True Power

True Power

Friday, March 11, 2011

Obama Fear???

Why make so much of where President Obama was born and his religion - To insight fear. But, how and why? People are usually afraid of the unknown or something that is new and thus foreign. I often wonder whether women in the pulpit face so much opposition based on doctrine or because of fear. Below is an example of what fear can look like and how a minority group like women ministers must endure.

When immigrants to America became too numerous or no longer needed for labor, fear would be employed to get rid of them going as far as to say they (the immigrants) were after the white woman for sexual gratification.

In today’s political arena, we hear a lot about the president. He does sound scary when you listen to cable shows and talk radio. It seems comforting to some to attack the president on some personal level; his origins and beliefs. Everyone is jumping on the “Hey, I’m just like you; afraid of the president and what he may do to our country.” We have heard the rallying cry of the masses to “Take our country back.” I want to know: “Take our country back to where?”

The earliest census for 1700 in the United States had 3.9 million residents of which 3.14 million were white and 700,000 were African slaves. There were less than 60,000 free non-white residents in the entire country. America was the land of the white man with women not having equality. The white man was king. It worked in 1700.
On his nationally syndicated radio show, Bill O'Reilly claimed that on the April 11 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, guest Charles Barron, a New York City councilman, had revealed the "hidden agenda" behind the current immigration debate. O'Reilly told his listeners: "[T]he bottom line is Charles Barron said last night there is a movement in this country to wipe out 'white privilege' and to have the browning of America." But in the April 11 interview, Barron at no point claimed that he and other advocates for immigrant rights are motivated by a desire to force white Americans into the minority -- despite O'Reilly's repeated efforts to provoke such an acknowledgment.

O'Reilly asked: "[Y]ou'd like the changing America to be -- the dominant people would be people of color? ... But you want it to happen, do you not? ... Do you not want it to happen? ... [T]hat's the bottom line on it, isn't it, Charles? ... You want a totally different country." But Barron responded that this was not the bottom line. To the contrary, he argued that the growing minority population is instead driving the backlash on immigrants: "You fear that ... your white privilege will no longer exist. ... And that's why you have problems with immigration. Because it's the browning of America. ... You want to stay in control. You want to stay in power." (Full transcript of the interview):

America has changed and the change is scary to many. I have a white friend who told me she could not understand all of the hostility towards Obama and was sick and tired of it. I said I can understand it. White people in history past mistreated one ethnic group after another beginning with the Indians and continuing on to include the Irish, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Scottish, African, and German. If these groups ever joined together the white man may think retribution may be on their minds. This was the thought of white people in Africa when Nelson Mandela was elected president, but it proved to be a false assumption. Mandela brought the races together through the national sport of soccer. Payback was not a part of his philosophy. And I daresay, not on the mind of our president today.

America is changing. It is becoming more diverse and even browner with each passing decade. The thought of becoming a minority and knowing how minorities are treated would cause fear in anyone who has never been a minority. It is completely understandable.

The United States is a diverse country, racially and ethnically. Six races are recognized: White, American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, and people of two or more races; a race called "Some other race" is also used in the census and other surveys, but is not official. Americans are also classified as "Hispanic or Latino" and "Not Hispanic or Latino”. White Americans (non-Hispanic/Latino and Hispanic/Latino) are the racial majority, with an 80% share of the U.S. population, per official estimates from the Population Estimates Program (PEP), or 75% per the American Community Survey (ACS)."

The majority of the more than 300 million people currently living in the United States consist of White Americans, who trace their ancestry to the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.

Multiracial Americans numbered 7.0 million in 2008, or 2.3% of the population. They can be any combination of races (White, Black or African American, Asian, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, "Some other race") and ethnicities. The U.S. has a growing multiracial identity movement. Miscegenation or interracial marriage, most notably between whites and blacks, was deemed immoral and illegal in most states until the 20th century. Demographers state that the American people were mostly multi-ethnic descendants of various immigrant nationalities culturally distinct until assimilation and integration took place in the mid-20th century.

"Hispanic or Latino origin" is a self-designation made by 47 million Americans, as of 2008.

By the time the class of 2010 has children old enough to attend college, America will look remarkably different. This generation is far and above the most ethnically and racially diverse generation ever; soon, whites will not be the majority group. Interracial dating and marriage are nearly universally accepted among youths. And more young people are involved in interracial relationships themselves. The next generation that this generation bequeaths will encompass a complex mix of colors. All of this taken together will have profound implications for American society.
85 percent of people aged 18-29 support interracial marriage, according to the Pew Research Center. And, according to a 2008 USA Today/Gallup Poll, more than half of all teens have dated someone from a different race or ethnic group.

To some Obama does represent the boggieman. He symbolizes that America is different, but it is not his fault. President Obama is just simply AMERICA a man made up of different ethnic groups and a wide range of concern for all. He has been accused of changing too much too fast. The truth is there has been a subtle change occurring for years.

Even in my rural little patch of earth, there are numerous white grandparents pushing buggies with little curly headed ethnically mixed grandchildren. It is almost impossible to decipher the ethnic make up of the child; you just know it is a blend of something and the best part is no one cares. To be afraid of the black man now is to be afraid of your grandchild’s grandparent, uncle, cousin, and even brother. The next generation will not be as afraid of the Indian, Mexican, or black man.

The older generation is having a hard time living in this new America, and I feel for them. It’s like “remember when a cookie once cost five cents?” Older people always reflect on the good old days while youths are living in the present thinking about their future.

There is no need for anger on anyone’s part. There is no need for fear either. No one person owns the world, we all have to adjust, assimilate, in one way or another. Minorities have been doing it forever; it is accomplishable. Because President Obama comes from this ethnic blend he is not shocked by the reaction of the old guard and minority groups. He has been privy to the world of the white person and the black person. He understands the power and the pain of skin color and the reactions of people to both. He has been privy to the private conversations of the whites and the blacks. I’m sure he prepared himself well before he decided to step into the political arena.


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