Racism is irrational. It is born of emotion, mostly insecurity. Fundamentally, racists are people that are afraid of change. They may feel in control of their life, but they’re not confident that they can stay on top of anything if their life changes. They just don’t have the physical or mental toughness to adapt, and so they dig in their heels, and they fight.
When people make racist arguments or decisions, they usually mask them with something that sounds a little more palatable, but with a little objectivity these positions can be easily seen through. When it comes to Barack Obama, the criticisms against him don’t make sense at face value. So we’ll discuss some of the more common ones, and the real fears behind them.
He’s a socialist.
Say it like Heath Ledger, ‘he’s not. He’s NOT.’
What many forget about Barack Obama is that when he took over, during the financial crisis, the banks were required to take a ‘stress’ test. Banks with over $50 billion in assets had to show that they had a plan for when if the economy went bad. And if they failed? They had to deal with the TARP Program (Troubled Asset Relief Purpose).
Taking TARP funds means that the government would have more control over the banks – including limiting executive pay, a socialist dream. Who was doing the stress test? The U.S. Treasury. Obama had the ability to control the banks at that point, and considering the panic of 2008, no one would have stopped him.
The banks passed the test.
Think about that. When Hugo Chavez wanted to become Socialist, he took over his country’s biggest business – oil. When Socialists want to take over, they’re not exactly subtle. Obama had a shot early in his Presidency and he turned it down. He’s not a Socialist, folks.
It’s the healthcare bill. Conservatives never think that things are going to change. They can’t see a future where they get sick, where they don’t have their jobs, or money. So in their minds, Obama’s health care reform was someone taking their hard-earned money and giving to sick Black/Latino people too lazy to work, or some rubbish. Healthcare to them is a Constitutional issue, even though the President figured out that it was a financial issue.
Health care inflation was rising unsustainably, which has a long term effect on GDP, among other things. We are all at the financial precipice, whether we know it or not.
He’s a Kenyan.
This is easy. Obama had his background checked before he became President. When he was nominated by his party, he got an even more through one, most candidates do.
But you know, I remember in 2005 conservative Republican Orrin Hatch trying to get a Constitutional Amendment passed where naturalized citizens could become President. Back then they were positioning Schwarzenegger for President (and he was positioning himself over his maid). So a Republicans were okay with the idea of a foreign born person becoming President. As long as he’s white.
Rich, white people are accustomed to getting their way. Suddenly the country was being run by a black guy. He was telling them what to do. Obviously there was something rotten about the system. It was impossible that this country legitimately elected this guy. There had to be a catch.
He’s a Muslim.
This is easy too. Remember Reverend Wright, the pastor of the church Barack used to go to when he needed Chicago votes?
Muslims don’t have pastors. They have imams. They don’t go to church.
Muslims are scary. Obama was scary. So Obama = Muslim? This is Monty Python logic.
He’s rich. He doesn’t relate to common people.
This one is sad. Obama has run against John McCain (roughly $140 million net worth; unsure how many homes he owns – it’s at least 8) and Mitt Romney (quarter of a BILLION dollars in net worth; the possible deduction for his show horse is more than the average households income) and somehow he gets painted as an elitist. It’s worth noting that when he came into office he was worth around a million and a half, most of it from his house and his new book deal. But here’s an explicit breakdown of how he’s made his money, going back ten or so years. Most of his money was generated by being President. Before that, he was upper middle class until his book deal.
His family is clean, educated and dignified. This is infuriating to his detractors. If he were sitting on Martin Luther King Boulevard drinking, smoking, and collecting welfare, they would condemn him as a drain on the system and their hard earned money. If he had a nice job and carries himself well, it is a job a white man should’ve had, and he is condescending to everyone no matter what he does.
Now, we’ve brought up perceived weaknesses with no actual validity. But he has weaknesses, right? Well, I’m not writing to get Barack Obama elected. I’m writing to finally have a rational discussion, and later this week, we’ll discuss the mistakes he’s made.