I Am NOT Afraid

Cross-Posted@ Daily Kos

I know lots of you disagree with me, but I am not afraid for President Obama's life. I have never been afraid for his life. Yes, I realize there are crazy people out there and there are "more" threats against Obama's life than any other recent President. The only thing that surprised me when I heard that was that it's only 30 a day. But still I'm not afraid.

Yes, I'm Black, but I never even entertained the thought of not supporting Obama because I was afraid someone would kill him.

Yes, I know he had to get Secret Service protection earlier in the campaign than anyone else who didn't already have it.

I know these things. I know racism is still alive and well. But I am not afraid.

Perhaps it's because I'm part of that younger generation who has largely gotten this far in life without being subjected to outright racism. We came about when the racists were the minority, not the majority. Racism wasn't the law of the land when we were born. Perhaps it's because I never thought my own life was in danger because I'm Black.

I agree that racism is alive and thriving in some areas of this country and among some racial groups, but that group is largely becoming even more of a minority than it was before. Most of the country watching what's going on are appalled, they aren't cheering these wackos on. Those racists who are so proud to be racist are the MINORITY. Obama's election did not create any racists who weren't already that way. Maybe before his election those people were doing a better job of "hiding" their racism, but they were still racists. There are some people out there who just hate Obama regardless of his skin color, just like there were people out there who hated every president. That's just life.

I trust the Secret Service to keep him safe.

Racism is a real problem in America, mostly because no one seems to want to deal with it. People complain about it constantly, but don't really want to do anything to remedy it because it may not be politically expedient.

I think Michelle put it best during the campaign:


and again in Phoenix

She called on another supporter, whose voice quivered and broke with barely contained emotion as she explained how important it is to her, personally, that our country change course. She explained that she had just returned from Oregon where she campaigned for Obama and attended the 75,000-person rally by the river. She had noticed, she said, that the Secret Service had increased security dramatically for Barack Obama's rallies since the Phoenix rally in January.

The room collectively gasped and murmured, some aghast that these fears were being spoken aloud directly to Barack Obama's wife. Some nodded, concern and fear on their faces. Others shifted on their feet, displaying a range of emotions -- concern, discomfort with the topic, indignation.

The woman continued: "What can you tell us..." and then her voice caught and broke as a sob rose up from her chest. She paused for a moment. "I'm afraid of what might happen. What can you tell us, after last week's comments--" another sob-- "after last week's comments, to make us feel more at ease?" She cried unabashedly after finally getting out her words.

The room that had been electrified with positive energy throughout the evening suddenly became still and quiet, all eyes focused on Michelle Obama. Michelle Obama's eyes, though, were focused on that concerned supporter. She paused, allowing the clearly distraught supporter to pull herself together. Maybe it was 30 seconds before Obama spoke, stretched out into imaginary minutes. Finally, she said firmly, "I'm ok. Really. I am ok. And if I'm ok, you should be ok.

"You know, we talked about this as a family."

She held the microphone with one hand, the other curved inward over her heart as she talked. Her tenor and body language was clear. Michelle Obama was talking as a mother. She was introspective and intimate, looking the questioner in the eyes as if they are the only two in the room.

"We talked about this as a family."

The room remained still and quiet. Imagine having that talk with your children. Then, she paused, gathering herself, pulling herself up, seeming to grow even taller, Michelle, the campaigning wife returns. She says,

"I've talked about this before. Barack is probably safer now than he was before. Kids are dying in the street in our community. They get shot walking to class, sitting in school, taking the bus home. They are dying in the street.... Send us good vibes. Pray for us. Think positive thoughts. But most of all, be vigilant. Be vigilant about stopping this kind of talk.It's not funny. You don't have to like Barack to dislike that kind of talk. Be vigilant about stopping that kind of talk."

Then she reminded the crowd what we are fighting for, and why it is important to forge ahead without fear. "Fear is the reason this country is where it is today. Fear is a useless emotion. Don't ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions based on hope and possibility. Make decisions based on what should happen, not what shouldn't. Don't ever make decisions based on fear."

So yes, I see the racism, I know what's going on, but I'm not afraid.

Cross-Posted@ Daily Kos
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