By A. Peter Bailey, NNPA Columnist --
It is time for Black people to wake up and smell the collard greens. It has become increasingly and ominously clear that significant numbers of Whites in this country consider the presence of Barack and Michelle Obama in the White House as an abomination, an unnatural state of affairs, a betrayal of all they have been taught about the proper place for Black people to occupy in the scheme of things. The malcontents include many, if not most, of Rush Limbaugh’s Limb-Addicts, Sean Hannity’s Haters, Ann Coulter’s Coulterats, Glen Beck’s Beckaholics, Bill O’Reilly’s Factorcides and Laura Ingraham’s Ingramaniacs. Absolutely nothing Obama does will satisfy such people. Most of them wouldn’t want to even see a Black conservative such as Clarence Thomas or Star Parker or Thomas Sowell or Michael Steele etc. in The White House as president. A commentator in the Washington Post recently wrote: “…. If Clarence Thomas were president, the crowd probably would have stayed home watching Fox News’ laudatory coverage of the Thomas administration….” I don’t think so. That position, they believe, should always be held by a White man or maybe a White woman but never by a Black man or Black woman no matter how accommodating or subservient.
Of course, none of this surprises those of us whose national and international perspectives, especially on the subject of race relations, are greatly influenced by the great visionary and master teacher, Malcolm X. It also shouldn’t surprise those who have read Martin Luther King Jr’s last book, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” We were aware from the very beginning that all the campaign rhetoric about a “post-racial” America was at best, naïve and at worst, a deliberate hoax. We also never forget what too many Blacks, in their euphoria about Obama’s elections, tend to ignore - - which is that nearly 60 percent of Whites voted against Obama in 2008.
Black folks must now wake up and smell the collard greens. For personal political reasons, President Obama may insist that race is not a factor in the ongoing attacks, but those of us who have to function in the real world know better. As a first step, Black organizations and civic associations on every level must begin to identify the organizations, groups and their leaders who now feel free to openly denigrate us so as not to be caught by surprise. Black newspapers should regularly run brief bio sketches on such organizations and their leaders so they will be imbedded in their readers’ consciousness. Businesses, local and national, who support the purveyors of hate and lies should also be identified and denied our patronage if they continue to do so.
Acquiring such information and knowledge is critical if we are to be in a position to promote and defend our economic and political interests in a menacing environment.
Journalist/Lecturer A. Peter Bailey, a former associate editor of Ebony, is currently editor of Vital Issues: The Journal of African American Speeches. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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