Is White Conservative America Afraid of Barack Obama?

Racist Obama Sign 1This is a blog post I hoped I’d never had to write. It’s a post about ACORN, Van Jones, Barack Obama, and culture of fear that is festering in our nation during an age of Glenn Beck. Those very ‘key words’ I just used will practically guarantee healthy post views and a long search-engine life for this post, but that doesn’t make me happy. Because I know that many of my friends – and probably even family members – will become a little more agitated with me, a little more distant as time wears on and views clash.

Where is the kid who was scored as the single most conservative member of his AP European History class in high school? Where’s the student that accompanied an elder of his PCA church to John Birch Society meetings? Where the guy who voted for Harry Browne in the 2000 elections?

Buried in the rubble of 9/11. Come of age in a Bush administration era. Watching the dream of Hope being crushed by fear-mongering word-of-mouth media marketers, and their circles of influence. And as a fellow nu-media marketing jockey, I’m pissed. This post isn’t going to score me any points with some of my ‘Christian’ friends, or certain corners of CBA publishing…or with my radical Anabaptist/anarchist I’m-too-cool-to-vote friends either, for that matter. Screw it.

Here goes…what follows is taken from my recent Facebook wall almost verbatim, but it’s mostly my side of the conversation, summarizing certain comment-ers, when appropriate.

First I post The GOP’s Blame-ACORN Game article from The Nation, showing how ACORN community organizers have long been against the predatory lending practices of the Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae types (who names these cabals, anyway? Sallie, Freddie, Fannie…it’s like Dick and Jane books on crack). What follows is some basically insightful back-and-forth commentary from folks of different points of view. But then someone says “The punchline is the same – the GOP has no stomach for Acorn, IAF, and other (Alinsky-style, people-powered) community organizing groups.” Racist Obama Sign 2

I think he’s right about the GOPs intolerance for rabble-rousing, truly populist movements. But I also agree with outrage expressed by many (on all sides of the aisle) about the human trafficking stuff – the Left (and all of us really – the Right too when it comes to gun-toting tea partyers and town hallers) need to realize that The People are messy – they can’t be boiled down an intrinsic, bucolic good. The People have issues, as do The Elite. God help us all…

That said, I continue to be 100% in support of community organizing, with the understanding that people need transformation and development as well as the lower functions on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. A conservative friend of mine chimes in and says,

I like to think of myself as a gun-toting, tea partying, town haller!

And I say “Well there you go. And many progressives fear you, fair or not. Just like I’d say many conservatives fear power-to-the-people educated urban poor. Two sides of the same coin, really.”

Someone sounded off on this, saying that s/he found it incredulous that anyone could find value in community organizing organizations like ACORN.

Well, as someone else commented, “My spouse is a Realtor and has seen ACORN offer legitimate and much needed help to low income people. They have provided an important service.” Many other grateful low-income families would agree.  Another friend of mine – who I’m guessing is fairly conservative-leaning politically – conceded that “ACORN is…a good organization with a worthy purpose and great success, but is now being brought down by the actions of a few corrupt, high-profile individuals who were put in positions of power that the should not have occupied.” Probably true. But the overriding concern here is that of media literacy: If the first you’re hearing of ACORN is from ticked-off media pundits blasting it, you’re probably not getting the full story. (And yes, I agree this means balancing my lefty news sources with your fascist ones! Tee-hee.)

Racist Obama Sign 3Then someone brought up this 1999 New York Times story about President Clinton lowering the financial ceiling for eligible home-buyers. What do we make of this? My thinking is that one could construe the desire to make lending easier for poorer families a decade ago as being borne out of a genuine desire to help more low-income folks get into homes – just as one could see the GOP moves toward massive de-regulation as an idealistic move in keeping with conservative principles of minimal government.

Of course, one could also see both of these with a jaundiced eye – Clinton’s move to help Sallie & Freddie share-holders and GOP moves to further line all of their pockets with de-regulated flow. We have choices in how we interpret the motives of others – and the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

Ah, but polemics never stay in the middle, do they? Some people jumped on board hurling epithets like

“Not all poor people deserve to be able to own a home because they are too irresponsible.”

“In this country, if you are poor there’s a good chance it is because you’re too lazy to work.”

