I am writing to express some observations. I believe President Obama is a true and deeply earnest patriot who is comparable to Nelson Mandela. But if their positions had been reversed, President Obama would have been revered in South Africa and the bigots in this country would have attempted to destroy “Madiba.” In this country, Mandela would not have been forgiven for what had been declared terrorist activity and his imprisonment.

We sent observers to South Africa to monitor the first democratic elections, yet here and now we are experiencing the most flagrant gerrymandering in order to prohibit voting. This is unpatriotic, treasonous and a virtual apartheid.

The bigoted racist behavior of many residents of this country, particularly some members of Congress to whom we have entrusted our fate, is difficult to absorb. They are not existentialists. They are hypocrites. I wonder if their true garments are white sheets and cone-shaped hoods.

The syndetic crowd at Fox News is comparable to a “ship of fools” with radio buffoon Rush Limbaugh at the helm. The standout logical one is Juan Williams, and sometimes Geraldo Rivera. Sometimes I think “Morning Joe” on another channel should join them. He seizes every moment he can to denigrate the President and it appears very difficult for Mika to contain herself when he does so.

Alas Sean Hannity! He slandered President Clinton incessantly. He gave President Bush a break. Then came the 2008 Presidential campaign. As long as it appeared that Hillary was the Democratic frontrunner, he lambasted her non-stop. Then Obama took the lead, and Hannity has been relentless in slandering him ever since. Michelle Obama was also a constant butt of his pejorative comments, though it is not as constant now.

President Obama “stretched out the hands of fellowship” and continues to do so. Is he expected to grovel? Shortly before his first inauguration, he hosted a bipartisan dinner in Georgetown. One of the guests was Charles Krauthammer who emerged from the occasion with the highest of praise for the “soon to be President.” Shortly thereafter, Krauthammer made an about-face.

I have heard some commentators indicate that President Clinton was friendly but President Obama is cerebral. Isn’t that one of the dumbest comments ever heard? Have these people not seen the President in various locations hobnobbing with residents of these communities? Take your blinders off, folks!

In my estimation, there has been no American president who has exceeded President Obama in brilliance and intelligence. His competence in reaching his goals has been thwarted by the ugly actions of those persons in Congress who have used every constitutional means to do so. President Obama could easily have been recorded in history as the greatest president ever. The bigots could have been proud of their country as South Africa is of their progress, but they would rather be interdictive.

Despite the blockades, President Obama has maintained his dignity and had some major accomplishments early on, among which are the Lilly Ledbetter legislation, the capture of Osama Bin Laden, ending the war in Iraq and the Affordable Healthcare Act. The healthcare act is not perfect and the President has always been aware of that. He had to make concessions and compromises to get it through.

If President Obama had whisked past Raul Castro of Cuba at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service without speaking to him, his critics would have condemned him for missing an opportunity to initiate diplomatic relations and possibly free the American who has been held hostage for two years.

Critics are unyielding with their negative, warped comments. They might not be racists, but there are manifestations of inbred racial prejudices that probably have been dormant but are now awakened.

I could go on ad infinitum, but I hope and pray that the insidious evil thinking, speaking, and acting will cease.

Ethel Delaney Lee is an 88 year old political and community activist, and a retired attendance officer of the D.C. Public Schools.


Ethel Delaney Lee

Special to the AFRO