May 24, 2012
I have been troubled by the recent debate because President Obama made his public announcement of his approval for same-sex marriage. Should it have created feelings of alienation or social isolation? Even though Obama's endorsement of gay marriage has placed some black pastors in an awkward position perhaps they should adopt a policy of “don’t ask-don’t tell” in the black church and end the argument.
Some Black voters and many black churches have long opposed gay marriage but they must realize that same sex marriage is not the issue, but marriage rights are the issue. As I discussed with Bob Law recently, African Americans must understand that it is alright to disagree with the president on certain issues, and yet support him.
A disturbing matter for me is some African Americans will say ‘the president is taking us for granted’. Don’t you understand we must be taken for granted? Romney takes white people and the Tea Party for granted.
It is distressing that president Obama will be criticized if he supports Black people and black agendas other than speaking at the NAACP and Urban League dinners and conventions. If he created a program designed specifically for the African American community, he will be accused of ‘playing the race card’, although Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and others opposing Mr. Obama inject some form of racism in their every word and action. It is a race thing and we should be truthful and honest. Why handicap the president?
‘Racial and Ethnic Identity and Development’ by Alicia Fedelina Chávez, Florence Guido-DiBrito state: Individuals often must filter ethnic identity through negative treatment and media messages received from others because of their race and ethnicity. These messages make it clear that people with minority status have a different ethnic make-up and one that is less than desirable within mainstream society.
Ebonya Washington noted white Republicans and Democrats are less likely to vote for their parties' candidate when she or he is Black, so who is really playing the race card?
Do you recall the president’s speech about race on March 18, 2008? He said “unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction – towards a better future for our children and our grandchildren.
This belief comes from my unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people. But it also comes from my own American story.
I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton’s Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas. I’ve gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world’s poorest nations. I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slave-owners – an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.”
It's time for black Americans to set aside our differences and prioritize our goals and agendas, and support the president. Mr. Obama will understand. Do you think Romney cares about you?
Please listen the Bernie Hayes radio program Monday through Friday at 7am and 4 pm on WGNU-920 AM, or live on the Web @ www.wgnu920am.com.
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Be Ever Wonderful!