By Dr. Ellen K. Rudolph
Sometimes I think the whole world is falling down around our feet, including right here at home. Recently I read the following commentary about something the conservative analyst Newt Gingrich offered in reference to the anti-colonial leanings of President Obama.
The problem here is not so much who said what but, rather, what was said about Mr. Gingrich without any basis in fact.
Here is the original commentary that appeared in a Virginia newspaper. See what you think:
WHAT’S NEWT DRINKING?
“Newt Gingrich has finally convinced me that I am not paranoid. After President Obama’s election, I sensed an anger in some quarters that I thought was far too intense for the policies expected from his administration.
I suspected that some of the disquiet was due to racism. Some folks were not merely uncomfortable with an African American in the presidency, they were furious about it. The detractors adamantly proclaimed that race had nothing to do with any of their criticism. Was I a bit too sensitive?
Unfortunately it turns out that at least some of those who dislike Obama do so in part because he’s a person of color
with extraordinary credentials.
There’s no other explanation for Newt’s nonsensical rant that Obama may be “so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]…”
As Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post noted: “What in the world is ‘Kenyan, anti- colonial behavior’ supposed to mean? That Obama is waging a secret campaign to free us from the yoke of British oppression?”
The obvious answer is that “Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior” really means: “Don’t forget, Obama is black.” And somehow, while white presidents can be trusted to respond to consti- tuencies of all races and policies with worldwide implications regardless of who the president’s parents were, Newt blathers that a black, like Obama, can only react as his biological father might have reacted.
Newt’s psychoanalysis of Obama is not grounded in fact or experience, since Obama’s father was not in his life after the age of 2. But the pop psychologist in me leads me to conclude that Newt’s real problem is that he is simply “impotent… [and] …limp” in contemplating this African- American president who is a little too good-looking and accomplished for Newt’s world view.”
To me, Deborah’s prickly letter misses the point. The more important question is, WHAT IS NEWT READING?
Newt Gingrich, in case you missed it, was referring to a compelling article entitled How Obama Thinks by Dinesh D’Souza, president of King’s College in New York City and author of the forthcoming book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage. You can find the article at Forbes.com
Deborah should have taken the time to read the D’Souza article before demeaning Mr. Gingrich with unsubstantiated claims of racism, since his ‘nonsensical rant’ is clearly a transparent warning about the perils of anti-colonialism.
Anti-colonialism views America and its military as a force for ‘global domination and destruction.’ At best, it is about class warfare.
For Obama’s long-dead, Harvard-educated economist father, from whom our President lays claim to his own anti-colonial ideology, this means: “We need to eliminate power structures that have been built through excessive accumulation so that not only a few individuals shall control a vast magnitude of resources as is the case now.” The senior Obama also proposed (yes, in the mid-50’s) that the state confiscate private land and raise taxes with no upper limit on the ‘oppressive rich class’.
According to his anti-colonialist way of thinking, American imperialism was trampling the peoples of the world and it must be stopped by any means possible, preferrably by bankrupting America and toppling it from its global superpower position.
SURPRISE, SURPRISE: a great many Americans are deeply worried about this today.
Indeed, these ideas have an erie ring of familiarity as we observe his son’s collective Presidential maneuvers — maneuvers that are food for thought, not fuel for racist fires.
Newt merely begs the question: “Are we willing to be ruled by the antiquated dreams of a Luo tribesman from the 1950’s?”
His question is provocative, yes, but also worrisome if Gingrich and Dinesh D’Souza are right. They are looking for the theoretical framework that underlies Obama’s political posturing and they think they have found it.
Let’s be clear here: those who point insulting fingers, like Deborah, and call people racist, are projecting their own racist inclinations onto others. This is a standard psychological ploy called PROJECTION that characterizes the communications of anxious individuals. Projection is akin to the timeless game of hot potato where no one has to own up to their own psychological shortcomings by passing the buck to others, who may or may not warrant the scrutiny.
Whatever happened to the art of listening? Or to common courtesy? What’s with all the name-calling? All questions are good questions, right? And it seems to me that in a Republic like ours citizens have both the right and a responsibility to ask hard questions when our leaders do and say things that concern us.
No American President deserves our unquestioning allegiance. They must earn it. And, if you look at the polls, both partisan and nonpartisan, they clearly show that 70% of Americans today are deeply troubled by the direction that President Obama is taking our country.
The day we can no longer ask hard questions is the day our Republic starts coming apart at the seams, brick by brick. That’s the stuff of communism, or socialism — it is not what has made our country great.