A relative of mine on a social media site linked to a very racist, ignorant webpage. It's embarrassing. Here's a sample:
Apparently, there are still people, I'm presuming mostly older white people living in the former Confederacy, who think that Obama was born in Kenya. Many think he is an anti-Christ (although at the site there was some disagreement on when the end times were coming), that he wants to take away their guns and all sorts of other crazy things. For example, Paula Deen didn't get fired from the Food Network because she was oblivious to events of the last fifty years regarding race and society and was saying offensive things that hurt the network's ratings, but rather because her high-calorie recipes offended the First Lady. Actually, the website didn't use "First Lady" but an offensive term which I won't repeat here.
When I was in the army at the end of the Vietnam War I was stationed at Fort Devens in Massachusetts. I was a clerk but was temporarily assigned to the Headquarters on base to help with a race relations program the army was instituting then. Racial tensions were boiling in the military and someone in Washington decided it would be a good idea to spread some sensitivity and understanding among the troops. When I returned to my job in personnel the warrant officer in charge of my unit was extremely cool to me. He wouldn't release me to work full-time for race relations because I was "too valuable" but as soon as he saw the opportunity he moved me to an engineering battalion to be their company clerk. The base commander plucked me up within a week and assigned me as an instructor with the race relations program.
During the week I was in the engineering company I had to pull CQ duty one Saturday. CQ means "charge of quarters" and by definition means defending the base or something, but it really meant that I sat in the battalion headquarters and answered the phone while everyone was off for the weekend. Someone must have known of my teaching role because the desk where I was assigned was covered with racist literature. I moved it all to the side and did my shift. A week later I was reassigned to the base headquarters and finished my active duty in the army as an instructor in race relations.
That was forty years ago, in 1973.
1973 was the last of George W. Bush's six years he contracted to serve in the Air Force National Guard. While I was in Fort Devens George W. Bush was in Harvard's Business School forty miles to the east. He wasn't attending National Guard meetings. He hadn't done that for quite awhile. He wasn't excused from his commitment. No, he was AWOL. Actually, when you're AWOL over thirty days you're considered a deserter, but when your dad is a rich man with powerful political connections someone somewhere papers over that kind of thing.
At some point during his time in the National Guard, before he stopped going to meetings and doing his service commitment, he was relieved of flying. Why? There's some evidence that he had lost his nerve. Then again, there was some evidence that he couldn't pass the drug test. There is no evidence that Obama ate a dog while he was growing up.
So what do I do? Do I ignore the racism and ignorance this relative is spreading around? Mostly, that's what I do. But sometimes I can't. I'm embarrassed for my relative. But at this late stage in our lives there is nothing I can do to change her.
It's too bad because there are plenty of things to discuss politically. I've got plenty of complaints about the Obama Administration, but when my relative deals in fantastic, insane fear-mongering instead of what's actually happening in Washington, D.C. there really is no point of engaging in a dialogue. The shame of it all is that she is now at an age where she is dependent on things like Social Security and she keeps voting for the same people who keep voting to cut it. (Really, look at Paul Ryan's budget that the Republicans passed in the House.)
These two illustrations, and many more, were at that website. It's not just the "media" that calls Obama the President. It is a majority of the voters, the Electoral College, and it's the rest of the world. Except for those living in the Confederacy of the Mind.