Sunday, October 5, 2008

Palin's Low Blow on Michelle Obama

Unless they do something so deplorable that they raise reasonable doubt about the judgment of the candidate, the candidate's spouse should be off-limits in political contests. Apparently, Sarah Palin doesn't abide by this standard.

This was a clear and direct attack on Michelle Obama's much noted comments about not being proud of being an American. For Palin to take such a shot during the Vice Presidential debate showed a complete lack of integrity on her part, and a lack of respect for the Obama family. How would she like it if Barack Obama or Joe Biden took cheap shots at her husband?

But, beyone violating rules of politeness and respecfulness, Palin showed a complete lack of consideration for the black experience. Her remark suggest that black do not have a reason to be disapointed in the United States. How is it that black are wrong for criticizing the United States? And what, exactly, is it that we ought to be proud for? Many of the good things about this country that are supposed to stir patriotism don't apply to whites the same as they do to blacks. Let's look at a few:

Democracy & Voting - While African American men were given the right to vote soon after the Civil War, many blacks did not actually get to vote for 100 years, due to racist state laws, acts of violence and intimidation, barrires to registration, and a lack of intervention by the federal government. Today, black and other minorities are still subjected to underhanded attempts to rob them of their votes. Names are unjustly removed from voter rolls, illegal "caging" practicies abound, and intimidation still occurs. Depending on who controlls the White House, the Justice Department may show little if any interest in investigating such injustices.

Economic Opportunity & Social Mobility - Again, this nation has a long history of denying equal economic opportunity to blacks. This can be traced back to slavery. Even after slavery, the premature end of Reconstruction left many blacks in an economic position as close to slavery as one could be without being a slave. Piled on to this disadvantage was the fact that many African Americans were barred from participating in labor unions, and many would argue that labor unions are still hotile to minorities. Research even shows that a black man with no criminal record is less likely to get a job than a white man with a criminal record. We also know that, no matter who you blame, black and brown children just don't get the same quality education as whites. While there are some exceptions to this rule, I can make this broad generalization because our public schools are growing more and more segregated by the day.

We Live in a Land of Justice - Let me remind you of the "Jena 6" incident, in which 6 African American boys were charged with second degree murder for a school fight. While the were wrong and deserved some form of punishment, the excessivly harsh charge was issued by a District Attorney who showed an inability to take any action when African Americans were the victim. He even went as far as to threaten blacks who protested the haning of a nuse on school property - an act that qualifies, by law, as a hate crime. During the fallout from this incident, the U.S. Department of Justice did nothing. This is just one example of the people who's salary we pay through taxes to protect us - police, district attornies, justice departments, and judges - have become the enemy of the black community.

We're the Melting Pot - Often time, that melting pot ask African Americans to forsake their own culture in order to take up the cloak of Eurocentric culture. Our music, speech, clothing, family structure, religious practice, and other aspects of our culture are deemed as inferior.

I could go on with this, but I think you get the point. While I'm glad to live in this country, I and other persons of my hue have some legitimate complaints. We are taught as small children about how wonderful this country is, but as we grow older, we encounter a very different world. We learn that all the great features of this country don't always apply to us. For the Sarah Palins of the world to ignore thsee very real and legitimate feelings shows an utter disregard for the experiences of the African American community, and provides chilling insight on they way a Palin (or McCain-Palin) administration would impact blacks and other minorities.

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