Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Open response to Nia-Malika Henderson's OPINION piece titled: 'What President Obama gets wrong about 'acting white''
OPINION “a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.” It’s one’s personal views, attitude, or judgment.
I started not to read YOUR OPINION piece because in MY OPINION you usually take on a negative tone in your comments about the Obamas, with sometimes, seemingly disdain for who they are.
As an educated 60-year-young African American female with a ton of life experiences and who has raised three children, which two have earned professional success and one having more than two degrees, I addressed this issue with them when they were younger. I wholeheartedly disagree with YOUR OPINION about what the Obamas mean when they explain the phrase "you're acting white."
I know opinion writers use provocative headlines to grab the reader’s attention and it is highly appropriate for you to offer an alternative view of what they said but to emphatically declare that he is “wrong” suggests that the ONLY right answer is your opinion, which can be judged as borderline narcissism. You see how that works?
President Obama offered HIS OPINION based on his and his wife's personal experience. YOUR OPINION of HIS OPINION was based on your perception of research on the subject by others. In MY OPINION, your column promotes YOUR OPINION as somehow superior to HIS OPINION because of your PERCEPTION of the research you had done.
PERCEPTION: “to recognize, discern, envision, or understand.”
Researchers quoted in your piece had empirical data to form their analysis and conclusion, which my response is not intended to address. However, your provocative title boldly declares that the President of The United States has gotten it “wrong” because your explanation and understanding of that dreaded, loaded phrase “you’re acting white” differs from his explanation. Granted, as an opinion writer, you are not expected to be objective.
Despite my reluctance to give your writing a read, I read your article TWICE to be clear in MY OPINION of it. In response to President Obama’s comment at Walker Jones Education Campus:
“Sometimes African Americans, in communities where I’ve worked, there’s been the notion of “acting white” — which sometimes is overstated, but there’s an element of truth to it, where, okay, if boys are reading too much, then, well, why are you doing that? Or why are you speaking so properly? And the notion that there’s some authentic way of being black, that if you’re going to be black you have to act a certain way and wear a certain kind of clothes, that has to go. Because there are a whole bunch of different ways for African American men to be authentic.”
You wrote: "But there is a problem with the Obamas’ focus on "acting white" as an explanation for how black student's perceive academic success and the achievement of their peers?"
I don’t agree with YOUR OPINION that their explanation is about how black students perceive academic success. They’re simply saying what I and many other black parents say to our children and that is don't listen to the naysayers. Don’t listen to those who would rather tear you down, keep you down rather than lift you up. Listen to the positive voices that encourage, inspire, and motivate you.
I view it as the Obamas saying to those students not to listen to those negative voices that want to tell you that you're not good enough as you are, voices that are urging you to limit yourself to someone else’s definition of success. It’s about telling them to live up to their full potential no matter what others say.
Racist: “A person who believes in the doctrine of Racism, that a certain human race is superior to any or all others.”
Republicans vehemently reject the notion that their objection to President Barack Obama is racially motivated. The reigning king of hypocrites Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC ‘Morning Joe Show’, categorically rejects any notion that GOP opposition to the first black president has anything to do with racism.
In May, Scarborough went into one of his infamous rants and attacked West Virginia Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller for his comment that Republicans’ opposition to the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is because they hate the black president. Senator Ron Johnson was the only Republican in the room at the time and took great offense to his remark.
“That’s one of the stupidest, most offensive things I’ve heard a sitting senator say. He owes Ron Johnson an apology,” Scarborough fumed. Of course his emotional outburst was exaggerated because he's savvy enough to know that his rants are regurgitated on the Huffington Post. In the past he penned Senator Harry Reid with the title of 'Saying the stupidest and most offensive thing Joe Scarborough has ever heard.'
Washington Post opinion writer Eugene Robinson defended Rockefeller by contending that “objectively” some of the opposition to President Obama is fueled by racism.
“Of course not all opposition to the president is fueled by race, but there is some of that out there,” Robinson claimed.
MSNBC resident Republican, who is paid over five-million-dollars a year to host a controversial three-hour morning show that relentlessly disparages and attacks the character of the Democratic President of The United States and his party, wasn’t buying that his party was a bunch of racists disguised as politicians in two-piece suits without their white hood.
"And unless I'm wrong, this is the first majority-white country that has ever elected a black person,” Scarborough continued with his diatribe.
One would conclude from his assertion that most whites supported Barack Obama for president, which is not true. Whites primarily vote Republican. A GOP candidate for president would garner the vast majority of white votes regardless of the race of the Democratic candidate. Scarborough fails to accept that the demographic of the electorate has changed and Barack Obama won because of historical turnout by African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asians, single white females, and young people. Scarborough tried to make it seem that he won because whites were gung-ho about having a black man in the White House. His tendency to have selective amnesia allows him the luxury of forgetting the racially motivated assault on candidate Obama by Fox News and the rest of the media when it came to the Reverend Wright saga.
Republicans like Scarborough view attacks on the GOP as liberal bullsh**. They like to point to Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, who signed an Executive Order (Proclamation) to free slaves who were not fighting on the side of the Union, and use it to attack Democrats for being the racists at that time. Republicans conveniently leave out that Lincoln was a reluctant warrior. He believed in the doctrine of white supremacy and was actually pressured to act because of rising opposition to slavery in congress and the country. He believed slaves had certain unalienable rights but they were not superior to whites. Meaning he was a racist by definition but did the right thing for the country. Republicans point to Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation as definitive proof that Republicans are not a bunch of racists. If you have to go back 151 years to prove that your party is not racist, then, well, you’re in deep denial about your party’s support for the doctrine of white supremacy over the last century.
We all know that not all Republicans view themselves as being superior to all other races, but we do know that all those who believe in the “doctrine that a certain human race is superior to any or all others” vote Republican.
These far-right radicals have expressed in words and deed an intense fear and dislike of President Barack Hussein Obama because they perceive him as foreign and inferior to the white man. We see that play out in the press and on cable news and the networks.