It's a Great Time to Be Racist

Let's face it: There's only one explanation for some of the attacks on President Obama.

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The most recent example of racial commentary comes from Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), who referred to President Obama as a "tar baby." He not only apologized but also said that he was certain the president would accept his apology because he is a "man of character."

Lamborn's presumption that the president would accept his apology has nothing to do with Obama being a man of character. He's a black man, so he will ostensibly submit to the will of this white man, who has been described as the most conservative member of Congress. Inherent in Lamborn's "apology" is the audacity to believe that he can determine the thoughts and actions of President Obama without giving him the respect of a conversation, which is racist and insulting.

Organized Racism

Therein lies the rub: These examples of what appears to be a fundamental lack of respect for President Obama have more than offensive words behind them. Racism is the belief that races have distinctive cultural characteristics determined by hereditary factors and that this endows some races with an intrinsic superiority over others. These politicians and pundits appear to be engaging in racist acts based on this flawed ideology at the same time that all kinds of "movements" have sprung up in reaction to Obama's election.

No other president has had his qualifications for the office challenged so vigorously. A "Birther movement" developed around fabrications about the citizenship of Obama (made up mostly by Orly Taitz, a Russian-born woman and recent citizen).

A number of folks jumped on the bandwagon, calling for the president to "show his papers." Many Republicans, who just a few years ago had toyed with the idea of altering the Constitution so that the fan favorite and Austrian-born Arnold Schwarzenegger could run for president, joined a movement that appeared to be the closest thing to a high-tech lynching seen in this century.

Could it be partisanship? Yes. Could it be a profound lack of patriotism? Yes. But again, it smacks of something that has nothing to do with partisanship or patriotism but with the basest of reasons for disliking and disrespecting someone: because he or she does not look like you.

Is this why some people feel comfortable saying that President Obama hasn't done anything since he's been in office? Had Osama bin Laden been captured and killed while President George W. Bush was in office, there would have been a movement to make him President Emeritus of the United States. Instead, President Obama, the man whose administration actually delivered, is reduced to a brother hooping it up at the White House and doing nothing.

This leads me right back to the racism that has been bubbling underground and resurfaced with the debt-ceiling debacle. Folks from all walks of life took that crisis as a get-out-of-jail-free card to spew venom on President Obama instead of dumping on those who would rather sink this country -- and may have done just that with the recent credit downgrade. How sinister can you be to purposely create a hole and then try to push the entire country into it? All of this because a black man is president?

If it isn't because President Obama is black, then what is it? There is plenty to criticize about the current administration, but the inability to do so with respect for the man or the office is the giveaway.