The Right’s Race Issue

By Guest Contributor

The day that Barack Obama became the nation’s first African American President is one that will forever live in our history books. Many Americans felt a sense of pride due to our ugly history filled with slavery, discrimination and hatred towards African Americans and many other minority groups.

Even before Obama was inaugurated, neo-conservative Rush Limbaugh stated “I hope he fails.”

Obama and many other Americans of minority backgrounds became the target of visceral lies charged with blatant racism and xenophobia.

The Tea Party has become obsessed with claiming Obama was born in Kenya and therefore not eligible to be President. Despite the mounting evidence against their ridiculous claims, Maricopa County [Ariz.] Sheriff Joe Arpaio wasted tax dollars to go down to Hawaii to try to find evidence to support his “birther” claims. provided a strong analysis against the “birther” theory in August 2008. staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. It has been concluded that the certificate does indeed meet all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false. The conclusion: Obama was born in the United States, just as he has always said.

“No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place where both of us were born and raised.”

Those were the words Mitt Romney spoke in his home state of Michigan, as he attempted to fire up the conservative base that has criticized his conservative credentials. Mitt Romney is one of many Republicans to make racist comments towards President Obama, and other members of minority groups.

Rick Santorum was quoted as saying, “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.”

Representative Sally Kern (R-Oklahoma City) stated, “We have a high percentage of blacks in prison, and that’s tragic, but are they in prison just because they are black or because they don’t want to study as hard in school? I’ve taught school, and I saw a lot of people of color who didn’t study hard because they said the government would take care of them.”

When confronted by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on the issue of Republicans playing the race card, Republican National Committee Chariman Reince Priebus stated that Obama is “looking to Europe for guidance.”

Word of advice Reince: next time you want to make it seem like you party does not have tremendous antipathy towards minorities, don’t falsely compare Obama’s policies to those of Europe. While being labeled as “European” is one of the worst insults from a Republican, many European nations are frankly doing things a lot better than we are. Gay marriage is recognized by all European Union nations, and The World Health Organization rankings list 22 European nations ahead of America in their Health Care rankings.

Republicans should look to Europe for inspiration. Only two percent of delegates at the Republican National Convention were African American. Despite throwing a few token minorities on the stage, such as Susana Martinez, Mia Love, Artur Davis and Marco Rubio, nobody confuses the GOP as a big tent party. When the vast majority of your party members are white, it would be safe to assume most of them are of European descent.

The past four years have been a sad reminder that our nation still has a very long way to go in our battle against discrimination. Almost every piece of legislation proposed by Democrats during the last four years has been blocked by a racist Republican agenda aimed at making Obama’s presidency a failure.

If you don’t believe me, ask House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. He said, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

If they really cared so much about the economy, The Tea Party would have rallied against Former President George W. Bush’s war in Iraq, which eventually crippled our economy. At the very least, they would approve a jobs bill aimed at putting veterans back to work.

The current Republican Party is one of racism and oppression. Let’s hope for the good of the nation that they can return to the Republican Party that ended slavery.

Let’s hope this November, Americans choose a president who symbolizes the progress we have made, not one who wants to bring us back to the dark years that have tarnished our history.

Written by WILL SCHWARTZ ’16, from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania