Thursday, September 2, 2010

Burden of Being the First African-American President

Ed Rollins views expressed in his opinion piece titled “Obama’s lame speeches on economy, Iraq” is one example of the burden that President Obama continuously faces because he is the first African-American president of the United States of America.

Unfortunately most African-Americans understand the double and sometimes triple standard of being black in America. Many of us know that we have to prove ourselves credible, worthy, intelligent enough, and/or loyal over and above our counterparts in any organization, position, race, and/or title. We are held to a higher standard and criticized when the same action or behavior by a white person would be reward or praised.

Our intelligence is challenged by ignorant statements and position by white people i.e. Rollins wrote in part: “The president slammed the Republicans one more time. This is his campaign theme, and obviously it isn't working. Besides, the more he blames the Republicans, the more difficult it will be to work with them in January, when they may have a majority or at least a lot more clout in the Congress.”

Are you serious Ed Rollins? Can the Republicans be any more difficult to work with than they have been during President Obama’s first nineteen months in office? I challenge Rollins to give me an example where the party of NO has “worked” with President Obama.

The opposition to the Obama Presidency has been intense and borders on the ridiculous. The Commander-in-Chief has been subjected to personal attacks (he is an American; his golf outfit; he shouldn’t take a vacation, and an accusation on the Fox News Network on August 31,2010, that President Obama exploited his family during the Iraq speech. The evidence to support this outrageous accusation ‘family pictures of the Obamas located on his desk in the Oval office’.

Rollins concluded his post with “In a few short weeks, we Americans get to exercise our voice and vote for a new Congress. I promise our voice and our message will be a lot clearer than these two pedestrian speeches the president just made.”

Mr. Rollins you and your party were wrong when you predicted victory for the Republicans in Congress in 2006 and 2008. Remember your party lost Congressional seats in both of those elections and the Democratic gained control of both the House and the Senate. You and your party were also wrong when you believe that John McCain, with Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential candidate, would defeat then Senator Obama.

I promise you Mr. Rollins President Obama will achieve most of his campaign promises made to the American public. He will accomplish his vision for this country after he and the Democratic control Congress accepts the fact that the Republican Party will never cooperate with this country first African-American president.

Fortunately for President Obama and America the Republicans will get the same results as 2006 and 2008 during the 2010 midterm election cycle. The Republican Party will not gain the majority in Congress during the mid-term election because African-Americans, Independents, Progressive Democrats, Hispanics, and Americans of all races and colors who believe in equality and justice for all of our citizens will make history again. We will answer President Obama call to action and vote in record numbers during the November 2, 2010, midterm elections.

I am looking forward to November 2, 2010. I hope and pray that this time Ed Rollins and the Republican Party accept the will of the American voter and accept the fact that elections have consequences. I hope and pray that after the midterm elections John McCain will indeed place his country first and work to rebuilt this country and restore honor to the Presidency. I hope and pray that a Democratic controlled Congress will have the courage of conviction to vote for a bill because it is the best thing for the America people.

Vera Richardson
Author of Screwed by Former Governor and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer

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