Snubbing President Obama?

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

Nashville was honored by having the President of the United States of America visit one of our schools to offer accolades and acknowledge the role Tennessee is taking in presenting commendable progress, becoming a model for other states in uplifting and improving education. It is no secret that Tennessee has previously ranked among the lowest states in student achievement especially as it pertains to standardized tests performance. However, with innovative changes and federal economical help, it is evident that promising academic changes are taking place. This is ever so prevalent in the turnaround that has taken place at McGavock Comprehensive High School capturing attention worthy of national accolades. This is an accomplishment that any community, city, or state could be proud of and claim bragging rights to.

The students at McGavock saw it as a once in a lifetime event and historic honor to have the President of the United States come to their school and praise and honor their progress. Some of our top representatives in the state could learn how to extend the same respect and courtesy that the students showed our president. It was apparent without doubt that the students were elated and extremely proud to have the president at their school. They did not hesitate to make him feel welcomed.

Let’s hope some of our elected officials can follow by the student’s example, especially Gov. Bill Haslam. Many in the community are outraged at what they interpret as a snub by our governor who for the second time found an excuse to avoid personally meeting and welcoming the president when he visited our state. The first time was when the President came to Chattanooga. Regardless of the excuses made, it is speculated by many that Gov. Haslam had no intention of publically meeting and greeting the president. Meeting and greeting the President of the United States is an unwritten courtesy and basically expected by state governors when the president visit their states. Regardless of political ideologies or party differences, it is the right thing to do.

The truth of the matter is this type of behavior fuels those in the Black community who insist racist and bigoted attitudes, associated with some Whites in the south, are still blatantly alive. Too many politicians inability to divorce their personal disagreements regardless of circumstances, show they lack the ability to compromise, Therefore, they are incapable of representing the interests of many of the people who elected them. Too often, unrelenting party affiliation makes many elected officials blind to real solutions that may be in the best interests of the public. However, many people (especially people of color) are incensed with the lack of respect and support for President Barrack Obama. There has been no time in the history of the United States when a president has been so disrespected. Many of us were taught to respect the office of the President of the United States of America, regardless of who holds that position.

We have had other presidents with whom we disagreed, but they were still treated with respect. But now it seems it is open season on disrespecting the president and adamantly going against anything he pushes. Tea Party Republicans argue that their blatant disrespect and polarized position is fueled by political differences as concerns the direction the country is headed in. But many call it for what it: ‘bald faced racism.’ It seems that having a Black president changes the traditional protocol of how to treat a president. Surely everything our president advocates for can’t be wrong.

I would like to thank the students at McGavock for showing many of our political leaders how to treat your guests as well as showing many adults that promoting racism should not be on your generation’s agenda. It’s okay to love and support a president who is not White regardless of what you might have been told. Racism dies when young loving hearts, refusing to become adulterated, reject it.