“The actual number of people who are poor for some reason other than it being their own fault is very low.”

“These people need to learn some personal responsibility.”

…and other insults. (I’ve got one question for ya’s: Ever read any Barbara Ehrenreich??)

Soo, then I launch into some heated words of my own – like poor people just don’t deserve a break, eh? Only those who earn favor (or are born into favored conditions) should get opportunities – the rest are ‘lazy’? I guess the Gospel we espouse and the Jesus we worship doesn’t apply so much to the real world, huh? Racist Obama Sign 4

Look, I’m pro personal responsibility. I’m a small business owner who comes from a low-middle class (or high lower-class) family background and all that jazz. Who knows – maybe what I’ve done is that gravity-defying feat of pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps! And I’m not naive: In being friends with homeless people for a couple of years now, I know that some have the aptitude to get off the streets and some just don’t – they’ve been acculturated into the streets. But does that mean we de-friend, and give up? The way these things about the poor are said, I’m sorry – it sounds like un-loving, callous disregard. When an organization is trying to lift people up by bringing a community together – I just don’t see how anyone can be categorically against that. I’ve long supported Christians (and others) involved in community organizing, and will continue to do so. Long live the CCDA!

And when I say “I just don’t see how anyone can be categorically against that” – I’m not trying to set up a rosy, pollyanna-ish caricature of ACORN or any other group. I think we’ve established that community organizers are people just like everyone else, and subject to the same foibles as the rest of us. I’m not nearly as convinced about ACORN’s voter fraud as I am that Bush stole the 2000 election via Florida and 2004‘s via Ohio, but I am sickened that anyone – poor or rich, liberal or conservative, black or white – would have hypothetically helped a pimp set up a brothel slavery ring for underage girls. This bears a thorough-going investigation and house-cleaning. But this isn’t where you’re coming from at all – you seem to be saying that community organizers are by definition lazy-enablers. I know too many organizers to know that this is simply not the case.

What’s particularly painful for me is the broken fellowship and lost friendships that are hemorrhaging over all these issues. I think about how politically lock-step I would have been with all of this political-rhetorical haze even 10 years ago, with my Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal/charismatic, and house church sisters and brothers. Though the differences between these sects are many, politically their conservative/Evangelical variants are virtually indistinguishable. (There are many in all of these streams who are politically heterogeneous, but they often suffer in silence as their viewpoints are ridiculed – either from the pulpit or around the living room.) I guess I’m coming from such a different place these days. I’ve said (repeatedly) that ACORN itself should be held accountable for anything that’s substantiated that it’s done, but this needn’t tar all community organizing organizations with the same brush – nor should it stain the reputation of the vast majority of ACORN workers. I think the reason why Beck, et. al’s, hysteria is so ‘believable’ to many is white fear, plain and simple.

(Van Jones Let’s not get started on the Van Jones lynching! I’ve been a fan of Jones for years – we were even wanting to book him for a Christian festival I help organize (there’s that word again!), Soularize, but we couldn’t host it this year due to funding. No honest reading of his excellent book, The Green Collar Economy, could possibly support the claim that Jones is a communist – he’s quite capitalistic, but not in a naive way that gives big business carte blanche do do what they want without factoring in social and ecological costs. If you’re willing to consider another take on Jones, there are other perspectives. And for a clear-headed, factual refutation of Glenn Beck’s deliberate ratings-and-power-inducing spin job, you must read this article and this one.)

But what do I mean by ‘white fear’? I mean what Jimmy Carter meant when he said

“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man,” Carter said. “I live in the South, and I’ve seen the South come a long way, and I’ve seen the rest of the country that share the South’s attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans.”

Carter continued, “And that racism inclination still exists. And I think it’s bubbled up to the surface because of the belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It’s an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply.”

Racist Obama Sign 7I think that many of my fellow caucasian peeps are afraid of nonwhite people in power. Whether that’s the distributed power of communities organizing for better conditions, Latino workers’ unions, or a person of color occupying the highest office in the land – it’s terrifying many conservative whites.

Some balked at this assertion- was I calling them the dreaded ‘R-word’ – racist?

