Thursday, September 3, 2009

Our President is a Racist

-Editorial Submission . July 28, 2009-

It is hard to hide your upbringing. President Obama's community organizer training and home church exposures shined through in last week's impulsive reaction to local affairs in Cambridge, Mass.

One guesses that the President wishes he had kept control of his own actions in stating that a police officer "acted stupidly" in arresting black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates.

Unfortunately, Obama is steeped in a long tradition of racism that continues to flourish under the leadership of victim culture vultures like the Reverends Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Jeremiah Wright. These are men who clearly believe one can build a good life on a bad foundation.

I joined the service and volunteered for Vietnam when I was seventeen. My time there, like for most, was a mixture of good and bad exposures that left a pretty deep tattoo on my identity.

Vietnam's touch also propelled me toward school and a rewarding search for something better. Although it cost me a measure of my youth, to this day I consider the nudge worth the price.

For years I have watched many of my peers take a different course. Vietnam became the defining experience of their existence and a chain that stopped forward movement.

As a psychologist, I have noted with sadness as Veteran's groups, my profession, the Veteran's Administration, and other misguided souls oversold the PTSD mantra. The outcome has produced less recovery than mangled negative identities based on something bad (war exposures) as a rotten foundation for something good (moving on, living fully and reaching our potentials).

When a person's identity becomes largely defined by something bad that happened to them, that person ceases to be in control of their own destiny. It doesn't matter if one is on the receiving end of sexual exploitation, combat exposures, criminal violence, racist abuse, or any other harm. Using past painful experiences as a get out of life free pass adds insult to earlier injury. In a fallen world, we all have our own personal versions of Pain-nam.

Today's racial problems have less to do with issue of color than culture. Color was long ago discredited as a measure of character, intelligence, potential or anything else of importance. Culturally determined lifestyles and values, however, are very much measurable and thus judgeable. Man may be created equal, but cultures are not.

It would be foolish to defend the absurdities of the KKK and white southern racist cultures of the past. It is equally foolish to defend the absurdities of today's version of a what amounts to a black KKK masquerading as something more noble. The evils of racial oppression and exploitation come in many forms.

Professor Gates has evidently played the racial 'get out of life card' so often that he lost objectivity on the night of infamy. He apparently thought that a white cop backed up by two minority cops would be impressed by his celebrity status as a perpetual victim and back down when he played his well worn card. They were not, but evidently our President was.

Obama's lack of internal restraints and long term conditioning led him to reach down from Washington and lay his hand on local government affairs in Cambridge. His rush to racist judgment and assumption came so fast that he even beat Jesse and Al to the punch.

I, for one, am glad our President did what he did. A damage control beer at the White House may sooth feelings, but his unintentional illumination of the tired old practice of trying to build a healthy culture on a foundation of victimization, anger, and racist thinking has the potential to do something better.

The irrationality of a Harvard professor and impulsivity of the President has nothing to do with skin color - it has everything to do with cultural conditioning. It would my suggestion that past wrongs cannot be righted with new wrongs. These two gentlemen and a courageous cop offer us a birds-eye view into why not.

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