You can dress it up however you wish. You can say he's a Muslim. You can say he's an Arab. You can decry his "palling around with terrorists." You can whine about something his former pastor said a long time ago. You can bitch about his lack of experience (or the fact he wasn't the mayor of some teeny little burg in the snowy wilderness). You can pretend his birth certificate isn't valid. You can protest he will change our national anthem, or re-arrange the American flag, which he doesn't salute anyway.
There are all sorts of things you can say about President-elect Barack Obama; in fact most of them have been said - over and over again, ad nauseum.
But those things are all a cover for another word that most people are hesitant to speak out loud: he's a n------!
Robin Shulman writes in the Washington Post of a journey to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, a town which contains not a few people who still cling to their guns and religion along with hatred of black people.
Shulman spoke with a couple eating breakfast at Denny's the morning after...you know, after "that one" won.
The woman is 62. She wears a diamond-studded cross around her neck.
She says, "I don't believe a black person should be president."
And there you have it. Racism front and center. From someone wearing what has been the symbol of Christianity for 1700 years - since the time of Constantine. Ironically, the person wearing that symbol denies by her words, just like Peter, the savior that cross represents!
Shulman says, "Few people acknowledge racial prejudice as nakedly as" this lady. But it's found in every corner of this Pennsylvania town. Michelle Obama hates her country, says one. Obama can't be trusted, says another.
To be sure, there are many not overtly prejudiced and others who overcame whatever latent prejudice they may have had and voted for Obama because they were convinced he was the best man for the job.
But, in Wilkes-Barre, in Boston, in Atlanta, in Los Angeles, in Houston, in Minneapolis, in Chicago, in Boise, in Sacramento, in Colorado Springs, in Milwaukee, in Cleveland, in Detroit, in St. Louis, and in all the cities and towns in between, racism is alive and well. It may wear different clothes in all these places, but the clothing does not disquise what's underneath.
And sometimes racism rears its ugly head unexpectedly. Julie Myers, the Bush administration's Head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, came under fire in 2007 for attending a "Halloween party honoring a white employee dressed as an escaped prisoner with dreadlocks and makeup that made him look African-American or Hispanic."
Myers apologized. She's leaving the Bushite family on November 15. Not soon enough!
Fortunately, not merely for Senator Obama, but for our nation, a sufficient number of our citizens rejected the racist claims when they entered the voting booths.
But, to our eternal misfortune, and to our ever-lasting shame, we shall always have people who reek of racism in our midst - those uneducated, mentally-deficient, ignorant, hateful and stupid people, who judge other human beings, not on their merits, but on the color of their skin.
We'll just have to overpower them whenever and wherever they appear - as we did yesterday!