Not necessarily. I don’t know most people well enough to make such an assertion. I tend to believe that most people aren’t overt racists – not consciously, anyway. And that’s not a back-handed slam: I’ve been in a relationship with a black woman (now married) for over 12 years. Until I was dating her for a couple of years, I had no idea how unconsciously racist I was in so many tiny but cumulatively world-shaping ways.

But let me ask you something: Where were all the spontaneous white/conservative uprisings from 2008-2008. GW Bush, to use an epithet presently applied to Carter, was a complete idiot politically. And yet he surrounded himself with people (like Cheney, Wolfowitz, and Rumsfeld) who weren’t idiots at all – they were ideologues in service to a neoconservative agenda exemplified by the Project for a New American Century, which has as its stated aim to extend a new American imperialism over the entire planet. (Not very conservative if you ask me – hence the ‘neo’ I guess). So we get into a little war that ends the lives of over 100,000 women, children, men and soldiers, and costs $3 TRILLION dollars – money we didn’t and don’t have. Based on half-@$$ed ‘intelligence.’ Let me ask you this: Why was it only the hippie peacenik liberals who marched against the war efforts in 2002-2003? Where were the tea-baggers, and town-hallers then? Heck, where were they when Bush himself, in the waning days of his presidency, authorized the first bailouts?

Nowhere, that’s where.

Racist Obama Sign 5Barack Obama has been president for less than nine months. He inherited, by any sane estimate, a $#!tload of problems from the previous decade. And yet right out of the gates folks are foaming at the mouth to bring him and his associates (and any perceived associates) down, and for what? Trying to fix the economic situation (my conservative friends and I agree on this – I don’t think Wall Street should be bailed out. I’m with this economist David Korten. But tell that to Big Business, the ultimate expression of Late Capitalism – they’re sure as hell not complaining), and trying to provide affordable and effective health insurance to everyone? I can understand political disagreement (and intelligent dissent), but bringing weapons to town halls, holding up signs with Obama’s face and horrible racist screeds?

I’ll ask again: Where was all this anger, vitriol, hysteria and fear these past 8 years? Why is (yes, I’ll name it) conservative, white America literally up in arms now when it was pacified as a contented mewling lamb during the Bush years? Why was W tolerable, even laudable, whilst O is Obaminable?

I’m helping raise an interracial family in a multiethnic neighborhood, so it doesn’t please me to ‘play the race card.’ It doesn’t make me happy to consider the possibility that this current state of affairs is fueled by racial fears and tensions, because to acknowledge such a potential pits neighbor against neighbor in my community – the ideas involved pit my little girl’s own blended genetics against herself. I don’t toss ‘white fear’ out there lightly. Racist Obama Sign 6

But let’s compare the previous eight years with the past nine months, shall we? Did each administration…

  • Take polarizing stances on social issues? Check.
  • Increase the size and power of the Federal government? Check.
  • Earmark lots of money for an initiative unpopular with a sizeable chunk of America? Check.

So: What’s the difference between GWB & BHO that has made these very different spiritual climates to live in? I have to say, the color of our Leader-in-Chief’s skin – with all the historical, cultural, and power-related pain this entails – is the most glaring difference.

This reality isn’t up for debate in my mind when I look at the barely-contained rage of so many indignant whites. My question is: What are people of faith, hope, and love to do given this reality? Are friends and followers of Jesus – and people of goodwill everywhere – going to turn a blind eye to this steadily-creeping phenomenon, much like Europe did toward Jewish people in the 1920s and 30s? Or are we going to confront this head-on, name it with love but resolve, and seek to diffuse these tensions by polemic-free debate that focuses on policy and not identity politics, and that throws parties rather than keeping locked up behind barred doors and picket fences? Me and my house, we choose the latter – God help us.

43 Responses to Is White Conservative America Afraid of Barack Obama?

  1. Matthew September 20, 2009 at 5:09 pm #

    As a white conservative American… no, nothing Obama is suggesting scares me.

    However, the fear and gradual descent into madness that many seemingly rational people scares me… especially those that profess faith in Christ. I just want to grab and shake them and scream at them: “YOU BELONG TO CHRIST JESUS, YOU ARE A VESSEL OF THE HOLY SPIRT, YOU CONTAIN THE VERY IMAGE OF THE SOVEREIGN LORD OF THE UNIVERSE, QUIT BEING SUCH A GOSH-DARN PANTYWAIST!!!”

