It's time for united action

COMMENTARY

One of the most insidious forms of racism today is the current right-wing campaign to bring down the presidency of Barack Obama.

Turning reality on its head seems the tactic of choice to achieve this objective. When, for example, President Obama criticized the behavior of the Cambridge police for arresting Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates on his front porch for the “crime” of “arguing while black” he was called “anti-white” by right-wing commentator Glen Beck.

Professor Gates was verbally protesting what he correctly considered to be racial profiling. The racist presumption of the police was to treat Gates as a criminal and not a person locked out of his own home. Understandably Gates strongly protested: as well he should have. The last time I checked it is not against the law to get angry at a police officer.

The same can be said for the recent confirmation process of Judge Sotomayor. It was appalling to any thinking person to watch members of the US Senate calling the first Latina nominated to the highest court of the land a “racist”. This was based on a statement she made about the benefits of bringing racial and gender diversity to our judicial system.

And then there is this absurd campaign that Obama is not a citizen despite all the evidence to the contrary. The Republican-based “birther movement” is based on a Great Big Lie.

The truth is that all of these campaigns appeal to and promote particularly virulent forms of racist thinking. The president who has made more appeals for racial understanding and unity more then any other president in history is somehow anti-white? How could that be?

It’s an old tactic: these false charges are intended to promote racism and split working people.

Why? So that the fight for national health care for all is stymied, Employee Free Choice defeated, and help for the unemployed, underemployed, evicted foreclosed, homeless hungry, is denied.

If history teaches anything it is that promoting racism especially at times of economic crisis can unleash the lunatic fringe and put the lives of millions at risk.

In hard times people need to pull together and work for united solutions. Promoting a spirit of national unity and action for social and economic justice is the only way to overcome deep going crisis like we are now facing.

But what are the powerful insurance interests and the Republican Party doing? Losing the argument, they are sending in paid provocateurs to disrupt the dialog replace reasoned conversation with chaos.

Are we heading back to the days of mob rule? Are we going to repeat what happened in Little Rock, Birmingham, and Peekskill? We dare not! But this is what the Republican right is working for.

Obama was elected by the largest and most diverse electoral coalition in US history. If any new president has ever had a mandate for change it is Barack Obama.

The Republicans are in deep trouble. Everyone knows they are responsible for the Iraq war which cost over a million lives, permanently injured hundreds of thousands and wasted trillions. It was their basic economic policies have actually brought down the US economy.

And now they are responsible for the one of the greatest strategic blunders ever: desperate, they are playing the race card.

The GOP has been taken over by the lunatic fringe.

While a recent poll shows that 77% of the people and 93% of Democrats believe Obama is a citizen, 58% of Republicans believed he is not or aren’t sure. How backward and bigoted has the party of Lincoln become?

In the name of national unity and democracy for all, they must be defeated. It is time for mass unified action. In every city, town and hamlet, they must be defeated. Let the cry for unity and progress come from every church, temple and mosque, Let it come from every union hall, high school and college campus.

Let the call for unity come from those who believe in peace and justice, equality for women, a clean environment and the rights of the youth, elderly, and LGBT people. We must not let the ugly head of racism and violence prevail. It is time for action.