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On Healthcare and Racism

I have tried not to comment on what I've seen happening to our country's health care debate. I've sat by and watched our Republican brothers and sisters treat our president like he's a homie in the 'hood with their disrespect. I have done all I can do to not weigh in, but the time has come when I can no longer stay silent.

No matter how you feel about President Obama's plan to reform health care, it's no question that reform is needed. I don't have health care because the company I work for doesn't offer it to its part-time employees. I'm thankful that I'm fairly healthy. If I weren't, I'd be in trouble. I know a guy who can't get insurance because the transplants he had to cure his diabetes put in the pre-existing condition category. He recently had to sell some of his property to have a procedure done on his foot. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

I don't understand why it's such a big deal to have a governmental-run option for health care. It would be different if we were talking about shutting down the insurance companies altogether. All the president wants to do offer an affordable means to get the care people need.

That really should be the extent of what's being said. Unfortunately, racism has reared its ugly head. If you think it hasn't, you can politely stop reading now and keep it moving. You obviously live in a fantasy world and you won't like what I have to say.

For the rest of you...

President Carter -- an 85-year-old Southern-born gentleman -- said it best when he told NBC News:

I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African-American. I live in the South, and I've seen the South come a long way, and I've seen the rest of the country that shares the South's attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African-Americans.

That racism inclination still exists, and I think it's bubbled up to the surface because of belief among many white people -- not just in the South but around the country -- that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It's an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply.

No matter how you feel, that's what's real. And I'm glad that a White man said it because when Black people level charges of racism, those who are trying to get out of the term's ugly cover love to say that the ol' race card is being played.

What really kills me is all those people who say we live in a post-racial America. Give me a break. There's no such place -- at least not yet. I'm not saying that it can never exist, it just doesn't exist now. And it won't happen in our lifetime unless we acknowledge the problem.

Having a Black president is a good step in the right direction. However, it does no good if his opposition is hell-bent on discrediting and disrespecting him. I, for one, am tired of everyone acting like it's not true.

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