Letter: Writer says racism plays part in Obama criticism

Nov. 22, 2013 @ 11:12 PM

Editor,

I’m responding to Dan Smith’s Oct. 23 column that started with the U.S. House’s federal government shutdown. “This kind of stance always hurts the country,” wrote Smith. Agreed. This shutdown helped China propagandists, not to mention the Russians, with this concocted mess hurting democracy’s appeal to especially China’s young.

My short teaching tenure in Beijing 33 years ago provided opportunity to see American soft power at work at the university and hospital levels. In this battle for hearts and minds in China, the Republican-led shutdown was a clear defeat for our democracy and a clean win for the Communist Party.

That is, American democracy equals gridlock. President Obama’s grounding by this shutdown kept him in Washington, D.C. instead of Asian meetings: Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation and Association of Southwest Asian Nations summits. This allowed the U.S.A. to be completely upstaged by China’s Xi: the clear message being China has a functioning government, and America doesn’t. At this point, I’m not even discussing the roughly $24 billion damage to our economy or the unknown damage to our national defense cause by this Republican action

We’re a divided people, but Smith’s “around 50 percent either way” isn’t correct. Democrats have turned out more voters even in Al Core’s popular vote “victory” in 2000, not to mention Obama’s majority wins. It’s true that we’re not a Protestant majority today; we do not have one Protestant justice on the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time in our history. Any claim today that we’re a “Christian nation” doesn’t mesh with the Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Church of Rome. Neither Jesus’ nor Paul’s world included terms like “church” or “Christian.”

“We are determined to go our own way in spite of what it is costing the country...,” wrote Smith. Agreed. George W. Bush’s endless wars and credit-card money tossed to the wind in exporting democracy at the barrel of a gun seems to have been his administration’s primary goal, while President Obama’s primary goal is to end these wars as he is currently doing or has already done.

The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. It was passed as a Heritage/Republican/Romney plan, and upheld by the Supreme Court. It had Republican input, but not one Republican voted for it. They lost--and they are still losing.

Obama-haters slander the President as simply “Obama,” as Smith did, while he named “George Bush” (meaning either George H.W. Bush or George W. Bush). And he demonized those millions of Americans who think the ACA is “good,” to use his word, as being non-thinking people. Rubbish. 

Finally, can we have racism without racists? Yes. One can reach racist outcomes without being a racist. I think this is exactly what Smith did to “Obama” in this piece of tripe. We have witnessed so much disrespect for this President from Republicans that it’s unreal. They will never be comfortable with a black man in the White House. They can’t stand to even look at him. “Skewed Christianity,” huh? The issue is race. 

B.J. Paschal

Pigeon Forge