By Juanita Bratcher
Author, Editor & Publisher of CopyLine Magazine
Itâ€™s amazing how people are verbally attacked for telling the truth! Facts are facts, lies are lies, and spin is spin. So why is it a problem when one expresses a truthful opinion and is bombarded with contempt over their remarks or confronted by a large attack crew that questions the validity of what was said and try to wreck it? Is it because they donâ€™t want to hear the truth or, they donâ€™t want others to hear or know the truth? More often than not, itâ€™s a combination of both.
Media Mogul and Talk Show Host Oprah Winfrey, in an interview last week with BBC while on a promotional tour for the film â€œThe Butlerâ€, a real life story of Cecil Gaines, an African American man who served as a White House butler for eight different presidents, said President Obama was a â€œvictim of racism,â€ that there are ongoing issues of prejudice which is also a generational one.
â€œThere is a level of disrespect for the office that occurs,â€ Winfrey said in the interview, â€œAnd that occurs in some cases and maybe even in many cases because heâ€™s African American. Thereâ€™s no question about that, and itâ€™s the kind of thing that nobody ever says but everybody is thinking it.â€
Commenting further on generational prejudice and at the same time noting that race relations have improved, Winfrey said: â€œOf course, the problem is not solved. As long as there are people who still, thereâ€™s a whole generation â€“ I say this, you know, I said this, you know, for apartheid South Africa, I said this for my own, you know, community in the South â€“ there are still generations of people, older people, who were born and bred and marinated in it, in that prejudice and racism, and they just have to die.â€
No sooner than said, Oprahâ€™s remarks were attacked by conservatives and conservative media. After stating the truth?
Multi-Billionaire Oprah Winfrey was recently a victim of racism when in August, 2013 a shop store clerk in Switzerland refused to show her a purse that cost $38,000. Winfrey made note of the incident while appearing on the Larry King Show.
Later on in this article, articles from CopyLine Magazineâ€™s archives will show stark examples of tremendous ignorance and racism lodged against President Obama. But first I will post an excerpt from an article I wrote for CopyLine Magazine shortly after Obama was elected President of the United States of America in 2008. The article follows:
“Donâ€™t Declare Racism Dead: That Tough Cookie Will Survive”
By Juanita Bratcher
Letâ€™s face it, racism will always have a chilling, schism andÂ debilitating effect on American society, no matter how many Americans wouldÂ likeÂ to move ahead and leave itÂ behind, handcuffed in the annals of time. And anyone who thinks differently or otherwise â€“ thatÂ racism will endÂ simply because America electedÂ its firstÂ African-American president -Â isÂ in for a rude awakening. You canâ€™t change the hearts and mindsÂ of people overnight. Sometimes never.
The election of Barack Obama is indeed a historic moment, a historic timeÂ in American history; and aÂ step forward in the right direction. ButÂ in just a few days, his election has set-off a backlash in the U.S.
According to an article in the Christian Science Monitor, â€œAfter Obamaâ€™s Win, White Backlash Festers in U.S.â€, itÂ noted thatÂ the Southern Poverty Law Center stated that more than 200 hate-related incidents have occurred since the election of Americaâ€™s first black president.
On theÂ flip side of the coin, however, there is enthusiasm and elation abound that America saw fit to elect its first African-American president in 2008 and, by an enthusiastically wide margin over his Republican opponent.
Yet,Â the article in the Christian Science MonitorÂ is shrewd reality: There are those who areÂ determined to put a damper on this celebratory, historic occasion.
In a November 28, 2012 article in CCN, â€œThe Most Threatened President in Historyâ€, By Nathaniel Patterson, it stated that the â€œSecret service says the number of threats against the president is overwhelming. President Barack Obama is the target of more than 30 potential death threats a day and is being protected by an increasingly over-stretched Secret Service. He is the most threatened President in history.Â Since the President took office in 2008, the rate of threats against the president has increased 400 percent. Some threats to the President have been publicized, including the well known alleged plot by white supremacists in Tennessee to rob a gun store, shoot 88 black people, decapitate another 14 and then assassinate the first black president in American history.â€
That said, letâ€™s deal with some of the nasty remarks said during Obamaâ€™s term in office. Believe me, there are many, many more. But these are some of the articles that are documented in CopyLine Magazineâ€™s files that are absurd and racist.
