“As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly.” Proverbs 26:11
Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s remarks about President Obama during a New York fund-raising event for Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin on Wednesday night has once again raised the eyebrows of some that have long accused those on the right of veiled racism. Giuliani responding to a question about what kind of president he would like to see elected in 2016 said, “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America.” “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up, through love of this country.”
A horrible thing to say he (Giuliani) said. No, it’s not that it was a horrible thing to say Mr. Mayor it’s just that horrible people say horrible things. You see, that above referenced quote about a dog returning to his vomit, well enough of that already. Anyhow, this latest vitriolic episode highlights once again that when trashing the president’s policies fails question his (president) patriotism, or at least blow the dog whistle that signals red meat is being served. Why do the American people allow republicans to continue to spew this foul smelling rhetoric without consequence and even worse why do networks continue to provide the soapbox upon which these race baiters stand? One would think that losing two presidential elections to the man (Obama) would signal that race-baiting strategy doesn’t work.
By a show of hands how many of you look at a colleague, friend or family member and question his or her patriotism? Is that something that scrambles your radar everyday whether or not someone loves America? Really folks, when was the last time you measured your love for America on the patriotism barometer or even asked what are the qualifications necessary to be considered a patriot. How does the way in which someone is raised determine a person’s level of patriotism? What does “He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up, through love of this country” even mean.
Oh, Oh, I know. It means the president wasn’t raised in a neighborhood where demeaning labels were used to describe people according to ethnicity. You know labels like nigger, spic, kike, etc. Is that what you mean Mr. Mayor? Is that the type of love you were talking about? Or, better yet how about this gem from President Johnson, “If you can convince the lowest white man that he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket.” “Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll even empty his pockets for you.” Yeah, how’s that for patriotism? What an example for that “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me” sentiment of yours Mr. Mayor.
Giuliani went on to say, “I want an American president to raise our spirits again, like a Ronald Reagan.” Do you mean the same Ronald Reagan that referred to black women receiving government assistance as, ‘Welfare Queens’? According to my brother Solomon, the only thing Ronald Reagan did was make racism fashionable again. Oh, and if memory serves me correctly Mr. Mayor didn’t your precious spirit raising Reagan employ the late Lee Atwater as one of his top advisers? You know the republican strategist who also served as an adviser to the first President Bush.
Let me see now, what is one of Atwater’s most noticeable accomplishments. Yeah, that’s right Let me see now, what is one of Atwater’s most noticeable accomplishments. Yeah, that’s right
“You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968, you can’t say “nigger” — that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract.” “Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… ‘We want to cut this,’ is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than ‘Nigger, nigger.” Hey, Mr. Mayor does this do it for you and your republican pals? Does this raise your spirits?
Allow me to clue you in on something Mr. Mayor or as the media likes to dub you, ‘America’s Mayor’. Though how that applies is beyond me because walking up and down the streets after 9/11 does not qualify you to carry that moniker no more than me walking by a dead dog qualifies me as America’s dog catcher. However, I digress so back to the lesson. There is no patriotism checklist Mr. Mayor. There is no manual filled with patriotism qualifications. Hell the only people I could say that come close to meeting that criteria are the men and women who serve in the armed forces and I would bet the majority of them didn’t sign up out of patriotism. Most likely, if we keep it real, it’s because of what serving offers, financial stability, and an educational opportunity. Come on now folks, keep it real.
That said however, as a black man I cannot say that I am patriotic at least not by your standards Mr. Mayor. I mean I do love America but I hate some of America’s ways. You know, kind of like that black sheep brother or sister on drugs, you love them but hate what he or she engages in. Does the fact that I don’t like the drug use make me un-brotherly? Forgive me, new word. Hell, I didn’t like some of things that Clinton did as president but I never questioned his patriotism nor do I recall you Mr. Mayor or your cohorts ever doing so. Guess it’s because Clinton never tanned eh?
But to you credit Mr. Mayor you did say your comments about President Obama were not racist because as you put it, “Some people thought it was racist — I thought that was a joke, since he was brought up by a white mother, a white grandfather, went to white schools, and most of this he learned from white people.” You know Mr. Mayor in the South during the 19th century Africans banded together in an effort to distance themselves from forced assimilation refusing for many years to refer to themselves as Americans. Why do think that was Mr. Mayor? Why do you think Africans resisted the label ‘Americans’? It wasn’t because Africans didn’t love the country, or maybe it was - hell who knows. I think mostly it was because Americans like you in those days, just as Americans like you now make a lot of us ashamed to be Americans.
Not to worry though, when you return to your folly and your regurgitations you’ll find there’s enough idiocy and vomit to go around for you and your friends. After all, even dogs get full sometimes.
Written by Jay Arrington, Maryland Daily Examiner
Jay Arrington is a featured staff writer and reporter for the Maryland Daily Examiner.