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September 19, 2009

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twitter.com/DanFearnley

I won't claim to be right on this, but here's my opinion and I welcome honest discussion on it. The racism issue itself is the best indication of the racism in this particular case. People need to be educated about racism and the fact that it still exists. But this administration, the demagogues and the media have played the race card so much it's like a poker game. Racism is a political tool.

Demagogues are peddling racial undertones to create opposition to the healthcare reform, the administration is quite happy to attribute all opposition to the reform to racism in order to discredit their opponents. The all-inflaming media just want to ride the profit wave of controversy.

I feel privileged to be looking at this from another country than that of my birth at the moment, because it is perhaps from here that I can see the issue differently. I have never seen any evidence that Obama hates white people. I have seen no actual data of any mind-reading research that indicates opposition to Obama is synonymous with racism. When I look at Obama, I see a bland comparatively wealthy person who has always had health insurance and known he was going to succeed because his tuition was paid.

Obama was quick to accept the first black president title, but in reality what is his background? He is a privileged, ivory-tower success story. His father was Kenyan, his mother was from Wichita and his stepfather was Indonesian.

From his biography on Biography.com: "He was enrolled in the fifth grade at the esteemed Punahou Academy, graduating with honors in 1979. He was only one of three black students at the school. This is where Obama first became conscious of racism and what it meant to be an African-American." Let me stress this: The man first learned about racism and what it meant to be an African-American *at a PRESTIGIOUS PRIVATE SCHOOL in HAWAII*. Now that IS a valid way to experience racism and a cultural history that other people applied to him because of the color of his skin. (He had been raised Muslim and Indonesian until that point.) It is VALID, and I do not decry it. But is that the kind of background that makes someone a reverse-racist? I rather doubt it. Instead, I think it's the kind of background that makes someone an Ivy-League champagne liberal. Judging from the histories of his teaching career and his congressional voting record, I think that's more likely what happened.

But being opposed by constant mysterious racist threats? Well, that does give him credibility with voters. He seems to revel in it. Why shouldn't he? He's a politician. Racism is a great backlash tool in popular opinion. If something is accused of being racist, popular opinion will dance. Well, maybe not on healthcare.

I don't dislike Obama because he's black anymore than I think he would dislike me for being white. If anything, it seems to me he's too busy trying to prove he's culturally identified with African-Americans and in touch with the common man and especially the downtrodden of all races -- primarily by butting in to other people's business and then offering them beers.

He said himself of poverty that his father's family had not experienced the poverty in Africa, but they knew of people in the villages who had. Well, so do I, though I haven't mentioned it in any addresses to world leaders. Social need is something that happened to a friend of a friend, so Obama doesn't sound credible when he tries to push his authority (by way of using his identification as black) in the matter. He has always been the official representative, distributing largesse, with needy people reaching up to touch his cloak. His big claim is having been a community organizer in Chicago for three years before going to Harvard. Has he ever had to attend an emergency room with his kids on Medicare? Does his experience actually match his motivations?

Further, about the healthcare reform, a lot of people would like the whole healthcare issue to be about race, because then it wouldn't be about poverty. But poverty and race have been linked for a long time. Tim Wise may think opponents to the bill may hear black, but it's likely that in a recession they really do hear "poor". When you're scared about your own finances, you might be opposed to paying your own money for healthcare for people who are unable to contribute (or if you're rich you might consider them lazy), and then receive nothing or substandard treatment when it comes to your turn. There are still people here in the UK who oppose the NHS out of those same fears. The frightening part is that in some few cases they're right -- funding is cut and treatment is deplorable. That's why it's not an easy, cut-and-dried issue.

Charles

Well Dan you said a mouth full. As I read in between the lines of your various opinions, I can't help but get your implied message:

"Who does this uppity Black guy think he is,
just because he is a Harvard trained lawyer,
incredibly smart, and President Of The United States, he's no big deal to me.

You seem to infer that's he's in this position
because everything has come easy for him.
Not because he worked hard and earned it.
Not because the majority of Americans voted for him.

As an American living abroad, you seem to now have mixed loyalties. I wonder if this was the case before or after the presidential election.

Only you know the real answer, but after reading your comments, I have a good idea.
Thanks for sharing your ideas.

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