Comments made by Congressman Rep. Steve King are exactly the type of hate mongering that demonstrates the huge gulf between Republicans and other intelligent, reasonable people. On a talk show the Congressman asserted that based Senator Obama’s pledge to pull troops out of Iraq, his Kenyan heritage and his middle name, Hussein were all causes for serious alarm. According to Rep. King:
“The radical Islamists, the al-Qaida … would be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on Sept. 11 because they would declare victory in this war on terror,” King said in an interview with the Daily Reporter in Spencer.
Rep. King also hinted at what he thought the rest of the world would be thinking to see Obama as President, an insight I can’t imagine how he would have acquired given his party’s typical “us against the rest of the world” mentaily. He might, however, as well have completed his sentence by saying precisely what he was hinting at; that seeing a black face as head of a country that claims historical figures such as Patrick Henry, George Washington and the Founding Fathers would almost certainly be blasphemous. He might as well have completed his thought because at the end of the day we know exactly what he meant.
The problem with this type of Republican paranoia is that they miss the entire picture. In a country where black people have a history not too far removed from slavery and where the lines of disenfranchisement and second class citizenry are still clearly visible; the overwhelming sense of anger that one thinks would have led to treachery has not manifested itself in any meaningful way. Indeed given an opportunity, most African Americans only want to claim their part of the American dream so they can provide for their families and create some type of posterity. What in that is to be feared somehow escapes me. Black people and white people in the United States know their histories are inextricably bound, more so than in most other countries and in many ways Senator Obama embodies that reality.
This one candidacy in many ways strips away many of the stereotypes that have been pervasive on both sides of the racial coin and has instead shown us the best in both of us. In short the reality of a Barack Obama clearly shows us what a unified America can be. Rep. King’s remarks are clear proof of a train of thought that is embarrassing, ignorant and increasingly irrelevant in a world where a new day is dawning and that is moving forward in the 21st century.