    Sorry for going all-caps on ya there, but I’m just tired of all the nonsense. 😉

  2. Mike September 20, 2009 at 5:32 pm #

    “In this country, if you are poor there’s a good chance it is because you’re too lazy to work.”

    “I think that many of my fellow caucasian peeps are afraid of nonwhite people in power.”

    What really is the difference in logic between these two statements? None whatsoever. It’s broad-brushing in both cases.

  3. ellenharoutunian September 20, 2009 at 5:46 pm #

    Let’s admit that we do all have a significant suspicion of the “other”, any “other” than our own group. Even more, it is difficult to see God inhabiting the lives of the “other”; we are convinced that if He is with “us” than He cannot be out there. As you say, “My question is: What are people of faith, hope, and love to do given this reality?”

  4. Eileen September 20, 2009 at 5:46 pm #

    As a die hard independent, it is difficult for me to sit in either Christian or secular groups. I hate the extreme emotions I am seeing from BOTH sides. The jury is still out on me for Obama. Yea, he scares me a bit, living in MA (the bluest of states) we have had a preview of Health Care Reform, it was put thru here a couple years back, and it totally sux for all involved. I call it “The Teddy Plan” Our premiums went up by 40%. Many people are still without insurance, but now they are criminals because it is required by law in MA. The reform hit the lower middle class the hardest. A young, single woman who is pregnant,living on her own and working one and a half jobs does not qualify for free state insurance, but would have to give up her housing to be able to pay for the “affordable” state insurance. Employers found it cheaper to pay the penalty then provide insurance, so lots of them dropped it. Oh yea, and illegals get free can see the plan by searching for MassHealth. That in itself concerns me.

    But I have to say this, if it wasn’t for people bringing up the presidents race all the time I would forget he was black. I actually do at times, then I read something like this and I think, oh yea, he’s black. Crazy…I don’t care about his race, and I never have, so it’s difficult for me to think there are people who do care. I am sick of being called a racist whenever I disagree with something he does. I disagreed with Bush plenty, and no one ever called me a racist for that.

    • Steven September 20, 2009 at 7:18 pm #

      Eileen, if it’s any comfort, you don’t sound at all racist to me. The MA health care plan seems like a good example of how NOT to do it. A good plan should reduce costs, especially for the lower middle class, not increase them.

    • Jessica September 26, 2009 at 3:43 am #


  5. Kris September 20, 2009 at 5:49 pm #

    This idiot neo cons are going to cause a 2nd Civil War if they get their way. I for one know what side I will take if said war happens.

  6. Kris September 20, 2009 at 5:50 pm #

    meant to say these, opps

  7. Kris September 20, 2009 at 5:54 pm #

    However as a veteran of Iraq. Literally 99% of the people killed in Iraq have been killed by insurgents, not us. Mercifully that three trillion debt we picked up cause of these two wars is mainly owed to fellow Americans. I am going to pass on something to you about economic and national debts you might find to be interesting

  8. Jim September 20, 2009 at 5:54 pm #

    When following your earlier posts on facebook, that statement really jumped out at me as well.
    “The punchline is the same – the GOP has no stomach for Acorn, IAF, and other (Alinsky-style, people-powered) community organizing groups.”
    I used to live on the extreme conservative side of things and believe that people need be responsible for themselves, the poor are poor because they want to be, etc. However, all that changed a couple of years ago. I could point to several things as the catalyst for this change, but the real true catalyst was taking a closer look at Jesus and making an attempt to follow him instead of a religion (or government, or ideaology).
    Now, all these people who should be able to care for themselves have suddenly become my neighbors (even those who had once been my enemies) and I can’t live with the idea of just taking care of myself.
    Somehow, I’d like to try to walk the middle (between conservative and liberal), but with all the fear and angry words being throw around, it is hard not to take a side against them. I don’t want to be polarized.

  9. Strong Meat September 20, 2009 at 5:57 pm #

    “Just like I’d say many conservatives fear power-to-the-people educated urban poor.”

    What in the world does THAT mean? “…power-to-the-people educated urban poor.” Are we to interpret that as… “government educated/indoctrinated Socialist/Communist welfare recipients”?

    or are you speaking of degreed individuals who are just unwilling to work for a living?

