Has President Obama Been Treated With Respect Like His Predecessors?

Name:Institution:Instructor:Date:Has President Obama Been Treated With Respect Like His Predecessors?Racial discrimination has been a subject of discussion in America since colonial times. Racial discrimination refers to prejudice of individuals with regard to the color of their skin. Black Americans and, generally, the black people living in America were short of ‘particular’ privileges because of their skin color. White Americans have associated for a long time black skin with inferiority in all facets of life, including education, profession, and leadership. Accordingly, in the history of America, civil rights movements were rampant and certain persons remain prominent in the story of America for spearheading campaigns against racism. These include Martin Luther King and Karl Marx among others. Racial discrimination had penetrated in all sectors even in the transport sector such that no African would be allowed to sit in a bus while an American was standing. With this degree of racism, no one would ever imagine that Americans would stand a black President to lead their country. This was the common notion until August 2008 when Barack Obama broke the belief by becoming the first African American President in the US (King 3).His election process was not one without issues related to racism. Even though many believe that racism has ceased in America, there are evident traces that it still influences the way Americans think and perform their duties. During his campaign for the presidency, many dismissed his plea for votes on the basis that he had an African ancestral origin. His competitors and perpetrators sought to disqualify his eligibility by launching conspiracies regarding his citizenship. Obama was born of an African father and an American mother and raised in Hawaii. Though he had an African ancestral origin, he was born and raised in the US hence he qualifies to be a US citizen by birth. Article II of the US Constitution requires that for one to qualify as a presidential nominee, he/she be a US citizen by birth. Under this fact, many criticized Obama’s citizenship with some claiming that he was born in Kenya while others sought to disqualify his eligibility due to his biracial nature. Though these objections were politically allied, it can be observed that they are founded on racial platforms (Nittle 1).Africans have been discriminated in Asian, American, and European countries due to the color of their skin. Hence, it is evident that President Obama has faced numerous political hitches prior and later to becoming the president of the US, all these having racial discrimination platforms. Though he performed exemplarily in his first term, being re-elected to serve for a second term, this does not mean that he is no longer viewed as an African American. Most Americans love Obama and his way of leadership; however, there are those who cannot stop seeing his African nature. This paper will discuss various instances in which president Obama has been treated with disrespect owing to his ancestral lineage as an African.BOYCOTT OF THE BIPARTISAN SUMMITAfter Barrack Obama was elected as the US president, he organized a dinner summit for all the elected members of the Senate and Legislature. This was a bipartisan meeting scheduled to discuss ways to implement his manifesto while implementing the American agenda. Surprisingly, leaders allied with the Democratic Party were all present, but none of the Republican leadership attended the summit. The misconduct seems to have been based on political interests and hence the absence of the Republican allied leaders. However, a similar scenario has never happened before in the reign of American leadership. Obama became the 48th President of the US, but unlike his predecessors, he had an African ancestral background. Accordingly, this misconduct can partly be allied to political interests while, in the most important part, it can be attached to racial discrimination (New York Times 30).POLITICAL SKETCH OF OBAMABefore and after his accession into rule, President Obama has been painted as a subhuman in email transmissions, posters, and graphics that were used to sabotage him. Even if it is common for presidential aspirants and other politicians to be turned into cartoons, those referring to Obama had some aspect of racial discrimination. Obama has been presented as an Islamic Terrorist, a shoeshine and a chimp among other cartoons. Considering that Obama holds an African background and racism has always related Africans with chimpanzees, his caricature as chimp relates to racial disrespect. When Marilyn Davenport (Elected official of the Republican Party) circulated emails containing Obama and his parents depicted as chimps, this stirred a hot debate on the connection between the cartoons and racism. All the same, she defended herself that she was out to demonstrate political satire; however, it is understood that this was prompted by racism.CONSPIRACY THAT OBAMA IS A MUSLIMSimilar to the citizenship/birth debate run by Obama’s political enemies is the claim that he is a Muslim. Obama severally declared that he is a Christian and has never practiced the Muslim religion. For example, at the National Prayer Breakfast that was held in February 2011, Obama described his father to have been a non-believer, same to his female parent. One would wonder why all these rumors about Obama being a Muslim despite the several