In 150 years, our country has gone from inhumane slavery, to segregation, to 40 years of economic improvements for African Americans, to a young generation that sees the race issue as settled and who are seeking similar improvements for the LGBT community. Yet many were left behind, and most of our society has remnants of racial fears.
Within this landscape, America was attacked by radical terrorists who are still tacitly supported by many of their disenfranchised civilization, a civilization that has not benefited from globalization, and is threatened by America’s secularism.
As America suffered her worst Recession since the Depression, President Obama rose to power, a son of an African Muslim. While the country sank deeper into debt with rising unemployment, bankruptcies and foreclosures, not wanting to waste his greatest opportunity to change America (as is always the case during the first two years) the President focused more on healthcare.
In the depth of suffering, again as is always the case, Americans turned more mistrustful and more nationalistic. Rather than empathetically quell their fears that he was not a globalist and that of course he had a legitimate birth certificate, the president heightened concerns, albeit with strong leadership in repairing America’s relationship with Muslim nations, but with unnecessary secrecy over the long form.
While providing future seeds of better relations with our Arab neighbors, the President’s timing of improving relations during our greatest recession was bound to bring out frightened prejudice. Why the President withheld the long form birth certificate is less clear.
Cynics might suggest that he purposely held out to shine a negative segregating light on those who cling to guns and religion. Supporters might say that it was wrong for a large minority to prejudice the president through steps no other president had to endure.
Nonetheless, to suggest that Birthers are simply racist is to reduce a complex issue into dumbed down, racially and politically charged sound bites. Unfortunately, racism among all civilizations will always exist and will be an issue for all Presidents, now and into the future. Tolerance, empathy, and leadership is required by our President, the leader of the free world.