    What a load of drivel…talk about Dick and Jane books on crack!

    • Steven September 20, 2009 at 7:24 pm #

      Many people chose low paying careers because they are more concerned with doing something worth-while than with pay. I know because that describes me for 30 years of my life.
      There is nothing wrong with making money, I’d like to be rich, myself. To assume that an educated person who is not rich is thereby lazy is simplistic.

      • Strong Meat September 21, 2009 at 4:38 pm #

        ‘worth-while’ is not enough!

        “Many people chose low paying careers because they are more concerned with doing something worth-while than with pay. I know because that describes me for 30 years of my life.”

        This is a clear ‘definition of lazy’.

        Some of the top paying positions in this country are ‘concerned with doing something worth-while’. As a matter of fact, MOST positions available today are ‘concerned with doing something worth-while’. (IE., Government and Health-care. The only two industries left untouched by the economic collapse.) ‘I’m sure Mr. Obama considers his career as ‘concerned with doing something worth-while’. At least HE decided not to stay POOR while doing it.

        I feel for ya, but get up and do something productive along with the ‘worth-while’.

  10. Alice Lafferty September 20, 2009 at 6:03 pm #

    Mike – I will say to you what I’ve said for many years. I think there’s going to be a big surprise in the great by and by. I just don’t think there’s going to be a lot of white folks in Heaven.


    • vincent torres September 20, 2009 at 9:41 pm #

      hahaha. bold and funny and I thank you for posting.

    • Jessica September 26, 2009 at 3:51 am #

      I KNOW we will not care in Heaven if we are white or black. We will be spending our time worshiping the Creator of the Universe. Alice, I am ashamed that anyone would make a statement like this.

  11. Elaine September 20, 2009 at 6:21 pm #

    I consider myself a moderate and am appalled by the animosity I hear online and in the news between neighbors and friends.

    Thanks Mike for speaking up. You have captured many of my own thoughts on this whole Obama bashing – Republican/Democrat, liberal/conservative thing that is going on.

    I’ve become so frustrated I wanted to close my facebook account. I’ve tried inviting people into “conversation” not debate – but they don’t seem to get it or want it or ?

    It is an insult to my intelligence and theirs to act like Obama got us in this place – ALL by himself. He’s only been in office 9 months. (and this whole messiah thing is an embarrassment to me as a Christian.)

    If we surrender to either extreme, it will not be the world either of us want to leave our children, grandchildren and future generations.

    Do I agree 100% with everything you have written – probably not – maybe 97%.

    Jimmy Carter who is one of the most ethical, Christian, caring and kind Presidents we have had in modern times – is being bashed because he has verbalized what many of us are thinking. The church is sexiest and this country is racist – and yes there are varying degrees of each.)

    The outrage directed at Obama over the government bailout and healthcare is totally out of proportion to the issues – which says to me something much deeper and darker is behind this much emotion.

    • PJ September 20, 2009 at 7:53 pm #

      Some white conservative and fundamental Christians are just trying to serve their idols such as money, power, pleasure, fraternity and security in their religious culture–Christianity. I don’t know who have contributed in bringing in these idols into their mindsets, lives and churches, but they are so un-Christian. How did their Christianity got where they are today?

    • Betsy February 5, 2010 at 4:58 am #

      What a great post! I agree with Elaine that “something deeper and darker is behind this much emotion.” Somehow, the neo-right “Wing-Nuts” feel justified in letting their racism explode concerning the president. Thier churches don’t condemn the racism, and they surround themselves with friends who think just as they do.. . then they tune into the “HATE AND FEAR” media to add fuel to a raging fire. I’m afraid that we’ve lost the days of having a heated political debate, then putting differences aside and going to lunch.

      I’m curious about the mentality behind the conservative, religious Obama bashers. I truly believe that THEY believe that GOD is on their side. If GOD is with THEM, everyone ELSE must be EVIL. Then, of course, President Obama is EVIL AND he is BLACK, AND he shows compassion to homosexuals, etc., etc.

      I’ve never heard one “HATE AND FEAR” pundit (Limbaugh, Beck, O’Reilly …) put sensationalist politics aside and offer a single statement of praise to our president. No matter what your politics, you must admit that the president has an incredible, praiseworthy, healthy, functional family. As the Bible says, “By their fruits you shall know them.” Also the Bible says, “Blessed are the peace makers…” President Obama proved that he was a peace maker when he spoke to a packed auditorium in Cairo — full of our Muslim “enemies”.

