So the disrespect continues. President Obama gets called a Monkey President by a talk show commentator in Arizona (no surprise there, I guess), and in a press conference a "journalist" heckles the president while POTUS is in the middle of a statement. I don't think anyone can be surprised that this is happening. Especially if you are a black man. What did you expect?! At what moment in time have black people not had to do better, run faster, speak more eloquently, jump higher, all while not becoming frustrated, or god forbid the biggest no-no of all: angry?
Why do we expect that Obama will have any different experience than many black businessmen and administrators who make it up the career ladder only to find people think they're threatening or menacing because, for example, they want to know where a lost package is. The racist zeitgeist is all around us. Am I calling those who disagree with the POTUS racists: no. That would be stupid. But to break it down I'll compare this to food: do those of you who eat a regular american diet think that healthy food is tasteless? Many a person who's had food that is fresh and wholesome says,"Dang that's good, but maybe the next healthy thing won't be…" Why is that? Because antipathy for 'health food' has become ingrained within the ether of social consciousness. You don't have to be against healthy food consciously to KNOW that it's nasty. It's nasty alright. And that's why all them healthy people are so thin and energetic. But I digress….
Just because an individual is trying to be open minded doesn't mean that he/she actually is open minded. Ask married people about that. They'll give you an earful. It's long been part of the social climate that black men are angry so if the president even gets remotely angry -- ever -- there is a problem. Black people are shiftless and aren't good with money. Hence, many of them are in jail or in debt. Black men are physically stronger and sexually virile. So you get the monkey statements or (see my earlier blogpost) get compared to animals. They just don't think as well.
With all of this running around in our collective national subconscious, is it any wonder that there is so much outright disrespect of the POTUS? But here's the real kicker: So the hell what?! We (black people, that is) have had to deal with this issue for centuries. We've always had to prove ourselves. Now is not any different. It's the president's job to deal with all this crap, so just deal with it. I feel frustrated because I think such disparagement of the office of the presidency is wrong, but…Oprah had difficulties with walking in to stores when she was just a small-time gazillionaire. Remember when she was in France, went into a Hermes store and they told her they were closed? The store was closed to OPRAH WINFREY?!?! What makes folks think that just because Obama is president he won't have to deal with the same issues, overcome the same hurdles, deal with the same stuff all blacks have to deal with. Some of us have been more successful at coping with these remnants of oppression and some of us, less so. We'll see how Obama does.