As America nears the end of the Obama years, there are those who just won’t let go of their hatred of him. In my opinion, their hatred of him is based solely on his race and his African American heritage. The Tea Party haters have taken the lead in demonstrating hate against Obama. One big hatred is by governors of states who refuse federal dollars to help the citizens in their states get free health care through Medicaid for the underprivileged. It’s hard to keep track of the laws that are anti-Obama but approximately one half of the states are saying no to free federal dollars for health care under Medicaid.
Those states rejecting Medicaid have Republican governors. Those governors are afraid of the Tea Party running candidates against them in primaries. One example is Mississippi which is probably the poorest state in the nation where nearly 40 percent of the residents are black. The governor there has denied Medicaid for the residents there.
In South Carolina, a hospital that was dependent on Medicaid dollars for survival just shut down because the governor there said no to Medicaid. The southern states are still trying to find ways to stop blacks from voting. Shades of the Old South are trying to rise again and put blacks back at a disadvantage. Ironically, the so-called Southern Strategy was a product of California Governor Ronald Regan and the Republican Party, after the sixties and the Civil Rights successes.
The hate translates in many ways, like the hatred of those who think you need to carry your guns openly into restaurants, schools, and even to church. Comedian Joan Rivers recently said that Obama is gay and Michelle is a transvestite. (Is this a joke? Is she a joke?) Others call him ineffective, a native of Kenya, East Africa, a Nazi, and many other evil things. Dick Chaney, who got us into the war Iraq with lies about weapons of mass destruction, says Obama is the worst president ever.
The Republicans and Tea Party shut down the government to prevent Obama from getting a budget through. Now they are working hard to get us back into a war in Iraq, Syria, North Africa, or wherever they can make money killing a lot of dark-skinned people. I keep reflecting back on Reverend Al Sharpton’s analogy that says, “If Obama walked on water the haters would send out a press release saying ‘Obama Can’t Swim'”.
I believe that history will record President Barack Obama among the greatest presidents ever. His presidency has lifted Black America’s spirits more than we know. We believe that we can do or be anything now. When my mother told me that I could be anything I wanted to be if I applied myself to the task, she had no real public images to show me.
Now I can say to my grandchildren that they can be anything and point to President Barack Hussein Obama as an example. I can say jealousy is a dangerous thing but achievement is a glorious thing that can be shared. You can be born at the bottom and rise to the top. Even if you are the child of a single mother, you can still rise.
Maya Angelou’s famous poem, STILL I RISE, seems to define Obama. It starts off saying, “You may write me down in history with your bitter twisted lies, you may trod me in the very dirt, but still like dust I rise.” Later the poem says, “. . . Did you want to see me broken, bowed head and lowered eyes, shoulders falling down like teardrops, weakened by my soulful cries? Does my haughtiness offend you? Don’t you take it awful hard cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines digging in my own backyard. You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still like air I’ll rise.” The poem ends appropriately saying, “Out of the huts of history’s shame, I rise, up from a past that’s rooted in pain, I rise. I’m a Black ocean, leaping and wide, welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear, I rise, into the daybreak that’s wondrously clear, I rise. Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise, I rise, I rise.”