      Why don’t the right-wing commentators toss the president a bone of praise once in awhile? I think it’s because HATE and FEAR sell! They do not seek “fair and balanced” at all! I’m pledging to stand up for the president — not necessarily all of his policies — but for the man and his mission of hope.

  12. Joe Machuta September 20, 2009 at 6:25 pm #

    Excellent Post Mike and right from the heart. It is from my heart also but, perhaps I have been too interested in marketing and being acceptable to potential clients to speak the truth as you have. This is a great sermon brother. Preach it!!!

  13. Irritable September 20, 2009 at 6:35 pm #

    Mike, you rock.

  14. Geoff September 20, 2009 at 6:38 pm #

    First, your use of “tea-baggers” is insulting & coarsens the discourse.

    Secondly, conservatives have been complaining about overspending. It’s just now it is overspending * 10, which is causing an increased reaction.

    • mrsmetaphor September 22, 2009 at 3:05 pm #

      I don’t see Mike’s use of it here as an attempt to coarsen the discourse…”tea-baggers” is a term that my friends who actually go to these tea parties and the “tea bag” friendly media outlets have adopted themselves. I think it’s ironic that they do not know the street lingo interpretation of it, frankly.

  15. Hugh Hollowell September 20, 2009 at 6:47 pm #


    When you wrestle with a pig, you both get dirty, but the pig likes it.

    Just sayin,


  16. Bert September 20, 2009 at 6:54 pm #

    The signs speak for themselves. It isn’t enough for these people to provide legitimate policy arguments against the Obama administration. They have to demonize him. You would think that evangelicals who pride themselves on taking the New Testament literally would conduct themselves with more humility, civility, and grace. Sadly, that’s not what we’re seeing. As Tony Campolo always asks, why don’t outsiders see Jesus embodied in the white evangelical community?

    • Jessica September 26, 2009 at 3:56 am #

      Interesting… I am sure glad no one ever demonized our previous president. Only conservatives do that it seems.

  17. Steven September 20, 2009 at 7:35 pm #

    It strikes me that some, not all, of the extreme criticism of Pres. Jimmy Carter comes because he is white, Christian man who respects African Americans. To some, being a “n***** lover” is worse than being African American. Yes, people have other reasons for disrespecting or just disagreeing with Mr. Carter, I’m just saying it is out there. I know because I have experienced that kind of racism.

  18. John Lunt September 20, 2009 at 8:35 pm #

    The blog entry started out balanced, but Mike, it went way off. First, I think race is playing a VERY LIMITED rold in this. For some people race will always be an issue. I don’t agree that it is a major issue however. Here’s what I believe are the issues

    Cap and trade. The administration says it will cost American families about 40 cents per day or about 150.00 a year. But internal memos indicate a cost more like 1500 dollars a year. That’s substantial and represents a certain untruth in the administration.

    Health Care Reform – we’ll cut costs because we’ll bend the curve. Somehow the government will be more efficient than those evil profiteering insurance companies. When is the government really more efficient. They always build layers and layers of government that end up more expensive and less efficient. I know a lot of Vets who wish they had gone the route of private insurance instead of the VA. Indeed the Federal Government now has lots of unfunded future liabilities to contend with and this administration wants to add to it to the tune of a trillion dollars. If Obama wants us to believe he can do it, start saving some of that money now. Prove it to us. I don’t believe him.

    The stimulus package was full of pork barrel appropriations. Obama didn’t even try hard to stop it. By the way, yes he did inherit problems but his deficit is now 2-3 times what Bushe’s worst deficit was.

    Do we have problems? Yes. Should there be changes? yes. But I don’t believe the changes he is proposing will be a long term benefit.

    By the way. It’s a bit inflammatory on your part to refer to the Van Jones situation as a “lynching.’ If it is, he provided the rope. I did watch some of his own statements. With his political past, his marxist approach, people aren’t afraid of his race but his ideology.

    I too have worked a lot among the homeless. I am not afraid of people of color. When some of our guys were getting jobs and getting off the streets I celebrated.

