When President Obama was elected, I was prouder of my country than I have ever been. I dared to think that Americans had finally grown up and turned a corner on the poisonous hate of racism and, in truth, half the electorate has. But too many of our citizens made a U-turn back into racist muck.
The hate-mongering began during the presidential campaign. Who can ever forget the McCain/Palin rally where Palin was trying to whip the crowd into a frenzy by demonizing Obama as a terrorist. She succeeded. "Kill him," a member of the crowd shouted.
Since President Obama took office, racism has continued steaming up like swamp gas from every Republican/Tea Party/right-wing fundamentalist rabble-rousing orifice. So pervasive is the hate-Obama campaign that the entire Republican contingent in Congress turned its back on this nation and set a seditious agenda to bring down Obama's Presidency by obstructing, blockading, stalling, misrepresenting, lying and saying "No" to whatever this administration wanted to accomplish.
Anyone who has studied history recognizes the bullying scenario: Appeal to the most primitive human fear--fear of the "Other." Demonize Obama into a fearsome "other"--someone unlike "us." Enlist a propaganda agency--in this case, the misnamed Fox News--and a few willing hate-mongers who command large audiences to spread the word. Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin slide neatly into those slots. Then spread lies about Obama designed to scare people to death. So the lies proliferate about Obama's birth, his citizenship, his political philosophy, and his religion. In February 2009, Rupert Murdoch's right-wing tabloid, the New York Post, published a racist cartoon that depicted Obama as a chimpanzee being shot by cops. More recently, Tea Party signs depict him as Hitler and Lenin.