Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Why Jan Brewer's Behavior Energizes African-American Voters

To the people who said that there was no element of racism involved in Jan Brewer's behavior towards the President: you don't have the authority to decide for the rest of us what is and isn't racist. I'm not about to sit here and attempt to change the minds of those who truly don't believe that racism had anything to do with this. If you don't understand it already, you probably still wouldn't even if I did explain it to you. In this instance, it isn't even necessary to think that racism played a role in this.

I'm not sure what kind of upbringing Jan Brewer received, but my parents taught me to have enough respect (for myself and for our family) not to engage in that sort of tacky, ill-tempered behavior. It was emphasized that this was inappropriate for civilized and educated people, especially in public! If I ever found out that my child pointed her finger in any one's face, the consequences would be severe enough for her to never again make that mistake. I think that if you're a person who finds yourself pointing fingers in the faces of others, perhaps you ought to reevaluate your standards.

Even though Brewer was crass enough to behave this way, I think it would have been inexcusable for Obama to then do it back to her. My mom and dad explained to me that the behavior of others was not a valid excuse for compromising my own standards. It seems that Obama was raised the same way.

He behaved like a gentleman even as this Brewer person cackled at him. That tells me a lot about the kind of respect that he has for all women. It also shows me that he has the ability to keep a cool head, even when he is challenged by less stable people.

That is why this incident fires up many African-Americans. It's not really her finger pointing. It's his reaction to it that fires folks up. We all know that the GOP would love to be able to portray him as the stereotypical "angry negro". Heck, they already attempt it even when he does respond to them with grace! Obama seems to understand that there is an added layer of responsibility that goes along with being the nation's first black President. He has consistently shown us that he does not take this responsibility lightly.

This finger-pointing incident fires up many people, because this has been a very tiresome three years. The whining Republicans have fought every single thing that the President has tried to accomplish. Now we're waist-deep in the election cycle and the Republican nominees are all on display for the world to examine. When we look at the antics of that parade of fools and compare it to Obama's reaction to this, the contrast is so great that we can shake our malaise and do something to keep those buffoons from embarrassing us all by voting for someone who can represent us well.

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