Saturday, September 5, 2009

Op-Ed: You Don't Have To Label It Racism; Just Call It Ignorance!

By Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq.
September 4, 2009

Okay, I know you’re tempted to call it racism when people don’t want their children to hear President Barack Obama urge young people to stay in school so they can grow up to be productive members of our society. Let’s not waste a racism chip on that. Just call it ignorance!

We now have the smartest President since Bill Clinton was President, and before him John F. Kennedy. President Barack Obama is so brilliant, so inspirational, so caring that he wants all the people to have health care and all the young people to have a world class education, and he wants the health care and the education they receive to be as good as the education and health care he has. I’m sure sane people are asking themselves, “Whatever could be wrong with that?” He’s got great health care, and it’s obvious he has a great education!

Don’t be confused. The ignorance you see being played out over health care for all and education for all is not coming from people who voted for President Obama. No, we’re still hanging in there doing what he asked us to do when he was campaigning for office. We’re trying to help him succeed for the benefit of all the people in our country and the world.

These people you see acting up when the cameras show up are the ones who haven’t gotten over the fact that their candidate lost the election last November. They’re slow to get it, and not having much mother wit as my mother says, they don’t understand the importance of education. They are the truly unpatriotic folk who don’t understand the democratic process. They are the ones who never learned that the person who wins the Presidential election is the leader of all our people, and when they want him to fail, they’re saying they want their country to fail. They are the ones who never learned the lesson about respecting the office for the benefit of our country--even when you didn’t vote for the President who won.

Apparently their parents before them kept them from school when those lessons were taught, so they are ignorant of those facts. I will give them the benefit of the doubt because I don’t think they are as mean spirited as they would have us believe. They just don’t know any better! They don’t get it. They don’t understand that it’s refusing to learn is what will keep their children ignorant. It’s not that they don’t care about their children setting goals and staying in school! That would be shocking indeed! Maybe it was something President Bush said in 1991 when he spoke to students that caused this problem or something President Reagan earlier said when these parents were in school that made them fearful of a Democratic President speaking to students.

Since I don’t remember anything President Bush or President Reagan said that inspired me when I was in school—even though I heard them. So, there really was nothing to fear about what they said. There was nothing they said that was important enough to remember! Now ask me to tell you something President Obama has said that was worth remembering, and I can engage you in a conversation for hours. So can a lot of young people! You see, President Obama is such an inspiration to so many, and if the parents who are so adamant about closing the ears of their children to President Obama, not hearing the message will be their loss. Maybe it means we’ll see more of the birthers, the deathers and the secessionists and whatever this ignorance is that the world is watching and wondering what is going on in the USA!

While some parents insist upon keeping their children and themselves ignorant, let’s support this brilliant President and do all we can to educate everybody who can be educated, and work for health care for all who need it; because after all, ignorant people and unhealthy people have a negative impact on all of us.

No matter how badly these ignorant, unhealthy people behave, let’s keep on pushing for the change we believe in, the change we all need—even for those who don’t yet know they need it! We can make a difference if we don’t give up or don’t give in to the ignorance. YES WE CAN! YES WE WILL!

(Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. is National Chair of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc.

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