1. Republican Congressman Joe Wilson calling President Barack Obama a “liar” during a 2009 speech the president was giving to Congress.
2. An ad at a DC Metro station which told Obama to â€œgo to hellâ€ over his health care legislation.
3. Kansas House Speaker Mike Oâ€™Neal asking his GOP colleagues in the House to pray for Obamaâ€™s death.
4. A racist, anti-Obama bumper sticker on the back of a vehicle that read: “Don’t Re-Nig in 2012.”
5. A veteran Republican senator, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, called President Obama “stupid” for his comments on the Supreme Court health care case.
Editorâ€™s Note: Obviously the president is not stupid. He is a very smart and intelligent man. Saying harsh words donâ€™t make it true or factual.
Responding to Grassley, Obamaâ€™s then campaign senior strategist David Axelrod, blasted the Iowa senator, stating, “Heads up, Sen. Grassley. I think a 6-year-old hijacked your (twitter) account and is sending out foolish Tweets just to embarrass you!”
6. In rallying support for Republican Mitt Romney, Ted Nugent said of the Obama administration: “We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November.”
7. A Jacksonville police officer quit after admitting he told colleagues that he would volunteer to assassinate President Barack Obama.
8. In Richmond, Virginia two White Richmond police officers were firedÂ for calling for the assassination of President ObamaÂ during his campaign visit to the city in May. One of the officers also made insulting remarks about First Lady Michelle Obama.
9. 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin in 2008 at a conservative conference called President Barack Obama a liar, and urged the Republican Party to stand by its conservative values.
10. Several conservatives made disparaging remarks against the President after his win to the presidency in 2012. Those conservatives were: Donald Trump, Karl Rove, Sean Hannity, Mary Matalin, Ron Johnson and Blogger Eric Dondero. They behaved like sore losers. In an angry tweet, Trump tweeted, “This election is a total sham and a travesty.” In another tweet after Obama was announced the projected winner, Trump tweeted: “Well, back to the drawing board!” “We can’t let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided!”
11. The commonwealth of Virginia NAACP called for the resignation of two Isle of Wight County officials who circulated racially charged emails about First Lady Michelle Obama to other county officials. Byron Bailey and county School Board member Herbert DeGroft forwarded the emails but reportedly didn’t create them.
12. Peter Morrison, a Texas GOP official called for an â€˜amicable divorceâ€™ from the U.S. and from â€˜maggotsâ€™ who voted for Obama. Morrison, treasurer of the Hardin County Republican Party, wrote a column in the post-election edition of his Tea Party newsletter.
13. Joe Walsh Rips Michelle Obama for Attending Hadiya Pendleton Funeral
14. Speaking at the Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of social conservatives, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann called Obama â€œdangerousâ€ and accused the president of enforcing “Islamic speech codes” in the United States.
15. Accused of racism, The National Review fired columnist John Derbyshire over a web posting. Derbyshire declared that black people were hostile to whites and that white people should stay out of black neighborhoods and away from black crowds.
16. The Birther issue: There are a lot of conservatives that claim President Obama is not an American citizen and call his birth certificate a fake. J.D. Hayworth, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, was critical of a so-called “Birther Bill” that cleared the Arizona House of Representatives, saying it didnâ€™t go far enough.
17. Conservative political pundit Pat Buchanan and former Nixon advisor, on the G. Gordon Liddy Show responding to Obama’s victory, said: “White America died last night. Obama’s reelection killed it. Our 200 plus year history as a Western nation is over. We’re a Socialist Latin American country now.Â VenezuelaÂ without the oil.”
Buchanan added, “Of course I agree with half of what he does. He’s half white! That’s not the half I’m worried about.”
