by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World
It is one of the most controversial cards you can play. The not-simple act of thinking about the possibility of pulling it is to engage in battle. We are talking about the race card. Specifically today, we are talking about how it applies to President Barack Obama.
The Hill reports that on Friday Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, “strongly suggested that members of Congress are making it difficult for President Obama to raise the debt ceiling because of his race.” As she spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives, Jackson Lee specifically stated:
“I do not understand what I think is the maligning and maliciousness [toward] this president. Why is he different?…In the minority community, that is the question that is being raised. Why is this president being treated so disrespectfully? Why has the debt limit been raised 60 times? Why did the leader of the Senate continually talk about his job is to bring the president down to make sure he is unelected?….I am particularly sensitive to the fact that only this president — only this one, only this one — has received the kind of attacks and disagreement and inability to work, only this one…. Read between the lines. What is different about this president that should put him in a position that he should not receive the same kind of respectful treatment when it is necessary to raise the debt limit in order to pay our bills, something required by both statute and the 14th amendment?”
Jackson Lee rounded off the vocalization of her observations stating that she hopes her eyes are wrong — that she hopes Mr. President is not in this day and time being treated differently because of the color of his skin. She is right when she says that many members of the black community ponder on the latter. Many African Americans would agree it is true that it appears like President Obama catches an exceptional amount of unwarranted flack in comparison with former presidents. It is also a fact that we will never have a definitive answer to our inquiries unless those we believe to be the perpetrators fess up. Considering that such an act is not likely to occur, it looks like we will forever be wondering if the intellect and achievement of a black person will ever be able to overshadow the color of his or her skin.
Ayvaunn Penn is a spoken word artist and an award winning writer completing her degree in English and philosophy. For more of her witty-word works click here. To have your original poetry featured by Ms. Penn on Your Black Poets, click here.