President Obama has faced the same treatment that Jackie Robinson did when he broke the color barrier in Baseball. Both endured impasses, hatred and bias just because they were the first black man to do a particular job. Only the methods of prejudice have changed.
Although the opposition to a man of color being President of the United States today can not be blatant racism as it was in the days of Jackie Robinson's baseball career, it is still there just below the surface of every action Obama takes. The methods of marginalizing a person of color have become more sophisticated and racism is hard to point to as the underlying reason but it is still there. In the game of modern day racism words and motives are parsed with great care so that there can always be a plausible denial of what is truly meant. Things like, "He was not born here." (because he's black). "He is a Muslim" (because he is black)" "He is a socialist/communist" (black) "He is not a patriotic American" (black) "He is destroying the constitution" (even though he is a constitutional lawyer, he is black). If you look carefully at the extreme criticism President Obama is receiving you will see it is mostly shaped not by his political actions or policies but by the color of his skin and his ethnicity.
The Republicans and their jack boot storm troupers, the Tea Party, have challenged and obstructed anything this President has tried to do. Because of their inaction and lack of meta-goals they stopped governing and started blocking anything everything during Obama's watch. Then they spin this stalemate as if it was a lack of ability, lack of leadership and lack of knowledge on the part of the President. The ignorant public accepts this revisionist history as it is drilled into their consciousness with a constant repetition from right leaning media like Fox News. They have succeeded in the notion that ANYONE could do this job of President better than Obama (read: better than this Black man).
Their smear campaign has been so successful that the two top contenders for the Republican Party are a loose cannon Billionaire who seems to be promoting a reality show rather than a political platform and an ex-brain surgeon who doesn't believe in science and who can't put an intelligent sentence together. Neither of which has ever held elective office, nor served in any form of governmental capacity, including the military. But because of this constant drum beat of Obama's incompetence almost half of the Republican electorate believe either of these two bozos can do the job. Once again the signals are very well hidden. One of the leading candidates is black so the race issue seems to be off the table, but the face of a Clown is always white.
This Saturday October 24, will be the 43 anniversary of Jackie Robinson's death. We now know that Jackie Robinson wasn't just a great black baseball player, he was a great player. He was inducted into the Baseball hall of fame in 1962. He was not given the job to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers because he was black, he got the job because he was a really good Second baseman.
Suppose the Brooklyn Dodgers of 1947 decided they didn't want to play the game with him on the team. What if they purposefully did not pitch to him, or would not make the extra effort to catch a ball he threw them and did everything they could to make him look incompetent on the field. What if they decided that anyone could do that second baseman's job better than he could, even a guy with no knowledge of baseball who never played for any team before? The result would have been a failed team. A team that didn't care if they won games as long as they embarrassed the second baseman. As stupid as that might have been for a baseball team, it seems to be totally acceptable for Congress.
Although some would argue that President Obama is not the statesman that Robinson was a baseball player, the way we calculate success in sports is very different than how we determine a great statesman. I feel, when the statistics are in for this last eight years and the racist Republicans have found a new straw dog to fight, the facts will show that Obama had some major accomplishments in spite of a congress that did everything they could to throw the game.
Just my thoughts, I'm sure yours are different,
As you were,