By Charles F. Otey, Esq.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
If you look closely at the unalloyed racism indulged in regularly by outgoing L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling, you see a strain of prejudice that runs deep throughout this country.
For 50 or 60 years, since the heydays of George Wallace and Lester “The Ax” Maddox, this pocket of poison has been inert and dormant, but lying in wait for a unifying cause. With the election of Barack Hussein Obama in 2008, its members finally had a “villain” upon whom they could all agree.
Disparate-element militias, Tea Partiers, birthers and others scattered throughout the country heard their clarion call loud and clear in November 2008 when Mitt Romney lost to a man whose African father was born in Kenya.
An estimated five to 10 percent of the American population shares Sterling’s fearful, bigoted views. This small group’s call to arms was the presidential election, which was served to unleash the venom that still seeks an anti-toxin 160 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. This vociferous, hate-fueled minority fiercely oppose anything President Obama does. Its members have the same pathetic view of African-Americans as Sterling.
Accurately directed, a country-wide, hardcore segment of seething anger, fed by billions of dollars, can be wielded to damage any president. And, thanks to the Tea Party and, especially, to the billionaire Koch Brothers and Fox “News,” this fury is fed every day, in many ways, to keep the focus of unrelenting rage lasered upon our first black president.
No Other President Has Had to Deal With Relentless Rage
The president has made mistakes along the way. But no other president in modern times has had to endure the unceasing resentment epitomized by the ignorance of Donald Sterling and that infects and impacts the daily lives of 20-million-or-so fearful Americans.
This rage enables the minority in the House Republican Caucus to reflexively oppose any legislation that casts the President in a good light.
This group doesn’t care what House Leader John Boehner wants. Its members literally dare other House Republicans to let any bill onto the floor for debate unless its very undemocratic clique gives it its imprimatur.
Fear of the so-called Tea Party — actually a diabolically-conceived “front,” sustained in many ways by the Koch Brothers — has virtually eviscerated the Republican Party in Washington.
President Obama is accused by many — most recently, Maureen Dowd of The New York Times — of being cool and aloof. Dowd’s a brilliant columnist, but she’ll never know how it feels to get up in the morning at the White House, behold your lovely wife and two sweet kids and then look out upon a nation you have been elected to lead, but that is paralyzed by millions who hate and resent you just because of the color of your skin.
Maybe she has no idea of how many “Americans” stood by then-Clippers owner Sterling, who, after all, was having a “private conversation.” Maybe, they reason, Sterling was “set up,” probably by the CIA, working in collusion with the Black Panthers.
Past Presidents have had to deal with cantankerous newspapers — e.g. Richard Nixon and The New York Times — as well as occasional television legends like Walter Cronkite, who pronounced the Vietnam War a “failure,” which drew the lasting ire of President Lyndon Johnson.
But earlier presidents never had to confront a nationwide cadre of zealots — financed, or supported, by billionaires like Sterling, the Koch Brothers, Donald Trump, etc. — who question their legitimacy as Americans and their very status as human beings.
Donald Sterling’s despicable outbursts, underscored by years of racist behavior and practices, symbolize the extraordinary barriers President Obama faces every day — and has faced every day of his life.
The NAACP just has to take back the first “lifetime achievement” award presented years ago to Donald Sterling.
As for our President — give the guy a break.