Racism And Politics

I’ve been watching the Republican National Convention and I’m startled by the contrast between it and the Democratic National Convention.

I’m watching Mike Huckabee’s speech right now and as the cameras move about the room it is predominately old white people (many men).  He stands in a room full of white people in positions of power he then talks about the evils of racism….  I guess he wasn’t talking about institutional racism and tokenism that seems to be pervasive in the Republican Party.

Now don’t get me wrong, I struggle with our party system.  Democrat and Republican party organizations have systematic problems and neither is any more perfect than the other……but when a man like Barack Obama stands up and starts talking about hope and brings a new vision of self, country, and responsibility…and he is made fun of by a bunch of [predominately] old white people I feel sickened.

In one of the video ads by the Obama Campaign “Signs of Hope and Change” one of the men on the video says, “I don’t want a country for me, I want a country for everyone.”  That is what I want.  I want a country that will take seriously the need to inspect our exclusivism, racism, sexism and hopefully one day we will begin to cope with our materialism as well!

Mike Huckabee attacked Barack Obama for going abroad.  I could have imagined (not agreed with) Mike (for) attacking him for wasting money or some other issue in relation to the European tour…but Mr. Huckabee attacks Senator Obama by sayng, “It’s not what he took there that concerns me.  It’s what he brought back.  Lots of ideas from Europe he’d like to see imported here.”  First of all, why not ‘import ideas’ that might make health care more accessible and bring better services (such as preventative care) to our citizenry.  There is an idea to laugh at!  How about ‘importing’ some ideas from countries with better economies, schools, and longer life expectancy than the United States?  There is an idea to laugh at.

Looking at the camera pans back-and-forth, here is what I see:  white Americans who have healthcare and money for good educations  LAUGHING at people who are willing to say, “I don’t want a country for me, I want a country for everyone.”

The Republican leadership in the white house have heard that there are other ways of seeing the world and we know what they do.  They Laugh.  When most of the world says, “no” to a war in Iraq they laughed and ignored them.  When their own citizen’s raised concerns they laughed and said those are just the bleeding heart liberals.  Lastly, when even the republican base withdrew their support of the war and the white house what did they do?  The laughed.

Yes, Republican leadership call Obama an elitist.  They call him incompetent, inexperienced and, of course were happy to circulate the rumor that he was a “secret muslim.”  We have a man standing up with new ideas and a new direction for our country.  This young but competent man, each day, teaches our young people by example that one person can instigate change in the world.  We have a presidential candidate who has proven that he can hear the needs and views of others.  We have a candidate who has already demonstrated his intent to be diplomatic.  Most importantly, if one actually listens to Barack Obama’s acceptance speech in it’s entirety, Obama has a concrete and, in fact, ambitious agenda for this country which speaks to personal responsibility of citizens, fiscal responsibility of the government, and social responsibilities of all.

We have serious issues facing America today and we will have to work hard to address them.  Laughing at other people’s problems, dreams, and hopes doesn’t seem like an effective way to make our country a better place.  I do respect John McCain, but I hope he can find some republican leaders who don’t just laugh at problems, should he be elected to the presidency.