despicable way?
Is it because Barack Obama is not white?
It is a question that the rest of America – and the rest of the world – must ask.
The majority of the people in the world are not white.
By insulting the president, these Republicans insult them.
John Winthrop, a prominent Puritan minister during the time of the Pilgrims, cautioned his fellow-countrymen that: “we must consider that we shall be as a City upon a Hill,(and that) the eyes of all people are upon us.”
The vision was shared by former president Ronald Reagan – a Republican.
As Americans head for the polls, they should search their souls for an appropriate response to Winthrop’s admonition.
By voting for the new and ugly breed of Republicans, Americans would be choosing an element of their society that is infected by rampant racism. And the rest of the world would take notice.
Is this the kind of “exceptionalism” Americans want?
Do they want the world to see Uncle Sam as standing apart, looking down his white nose at the other races God created?
Or do they want America to be that shining city set on a hill, as the Pilgrim Fathers had hoped? An America crowned by “brotherhood from sea to shining sea,” a beacon of hope in a world wracked by tribalism and intolerance, illuminating the path to a better future for all of mankind.