I well remember my childhood best friend. Tony and I were the masters of construction for our class. We knew just how to maximize every component of the massive, industrial-strength wooden block set. No other kid in kindergarten could match the height of our buildings or the length of our bridges.
Of course, we cooperated with the daily rituals of learning the alphabet and numbers, reinforced with campy songs. But free time was what we were there for. We were guys. We built stuff together. It was what we did.
One afternoon while driving home from school in the family Oldsmobile, my ears perked up when I heard Tony’s name mentioned from the front seat. My mother and the other mom in our carpool were talking with a tone of some concern. I asked what was wrong.
My mother explained that some of the other moms had been grumbling that a black family was now attending our school. It was very evident to me, even at the age of five, that the two moms in the front seat were dismayed at the inappropriate behavior of the other parents. I wanted to know who was this family at the center of the big controversy. “You know, Mark; your friend Tony.”
The next day in school, while erecting one of our most elaborate bridges, I paused to take a closer look at Tony. I remember studying his ear and realizing for the first time that his skin was dark. I found it interesting but inconsequential. I got back to focusing on the task at hand and Tony never seemed to notice my staring at the side of his head.
My genetic makeup has me as your average-looking Caucasian. I have lived most of my life in the majority race in the United States. But I also spent a few years in the minority in a Hispanic country in my teens and in South Africa in my twenties. And it is evident from my life experiences that the natural occurrence of cultural diversities make life intriguing and colorful. It is also evident that racial prejudice is an uncivil virus perpetuated by egotistical megalomaniacs with self-serving agenda.
Following those tracks, perhaps the most contrived moment in U.S. Presidential history came on Friday when Barack Obama surprised the White House Press Corps (pronounced kôr, Mr. President) by showing up unannounced to the daily briefing session. This is the sort of event created by a President to share with all of America about public concerns that deserve strong leadership and direction. Perhaps we might learn that they finally caught the perpetrator of the IRS scandal, or Benghazi, or Fast & Furious, or Extortion 17.
Instead, the President decided to address the pop culture curiosity of a Florida criminal trial promoted by a carpetbagger named Jesse Jackson and a scalawag named Al Sharpton, both masquerading as “reverends.” President Obama told 300 million head-scratching civilians that the person killed in the Florida scuffle “could have been me.”
The President went on to explain that, “There are very few African-Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often.” He expanded on the explanation with, “That happens to me, at least before I was a senator.”
He may as well have said, “That could have been me. I could have been disco dancing in synch with four other guys all wearing bell bottoms and ruffled shirts with our collars turned up. We could have just finished timing our distributors and playing our 45s and correcting our typewriter mistakes with whiteout. Or I might have just stepped out of my Datsun, playing my transistor radio too loud, offending the Van de Kamps lady at the five-and-dime.” I thought only standup comics were still stuck in that time warp.
But instead of celebrating the melting pot that nearly every American under the age of 50 assumes as fashionable, President Obama took over the microphone specifically to contraflow our e pluribus unum.
And what would motivate the most liberal president in history to pick that old scab? Why would his Attorney General explore ways to keep alive conversations of racial divide in the media? It is because the President and his accomplices are doing some very un-American things. And they see an opportunity to transform every objection to their socialist agenda into an expression of prejudice against a black president.
Well into his second term, America’s first black president stepped up to the barely-flickering embers of racial prejudice with a bucket in his hands. He could have gifted the nation with historical healing by dousing it with water from the Potomac. Instead, he poured gasoline from Saudi Arabia and hoped for a new flare up.
A woman friend of mine responded with, “I would not have clutched my purse around Barack Obama before he was senator. I clutch my purse around him now.”