There’s a story about a black mechanic who always drove an old, sort of run-down car to work each day, giving his white employers the impression that it was his only mode of transportation. His wife once came by the job to visit and drove his much newer, much nicer vehicle. The man got upset with his wife and told her that he never wanted his boss to know how well they were doing. He said that white folks start to treat you bad when they think you’re doing well. They’re much more likely to keep you employed, he explained, when they think you’re struggling.
Friday morning, when I got word that President Barack Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize, as happy as I was, I knew the good news would be tainted with lots of hate, so much so that we half-joked that we should keep the good news to ourselves. “Don’t even tell the white people about it,” we said. They will not take it well.
We were right.
Now, of course we got plenty of text messages at 646464 from white people saying that all white people were not upset over the news about President Obama. We know that, of course. We were talking about the usual suspects: Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and those who are their loyal followers. The ones who have a problem following – or at least supporting – President Obama, no matter what he does. The ones who claim to be patriotic, yet are not outraged that the president of the United States was called a liar by a member of Congress or that his audiences sometimes include nuts with concealed weapons. The ones how who jump on the hate bandwagon every time it takes off and would rather live in a country bogged down with problems that impact their lifestyles in a big way than to support President Obama and possibly see their situations change for the better.
One of Luther’s songs’ lyrics always bothered me, but right now, I can sort of apply them to the foolishness I’m seeing from alot of the ABO (anybody but Obama) people out there. It goes, “I’d rather have hard time with you than good times with someone else.” Huh? You’d rather be with someone who doesn’t treat you right because you’re loyal to them than a good person who has your best interests at heart? This kind of dysfunctional thinking is alot more common than we want to believe. And there’s no sense in wasting your time and breath trying to change their minds. So don’t.
President Obama hasn’t achieved the kind of peace in Iraq and Afghanistan that we all would like yet, but he sure has brought more peace of mind than anyone has in a long time. Throughout his campaign, he brought all kinds of people together and taught millions of people that it’s okay to have the audacity to hope for a better tomorrow. When President Obama was elected, there was a global celebration for this black man, who was chosen by voters to take on some of the biggest challenges any president has ever faced. He accepted that role and is plugging way at the obstacles that face him and this country. He’s done it so far with skill, dignity and grace. He didn’t campaign to become a Nobel Peace Prize winner. He didn’t ask for it, and he had nothing to do with the selection. All he could do is graciously accept it.
Our job is to support the president we put in office and to lose patience for TV and radio shows that stir up the hate and disrespect the office of the presidency. Stop watching them and stop listening to them. The usual suspects who can’t stop hating long enough to show some love to the man who runs the country they live in are not patriots. They’re keeping up mess to keep up ratings. If they took the time to even try to be rational and supportive, people who are on the fringe who have so much hate in their hearts they can barely see would turn them off.
They won’t. But you can, and you should.
Forget this argument that you need to know what the enemy is talking about. You know what they’re talking about. They’re against anything this president does, anything Democrats do, anything that is progressive or pushes for change in a positive way that involves people of color. Yes, you should be interested in different points of view, but not from extremists or those who keep extremists riled up, like the hate gang.
I’m with Jamie Foxx. I don’t need it.