Stop playing the race card

As an American who happens to be black, I say to those who are playing the race card in the healthcare debate: Stop it! The very people who do all the hand-wringing about racism are the first to use it to divide us, and we are tired of it.

The racial denigration of those who show up at town meetings as "angry white folks" is disgusting. If anything is "un-American," as Nancy Pelosi has alleged, it is her describing citizens as Nazis because they do not agree with President Obama. Americans are angrily rejecting the Democrats' effort to jam government health care down their throats, and their displeasure has nothing to do with race.

Liberals have a propensity toward intellectual arrogance. As such they view the American people as too stupid or disengaged to understand the complexities of health care reform. Because most of us are busy earning a living, we sometimes allow government to go awry for a while, but when it goes too far, the people awaken with a fury. That point has been reached. It may not be pretty or pleasant, but it is real and politicians dismiss it at their political peril.

The more Democrats attempt to marginalize the opposition, the more it grows and the angrier people get. The polls show that as the debate proceeds, notwithstanding some yelling, more people agree with the citizens expressing opposition to ObamaCare. They are listening and deciding that something is very wrong. It makes us angrier when the very people we pay with our hard earned tax dollars have the hubris to call us names because we do not agree with them.

To add insult to injury, the president who promised to unite us asks people to email the White House if they hear anything "fishy" about the health care plan. The president and Democrats who control both Houses of Congress had better take a deep breath and stop overreaching. There are some things the American people are not going to take, and some lines that politicians dare not cross. Every time they accuse people of being racists and Nazis they cross that line. If they force on the American people a health care program we vehemently oppose, they will have crossed the point of no return.

King George imposed taxes on the American colonists for the benefit of England. Those who opposed him were called traitors, and it sparked a revolution. If an imperious President and Democratic Party attack those who oppose the new healthcare plan instead of listening to them, there may well be a second -- albeit peaceful -- revolution. The effort to divide us along racial lines is a despicable tactic which will only bring a harsher backlash.

We have had enough of Balkanizing us into enclaves of hyphenated Americans. This is what happens when we are led by those who believe in one nation under government, instead of one nation under God. The unity of our country lies in rejecting race as our primary identifier. We are Americans, and right now, we are angry. Our elected officials need to deal with it instead of trying to demonize those who dare question them. When they start categorizing citizens by skin color, they do so to de-legitimize those who disagree with them.

For fifty years now we have been told that we need an honest dialogue on race. The Attorney General condescendingly informed us that we are "cowards" when it comes to matters of race. When Jeremiah Wright's racist demagoguery was exposed, Candidate Obama lectured us about "typical white people" like his grandmother being inherently racist. Recently the President advised us that we had a "teachable moment" when in so many words he accused the Cambridge police of racism in the treatment of Professor Henry Gates. Of course, he did the teaching when he should have been apologizing and taking responsibility for his own gaffe.

Obama lectures us from Mt. Olympus on matters of race, but his own racial record is dubious at best.  He sat under Jeremiah Wright for 20 years, in spite of Wright's racist rhetoric and support for notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan. Candidate Obama accused his opponents of pointing out that he does not look like the Presidents on our currency. In truth, nobody cares that he doesn't look like George Washington, but we would be pleased for him to govern with a similar wisdom, integrity and restraint.

It was Obama who quoted Wright admiringly in his book, The Audacity of Hope, "white folks greed runs a world in need." Recently his administration dropped charges of voter intimidation against the virulently racist New Black Panther Party even though the Justice Department has already won the case. Based on his writings and past associations, the President is not post-racial, but race obsessed. Like his mentors and leftists colleagues, he believes that our country is essentially racist, particularly its "white folks."

The American people are tired of being called racist. We have had it with ivory tower liberals telling us we need to have a "dialogue" about race. We don't need any more lectures or sensitivity training. Here is my racial dialogue with the American people. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Dialogue over. Let's drop the race bating and get on with debating the matter of keeping our country prosperous and free.

E.W. Jackson Sr. is the President of STAND - Staying True To America's National Destiny and Bishop of Exodus Faith Ministries. Email him at  
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