Before the election of America’s first black president in 2008, I joined other progressive political observers who warned of a white backlash should Obama be elected. While millions rejoiced, cried and prayed at that historical moment, there was a whole ‘nother camp of racists who began openly conspiring for the new president’s demise.
Shortly after President Obama’s inauguration, Minority Leader of the Senate Mitch McConnell publicly proclaimed that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term President.”
McConnell didn’t lie and neither did he and his Republican colleagues waste any time on achieving their stated goal.
The Republicans have used the so-called “invisible filibuster” 84 times since Obama was elected president, more than the total of all filibusters in the Congresses of the 1950s and 1960s. They have blocked more than 375 bills in the Senate that would have made a positive impact on jobs, immigration, the environment, the military and the list goes on.
The Senate of “NO!” has also held up dozens of judgeships.
How do we know it’s about race and not political disagreement? Because many of the bills were Republican bills until President Obama agreed with them and tried to pass them. The GOP has made it abundantly clear they are willing to sink our leaky ship and drown us all if it means taking the black president down with it.
The GOP planted racism seeds and tilled the ground to ensure their growth and spread. All the racist statements, cartoons, articles, caricatures, protest signs, bumper stickers and whatever else that’s protected by the First Amendment rights began to boldly show up on the streets, airwaves, internet and in print.
The President has been totally disrespected even in the halls of Congress. (Remember Rep. Joe “You Lie” Wilson). These acts of racist hatred are dog whistles for the white poor and working class citizens who have been trained to react to color before they respond to logic.
At a Shell Station in Jacksonville, FL, a real-life effigy of the President is hanging reminiscent of lynchings in the public squares of America post-Emancipation. A sign in Sumner County, TN read "The Bro and His Ho Must Go!" These are just a few examples of the many vitriolic and racist tactics that will escalate especially if President Obama is re-elected.
And just like in 2008, millions will rejoice, cry and pray should the President get a second term. And there will be a whole ‘nother camp of racists who will intensify their attacks against President Obama and his policies.
But there will be others, understanding the changing demographics of this country are imminent, who will be working in the trenches to transform the people who want to transform our society.