    I voted for John McCain but I did take pride that the United States had come so far down the road that a person of color could be elected to the highest office in the land.

    But that does not mean I must sit by quietly if I believe that what the President is trying to do is detrimental to this nation. In that I will remain the loyal opposition.

    • Jessica September 26, 2009 at 4:00 am #

      well said!

  19. sonja September 20, 2009 at 8:47 pm #

    I don’t have a problem with coherent, rational, gracious disagreement … the sort that does not resort to name-calling or pejoratives.

    In fact, a healthy vibrant democracy depends on people disagreeing and working through those issues towards agreement to thrive. The current environment is symptom of the fact that our system is no longer healthy … it’s very sick.

  20. Kate September 20, 2009 at 11:33 pm #

    The 9/11 group was started by a man who was ‘tired’ of the survivors of 9/11 ‘whining’ and wanted to get back to the feeling of community that we had in this nation on 9/12/01. I ask you, looking at that crowd, what would you take away? The major feeling was fear, the major answer to most questions were jumbled or a mixture of what you hear on certain ‘news’ programs, and when asked to explain the difference between communism, socialism, and fascism, most thought they are all similar,if not identical. Cap and trade was a product thought up by a crony of Ronald Reagan. When Bush took the Iraq war off of the books, and took us into Debt, very few said ‘Boo’, and some who did got fired… by him! Obama can’t dod this alone, he can’t ‘prove’ anything with a Congress Hell bent on feeding the special interests that have gotten us into this mess. If the Republicans ‘Just say No’ to everything they can go home next year and call this the ‘do nothing Congress’…. And THEY will have been the ones putting the brakes on! Van Jones’ books (IF you read them) are full of Capitalist ideas, but it’s easier to be fed ideas than come to your own conclusions. We Could have the Best health care in the world, but as it stands, every 12 minutes, IN AMERICA SOMEONE DIES BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T HAVE ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE. I, personally, think we could do better. It has to do with how it’s delivered. And have many roadblocks are put up, etc. The system is broken, and it needs to be changed, and I don’t need to call anyone names to get my point across. And furthermore, when someone says “Liberal….”, etc They have already left the argument on the playground -because they have no point!

  21. amymezzell September 21, 2009 at 1:45 am #

    Thanks for the post, Mike! I’m slowly learning to not care what friends and relatives think of my positions either, but your blog posts like this help me along. It’s hard for me to see Jesus in much of the “Christian/right wing conservative” beliefs, and it saddens me when I see how divided and hateful Christians are about issues.

  22. Geoff September 21, 2009 at 4:39 am #

    “Some white conservative and fundamental Christians are just trying to serve their idols such as money, power, pleasure, fraternity and security in their religious culture–Christianity. I don’t know who have contributed in bringing in these idols into their mindsets, lives and churches, but they are so un-Christian. How did their Christianity got where they are today?”

    Come on.

    What if I said white liberal Christians are just trying to serve their main idol, the government? As Jesus frequently said, “blessed is the man who uses the power of government to give someone else’s money to the poor even though said programs may have many unintended consequences which is detrimental to society as a whole and the poor themselves.”

    • rob September 21, 2009 at 5:35 pm #

      Respectfullyis reply

      …right. I wonder why Americans don’t stand up and riot or throw “tea parties” when foreign aid is given to tsunami victims or the AIDS crisis in Africa. What the heck? That’s my tax payer dollars going to people who have nothing to do with me, or benefit me! The government is stealing my money to give to the poor and those in need! Travesty!

      Fact is, we in America do hold a principle (bi-partisanly) of helping those in need, and MOST of the time we are proud of it, as we should be! America, known as the country that’s first on the scene during times of crisis worldwide. It’s not necessarily a partisan principle, it’s an American principle. We hold health care as a human right by giving foreign aid and issuing emergency care here in the United States (of which we all pay for anyways), let’s hold that same principle here in the U.S. for our hardworking, lower-income citizens please… Fact is, our economy would not function without the lower-class….

