J. D. Heyes
August 14, 2013
Politicians pander – it’s just what they do – but some of the most offensive pandering involves race and racism and, quite frankly, I’m sick of it.
Take the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case. After the jury found Zimmerman not guilty, the Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder, scooted off to the NAACP’s annual meeting in Orlando recently to stoke the racial fires, talking about how he himself was racially profiled when he was younger and insinuating that Zimmerman profiled Martin – though the prosecution never introduced any evidence whatsoever indicating that Zimmerman, who at one time was a mentor to young black children, tracked Martin because of his race.
Not to be outdone, our president himself, Barack Obama – who many thought at one time could finally be the one person to instill racial harmony but who has instead only exacerbated the problem – pandered to his political base after the verdict, making a speech at the White House in which he talked about his days of being supposedly profiled and targeted because he is black… as if whites, Hispanics, Native Americans and other ethnic groups haven’t or don’t face similar treatment every day.
Many of his appointees and Cabinet members are equally guilty of fanning the racial flames by pandering to key constituencies. That includes Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who told the annual NAACP convention that people who oppose Obamacare are the same kind of racist people who opposed the civil rights movement in the radical 1960s.
Oppose Obamacare? Racist!
“The Affordable Care Act is the most powerful law for reducing health disparities since Medicare and Medicaid were created in 1965, the same year the Voting Rights Act was also enacted,” she said, referencing the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling overturning parts of the voting act which applied to minorities in some states the court said were no longer necessary.
“That significance hits especially close to home. My father was a congressman from Cincinnati who voted for each of those critical civil rights laws, and who represented a district near where the late Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth lived and preached,” she said.
“The same arguments against change, the same fear and misinformation that opponents used then are the same ones opponents are spreading now. ‘This won’t work,’ ‘Slow down,’ ‘Let’s wait,’ they say. But history shows that upholding our founding principles demands continuous work toward a more perfect union… And it requires the kind of work that the NAACP has done for more than a century to move us forward,” she pandered.
“You showed it in the fight against lynching and the fight for desegregation. You showed it by ensuring inalienable rights are secured in the courtroom and at the ballot box. And you showed it by supporting a health law 100 years in the making. With each step forward, you said to forces of the status quo, ‘This will work,’ ‘We can’t slow down’ ‘We can’t wait,’ ‘We won’t turn back.’”
We deserve better
What a disgusting, pitiable and horrendous thing for a Cabinet member of a presidential administration to say to a majority of the American people – that they are comparable to civil rights-era racists because they oppose this awful, miserable, job-killing law. And that would be a majority of Americans, by the way.
As has been the case since Barack Obama was elected, you cannot oppose this president or his politics and policies on ideological grounds. You cannot say, “Hey Mr. President, I oppose this policy or that because it’s wrong for the economy, or wrong for this industry, or wrong for the country, or it’s unconstitutional.” No. You only oppose him because you are a racist piece of you-know-what and you ought to be ashamed of yourself. That is worse than pathetic, it’s almost criminal.
People who talk like that are using the language of someone who is an intellectually bankrupt ideologue and who cannot debate on the merits of an idea. They must rely on cheap, base name-calling, finger-pointing and distraction in order to shift the focus away from their inability to make an intelligent argument.
Politicians pander – I get it – but this is beyond pandering. And it is beyond offensive.
Americans deserve better.
This article was posted: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 5:00 am