by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Scholarship in Action
It appears that disrespecting the president by referring to him as a sex organ on national television is not a seriously punishable offense. Mark Halperin, the man who referred to President Obama as a “d*ck”, is now back in action on Morning Joe. So, you can trust that when you watch the show, you’re not exactly getting objective analysis….instead, your political analyst (not to mention the editor-at-large at Time Magazine), has no problem calling the president a d*ck if he feels inspired to do so.
Halperin’s remark adds to a consistent national chorus of disrespect that has been shown to our nation’s first black president. This week, GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn had to apologize for comparing President Obama to a “tar baby,” (an historically derogatory term used toward African Americans). There are numerous other instances in which lawmakers and pundits have referred to the president in a racially-slanderous way and even made jokes about his assassination. It started with Liz Trotta on Fox News, who said that she would kill both Osama bin Laden and Barack Obama “if we could.”
The presidency of Barack Obama has been an interesting social experiment for all of America. It shows us that we are not nearly as sophisticated as we’d like to believe, and that racism is alive and well in this country. When you compound this with the backlash that African Americans have received due to Obama’s election, you realize that we are simply re-living an experience that is descended from the reaction of the south to the end of slavery. That is when the KKK grew in power, and when African Americans around the country suffered harsh penalties for their advancement in our society.
Today, we see that black wealth has dropped to levels we haven’t seen in over 30 years. Black unemployment is over 16 percent. Black people were thrown under the bus during the recent debt ceiling negotiations and have had our issues ignored almost completely since the 2008 presidential election. Millions of African Americans are suffering the same disrespect on the job and in their communities that President Obama is experiencing in the White House. Even MSNBC, the network that represents the liberals who claim to befriend us, has allowed Halperin to continue on the job as if nothing happened. That, my friends, is what it means to have second-class citizenship in America.