The quest for equality and civil rights in America is more challenging than ever, despite electing Barack Obama. Just as the South still hasn’t given up on winning the War of Northern Aggression (otherwise known as The Civil War), the fight for equal rights and fair treatment of all Americans is ongoing. Unlike the days of Eisenhower, where moderate Republicans set the agenda, the racist fringe of the GOP is much more comfortable with bigotry and white supremacy, bragging openly about their disdain for our President. Country Star, Hank Williams, in 2012 said (at a county fair), We’ve got a Muslim president who hates farming, hates the military, hates the U.S., and we hate him. This hate-speech was followed by thunderous applause, even though none of his assertions were true. Fringe groups are no longer the minority of the GOP, they set the agenda. They set the tone. They aren’t going away. The Teaparty has assured that racial discrimination is here to stay.
Although the principle of equality has always been self-evident, it has never been self-executing ― Barack Obama. More than anyone, the President has understood this tenet, simply by the obstructionism he has faced since taking office. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, so all my life, I should be seeing the racial tension in this country improving, but this is quite contrary. The most egregious example of racist hate is often uttered by Ann Coulter. The Conservative pundit and known hate monger, said Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin is making a monkey out of President Obama. Anyone familiar with the GOP shouldn’t be astonished this woman is still respected in Conservative circles. The party that embraces the (white supremacist hate group) Stormfront endorsed Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky makes no effort to hide their objection to civil rights. Ex Secretary of Defense and known war criminal, Donald Rumsfeld, had the audacity to call our President the “So-called Commander-in-Chief.” His CiC is a convicted war criminal, so his disdain for Obama is a stab at the legitimacy of a Black Commander-in-Chief.
The disrespect for African-Americans is not exclusive to members elected or appointed to high office positions. Distinguished Public Servants like Susan Rice, Van Jones and Eric Holder are not the only ones victimized by this new racist chic that predominates Conservative attitudes in America. A North Carolina Restaurant actually asked a large party of black patrons to leave because one of the white customers felt threatened by the party of twenty-five which is absolutely stunning in 2013. Not to be outdone, a church in Charlotte, NC. insisted only whites greet patrons at the door. They apologized ex post facto for their Whites Only sign, but the damage was already done.
Discrimination continues with our children of color as well in the form of prejudice toward African-American hairstyles. A seven-year old African-American girl, a great student by all accounts, was told her dreadlocks were an unacceptable style for attending her Tulsa, Oklahoma school. Right here in Las Vegas, thirteen year old Brinley Middle Schooler, Margaret Bates was told the blond color at the ends of her braids are an unacceptable color for an African-American. Sparking potential riots, the school recalled the discriminatory comment towards Margaret and amended the policy to include only naturally occurring hair colors for any person of any color. The clarification came too late, as it was obvious the racial prejudice the school has embraced.
With the obvious racial injustice expressed by the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case, our nation is at a very dangerous and volatile point when it comes to civil rights. The sinister trend these cases of discrimination are creating is surely not how we are supposed to be evolving as a society. The Republican party is obviously not geared toward inclusivity, and those intolerant of civil rights and mutual respect for one another will eventually be singled out as unacceptable.