The President Elect, Incidentally, of African American Descent
He attempted to run a flawless campaign. His political attacks against the other candidate took the usual, most accepted, form of attack, on policies and issues, with both campaigns presenting their version of their opponent's record.
The Obama-Biden campaign never called up any derision or doubt related to Senator John McCain's personal life, his service to his country or his family. Neither was his running mate, Governor Sarah Palin, subjected to that type of treatment by the official campaign.
Toward the end of the election cycle, several months before November 4, 2008, the McCain-Palin campaign began to use a strategy, which by its nature, was designed to create a persona for then Senator Barack Obama that misrepresented his religion, his affiliations, his moral character and his motivations.
The campaign never directly used race against President Elect Obama but they did surround him with a shroud of clouded innuendo and mystery, stating for months that no one knew who Senator Obama was, although he'd been campaigning for almost two years, had authored two books featured on the New York Times Best Sellers List and was traveling all over the country during the campaign, introducing himself to the public.
The more Senator Obama traveled and spoke, the more his opponents claimed Americans didn't know him.
The McCain-Palin campaign for President and Vice President of the United States of America culminated with a number of members of the Republican Party, official Party websites and Party surrogates engaging in forms of repugnant, fear based tactics, meant to demonize Senator Obama.
For some unexplained reason, as the weeks progressed, this behavior increased, even though Senator McCain indicated he would not condone that type of behavior, as Governor Palin took the stage week after week, continuing her now standard monologue, detailing that, in her opinion, Senator Obama did not see the same America as she, and those gathered at the rallies, saw America, telling the assembled crowds of thousands Senator Obama had been “palling around with terrorists”.
Congressman John Lewis, a stalwart veteran of the Civil Rights Era of the 50s and 60s, recognizing the behavior exhibited by the crowds gathered at the McCain-Palin campaign events, where comments of a violent nature had been yelled from the crowd, spoke out against such behavior, earning him criticism for drawing a parallel to the behavior he witnessed at the McCain-Palin rallies, comparing it to the behavior of those who gathered to hear the late Governor George Wallace, during the 50s and 60s, as Governor Wallace fought the realization of African American's civil rights, at a time in America when those citizens were denied full participation in American society.
Now, the 2008 Presidential campaign is over. The new President Elect of the United States of America is Barack Obama and there appears to be discontent among some within the land.
Minorities are not responsible for this discontent because they played the 'Race Card', mentioning the color of President Elect Obama, as if no one wouldn't have noticed the most obvious, visual aspect of the man, his appearance.
Contrary to the land in which some Americans prefer to pretend they live, for some when race is concerned, the discontent stems from events I have discussed in my articles and in comment threads throughout the site here at NowPublic.
America has always been and continues to be a work in progress. As pointed out earlier by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the United States was born with a “ .... birth defect”.
Dr. Rice was referring to the institution of chattel slavery, which existed on the continent of North America for over 400 years and was in place as the founders of this nation gathered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1776, proclaiming their right to freedom from tyranny from Great Britain, affixing their names to the Declaration of Independence.
This “defect” resulted in a wound on the American psyche that has never healed.
During the Battle Between the States, more commonly known as the Civil War, those states that seceded from the Union to form the Confederate States of America (CSA) were Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida, constituting almost half of the nation at that point in time.
It was a consensus that all the seceding states saw the need for the continuation of slavery, with the CS of A even issuing monetary notes, with idyllic scenes of slavery printed on its face.
Although the American citizens that held enslaved persons represented around 5% of the total population, there were many who aspired to own slaves if the opportunity to do so presented itself.
At the end of the so called Civil War, which has been truthfully described as a war that pitted brother against brother, many grudges and wounds were ignored when the Confederate States were re-absorbed into the fold.
The United States' President who came to be known as the Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln, wrote in 1862:
If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.
This statement by Mr. Lincoln seems to belie ambivalence in his decision or, in my judgment, lacking a fully committed position against the enslavement of approximately 4 million persons of African descent, held in captivity in the United States at that period in time.
The re-forming/re-integration of the Confederacy did not dispel or dissuade the beliefs, ideas or ideals of those who formerly and literally fought to maintain the level of existence they sought to preserve for the future course of America but, now found themselves resigned to concede on many levels.
Nor were any of the Confederacy gleefully accepting being dispossessed of what they viewed as theirs, that being their lands and livestock property, included among those livestock, enslaved humans, now to be accorded the unbelievable status of personhood.
The beliefs and ideas espoused by the Confederacy were not only beliefs held by those in the Southern, seceding states. Many Northerners also harbored their own misgivings and prejudices toward the descendants of those brought from Africa and enslaved in America.
With the passage of time, after the Civil War, most U.S. citizens settled into a life that held, as a given, the second class citizenship status of the formerly enslaved, with the list of incongruities, indignities and miseries suffered by those formerly enslaved, well known by most reading this.
Each generation since that time has brought forth men and women from among all races that dedicated themselves to righting the wrongs they perceived in their country. Each victory came as the result of many hard fought battles, with many casualties, both physical as well as mental.
Today, the country continues it's forward progression into a new reality and as in the past, most citizens will adjust to the progression of their government.
Also, as occurred in the past, some did not then and may not now adjust, with most of these engaged in self imposed silence, only revealing their true feelings, when finding themselves in the 'right' company, that is, with those whom they share(d) the same mindset. How many of these citizens harbor thoughts and ideas they may transform into anti-social or violent actions, is unknown.
Whichever U.S. citizens disagree with the selection by the majority of the U.S. electorate that selected President Elect Barack Obama, that is their right but their right does not allow a perception that they can terrorize others because of their displeasure with the presidential election.
Since the nation has chosen as its President a man from within the Democratic Party, a man who happens to be of African and American descent, those who find themselves in defiance of this outcome, for whatever reason, must be held accountable for any and all actions acted upon and motivated by racial intolerance, meant to intimidate, deprive or harm anyone that has been targeted as a victim of intolerance.
As each racially tinged incident that has occurred across this nation, since the general election in the United States, November 4, 2008, is investigated, when it is found prosecution is warranted, prosecution must occur to reinforce a reality that neither individual states of the United States nor the nation as a whole will tolerate any further descent into chaos based upon racial hatred.
The custom or plan of action when those types of individuals and their deeds should, would or could be ignored cannot re-instituted.
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States