18. David Lansford, former New Mexico mayor who won the office again, called President Barack Obama “the carnal manifestation of evil”.
19. A military panel recommended a ‘less than honorable’ discharge for Marine Sgt. Gary Stein who railed against President Obama on Face book, urging his defeat in the 2012 election and calling Obama â€œthe economic and religious enemyâ€.
20. A Miami college student pled guilty in federal court to threatening President Barack Obama on Face book. 20-year-old Joaquin Amador Serrapio Jr. reportedly threatened to put a bullet in the president’s head and asked if anyone wanted to help in a presidential assassination.
21. The Secret Service says it was investigating an effigy of President Barack Obama (a large black doll) found hanging from a building in Plains, Ga., hometown of former President Jimmy Carter. The doll was strung up with a noose in front of a red, white and blue sign.
22. Koch Industries, the Wichita, Kan.-based company run by the billionaire Koch brothers, sent a voter information packet to 45,000 employees of its Georgia Pacific subsidiary during the presidential campaign in 2012.
In it was a letter, dated Oct. 1, from Koch Industries president Dave Robertson implicitly warning that “many of our more than 50,000 U.S. employees and contractors may suffer the consequences” of voting for President Obama and other Democrats in the 2012 elections, a list of conservative candidates the company’s political action committee endorsed and a pair of editorials: one, by David Koch, supporting Mitt Romney, and the other by Charles Koch, condemning Obama.
23. â€œLetâ€™s take our country backâ€ as though they are the sole citizenry of this country. They didnâ€™t vote for Obama; the majority did or he wouldnâ€™t be in the Office of the President.
24. Washington Republicans in the U.S. House have obstructed his appointments and agenda for the country, and have repealed the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), Obamaâ€™s signature legislation, unsuccessfully about 43 times.
25. In an article by Rev. Jesse Jackson, â€œChallenge Campaign of Insults, Slurs vs. Obamaâ€™, Jackson pointed out many of the racial occurrences against the president. Said Jackson (an excerpt from the article): â€œAmerican presidents have always been fair game for public criticism. But isnâ€™t it past time that we challenge the campaign of insult, racial slur and utter disrespect that has been unleashed on Barack Obama?â€
Some of phrases Jackson alluded to in his article are listed below:
Â· Newt Gingrich called Obama the â€œfood stamp presidentâ€
Â· Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) said of Obama that he didnâ€™t â€œeven want to have to be associated with him. Itâ€™s like touching a tar baby and you get it, youâ€™re stuck.â€
Â· House Speaker John Boehner scorned Obamaâ€™s agenda in his State of the Union address as â€œun-American.â€
Â· Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) was both blind and a cad when he suggested that Michelle Obama shouldnâ€™t talk about eating healthily given her â€œposterior.â€
Â· Rush Limbaugh scorned Obama as an â€œaffirmative action candidateâ€ and a â€œHalfrican-American.â€ â€œObamaâ€™s entire economic program,â€ Limbaugh slurs, â€œis reparations.â€
On another note, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in a HuffPost interview with host Josh Zepps, said he believes that conservative media outlets such as Fox News are damaging the country, stating that â€œFox News Has Divided Country In A Way Not Seen Since Civil War.â€
Kennedy, an attorney and nephew of John F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy said: “Twenty-two percent of Americans say their primary news source is Fox News,” Kennedy told HuffPost Live. “It’s divided our country in a way that we haven’t been divided probably since the Civil War, and its empowered large corporations to get certain kinds of politicians and ideologues who are in the United State Congress elected — the Tea Party ideologues who control the Republican Party.”
If these are not incidences of racism pointed out in this article, then what do you call it?
Editorâ€™s Note: (Many of these instances of racism reported in this article were taken from a variety of articles reported in the media, on blogs and social networks in cities and states around the country).
Juanita Bratcher is an Award-Winning Journalist, the Publisher of www.copylinemagazine.com and the author of several books, songwriter and poet. She has been a Journalist for more than 37 years covering politics, education and a wide-range of other topics.