      Granted, i believe the church should be leading the way when it comes to poverty and health care and people in need, but unfortunately (according to a 2008 Christianity Today article) the average American church spends more than 80% of it’s revenue inwardly (i.e. pastors wages, new buildings, keeping the lights on…[also of which the GOVERNMENT indirectly pays for through tax credits, oh no!])instead of cycling that revenue outwardly into the community like the Great Commission calls it to, so the church has lost much credibility and value when it comes to social justice concerns. Instead, they allow the Government the PRIVILEGE of serving the poor and needy, and I say kudos to community organizers, government organizations, and even churches that are doing their part in empowering the less-privileged!

  23. brambonius September 21, 2009 at 1:33 pm #

    Americans scare me. GWB did scare me, and this anti-Obama stuff scares me too… And the thing is, I don’t see the point at all. I even fail to see why Obama would be ‘left’ or ‘socialist’, 2 things I have no problem with (we have so-called socialist in our government here) or ‘liberal’ (political liberal irritate the hell out of me here, but Obama surely ain’t one.

    If I’d compare Obama with one of our belgian party, he’d be something conservative more like christian democrats than like anything else. Only he is a lot more christian that de CD’s we have over here…

    If someone can explain to me what’s wrong about Obama, fine. I still don’t see it. He doesn’t scare the hell out of me like GWB did, and he is way more balanced…

    Americans are a strange breed indeed…



  24. dan horwedel September 21, 2009 at 2:51 pm #

    Good post, Mike. Thanks for saying it.

  25. bakdon September 21, 2009 at 3:05 pm #

    Mike, excellent article and I am certain very difficult and even painful to write. But thank you.

    I applaud your rigorous mind, thoughtful heart and robust faith in Jesus.

  26. austin September 21, 2009 at 3:08 pm #

    Oooh, I got quoted here! Cool!

    “The punchline is the same – the GOP has no stomach for Acorn, IAF, and other (Alinsky-style, people-powered) community organizing groups.”


  27. rob September 21, 2009 at 5:08 pm #

    Fear is truly one of the greatest marketing ploys out there; almost like the clowns and lions and tigers of a tremendous media circus, with the likes of Glenn Beck and other bias, ridiculous commentators as ring leaders. I just hope that this commentary is revealed for what it truly is, and doesn’t cause more harm to the common American worker or add to the imaginary stigma of progression.

  28. Conservative & Sane September 21, 2009 at 10:38 pm #

    Obamama-care is in trouble. Time to play the race card and paint all white conservatives with the same brush. Jimmy Carter really needs to crawl back under the rock of his failed presidency. Obama needs to start acting like a president and stop acting like nanny-in-chief. If he wants respect, he needs to earn it. GWB faced the media and his critics (and their accompanying derogatory photos) without calling them names, Obama can do at least that much. Can’t he?

  29. natrimony September 24, 2009 at 11:26 pm #

    Fascism grew out of leftist power-broking Mike. I would say that most of the gun-toting, townhallers are truly upset at the corruption of our government. Yes, too bad they didn’t notice it until now. However, Obama is not the problem…progressivism is……the demonization of legitimate self-interest is. Obama is simply the most visible representation of the sophistry which has come to characterize Beltway bully pulpiteers.

    Racism exists. However, because racism exists does that mean that the people must be afraid to critique their elected officials? Is it possible that a majority of white conservatives actually aren’t hating Obama because he’s black but because of the ideology which he represents? I hope that in the future Americans will still BE ABLE to vocally oppose our President, no matter what color his skin is, without fearing that they have somehow committed a hate crime.

  30. Awaken Yoshikawa October 29, 2009 at 7:43 pm #

    Conservatives are hoping and praying that the truism that people don’t remember yesterday will hold true. They figure if they keep attacking and attacking and attacking with lies and half-truths, the public will eventually start singing the same tune.

    The truth is they have no ideas, or at least no ideas that nobody is in favor of, so they have to attack someone who does. I kind of think there is a big surprise coming in the 2010 election. We Americans are very funny people. We don’t appreciate the non-stop beat up of anyone.

    But I do listen to conservative stations and I seriously doubt censorship will take them off air. No what will take them is repetition. They each repeat the exact same words and ideas over and over. They are talking points given that must be followed. That is what will people say, yeah, we heard already 1,000 times.


  1. Links for September 20th | jonathan stegall: creative tension - September 21, 2009

    […] Is White Conservative America Afraid of Barack Obama? « zoecarnate […]

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