occasions when he has made contrary declarations. These religious-related public scandals alleged towards Obama have never happened to any of President Obama’s predecessors. This could be a scapegoat to hating Obama in that instead of declaring that one does not love him because he is black, then they would say they hate him because he is a Muslim (Walsh n.p).OTHER POLITICAL ATTACKSIn other incidences, President Obama was treated in a manner that was not obvious to presidents and consequently depicted racial disrespect. A demonstrator was once caught carrying a banner referring to President Obama as an arrogant Kenyan. The mention of ancestral origin shows that the hatred the demonstrators have towards Obama is linked to his ancestral origin. If this were referring to any of Obama’s predecessors, probably it would read “we do not want socialism” so as to refer to anyone who appears to be introducing socialism in America (Nittle 2). Similarly, South Carolina Representative, Joe Wilson was cited shouting, “you lie” to president Obama while he was delivering a speech before the congress on healthcare. This was referring to Obama stating that illegal immigrants would not be covered under the health system that his government was instituting. If such comments were being pointed to Obama’s predecessors, immediate action would have succeeded. These two aspects depict different incidences in which President Obama has been treated with disrespect, unlike his predecessors (Marlantes n.p).There are also instances when Obama, as a president, has been shown due respect, similarly to his predecessors. With the dire support and respect of the Americans, Obama has managed to steer the nation together for more than one political calendar. The fact that America has given him a second term unlike other Native American Presidents such as George Bush and Jimmy Carter, who were not re-elected after their first term, shows that he is respected and supported like, just as his predecessors who were Native Americans. Therefore, President Obama has been treated with due respect similar to his predecessors and racism has not affected his love by Americans (Dionne n.p).CONCLUSIONRacism was so rampant in America in the 20th and earlier centuries such that no African American would be granted equal professional, leadership, and educational rights with Native Americans. Salvation for African Americans seemed to have been reached when Obama was voted the 48th America’s President in 2008. Nevertheless, various incidences of disrespect to him as a President with an African background show that racism still exists in America. Political rivals of Obama have for a long time debated over Obama’s US citizenship saying that he is biracial, and with respect to the US Constitution is not eligible to be the US President. These claims are partly based on political motives but also on racial platforms.Similarly, Obama’s rivals have constantly claimed that he is a Muslim and thus the reason for their hatred towards him. Despite the fact that Obama has made public declarations concerning his religion, they seem to hold a contrary opinion. Therefore, these claims can be said to go further beyond religion to racism. On another note, Obama has been mocked on various instances by use of cartoons that depict him as a chimp. Even if such political mockeries have always existed, that of Obama being a chimp, given the historical racial idea of black originating from the chimps, goes beyond political motives. This is political mockery grounded in racism.Lastly, on various occasions, Obama has been treated by citizens and politicians with lesser respect than his predecessor. For instance, the fact that the Republican allied leaders boycotted his bipartisan summit depicts racism. In aIDition, a senior political leader shouts to the president while making a public aIDress that he is a liar and no dire action was taken towards his actions. Similarly, a demonstrator is depicted holding a poster referring to Obama as an arrogant Kenyan. Any sincere demonstrator would not have chosen to indicate Obama’s ancestral origin as this depicts disrespect grounded in racism.
Works CitedDionne, Jr., E. J. “The Case For Barack Obama. (Cover Story).” Time 180.20 (2012): 42-47.Academic Search Premier. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.King, Richard H. “Becoming Black, Becoming President.” Patterns of Prejudice 45.1/2 (2011):62-85. Academic Search Premier. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.Marlantes, Liz. “Obama vs. Boehner speech spat: Another sign of presidential disrespect?”Christian Science Monitor 02 Sept. 2011: N.PAG. Academic Search Premier. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.Nittle, Nadra K. “Three of the Most Racist Anti-Obama Political Attacks”. 2011. Web Source.http://racerelations.about.com/od/trailblazers/a/Three-Of-The-Most-Racist-Anti-Obama-Political-Attacks.htm. Retrieved on 21st November 2013.“New York post in Racism row over chimp cartoon.” The Guardian Wednesday 18February 2009. Web. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/feb/18/new-york-post-cartoon-race. Retrieved on 21st November 2013.Walsh, Kenneth T. “Matters of Faith at the White House.” U.S. News Digital Weekly 2.34(2010): 9. Business Source Complete. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.“With All Disrespect, Mr. President.” New York Times 19 Nov. 2010: 30. Academic SearchPremier. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.