Calling them out on racism!

For the past few days the controversy de jour has been whether the President of the United States may deliver a short, and likely inspirational, speech on the importance of education to students in schools across the country.  Commentators and parents decry the idea has an attempt to “indoctrinate” school children.  Some parents are even going so far to state that they will keep their children at home – thereby denying them a day of education – rather than have them listen to the leader of our nation talk about the value of that education.  The flames of this controversy are being flamed by the usual suspects:  right-wing media nut Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and various Republican politicians.  It’s time for responsible journalists and citizens to call out those who raised this controversy.  The underlying reason is not a fear of liberal inculcation.  It’s the same reason that Beck promotes usurpation of a lawfully elected president of the United States.  The same reason that birthers try to raise a phony constitutional issue to his presidency.  The same reason “tea party” gun toters bring their weapons to health care town hall meetings.  It’s racism, pure and simple.  The people spouting this stuff are in denial that a black man was elected president.  The white parents who would keep their students home just don’t want a black man telling their children how to do better in school.  C’mon folks, let’s get it out on the table.  A minority, but a sizable enough one and a very vocal one, want “their country” back.  That’s the country that existed in the 1950’s and ’60’s, when George Wallace blocked the university door, when civil rights marchers were beaten by police, when only white families appeared on television shows.  Until we start talking about it, racists will continue disguising their animosity towards the president and his policies as “protecting my rights.”  Racism is not dead, and likely never will be.  Bringing attention to it in the 21st century is as necessary as it was fifty years ago.

A president who thinks talking to the nation’s students is as important as planning a war or meeting with foreign dignitaries is OK with me.

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