This may surprise some people, but I didn’t vote for President Barack Obama. I didn’t vote for John McCain either. But who I voted for is not the issue. Who’s in office and the respect due that office is. I have been utterly appalled at the blatant disrespect for the President and the office. I expect hecklers on the campaign trail but not from among US representatives or gay rights activists and to heckle the President in the middle of a presidential speech. Whether you are a Democrat, Independent or Republican, heterosexual or homosexual, you are obligated to respect President Obama and the office of the President of the United States of America.
Why is respecting Obama and his office so hard for some people? I especially don’t understand the disrespect coming from gays, with Obama being their greatest presidential advocate. Well, some people, like my girl Kim, say the heckling is based on racism. No other reason for the disrespect makes sense to me. Thinking about Obama’s political experience had me thinking about the experiences of other African Americans and politics, and what I found, as many of us know, is that race is always a factor. And too often people inject racism—“a terrible cancer eating at our hearts” to borrow the phrase from poet Nikki Giovanni, in the equation under the guise of family values and patriotism. I am pretty traditional in some of my views, but enough is enough. We can disagree without being disrespectful. Consider Giovanni’s take on Abraham Lincoln, blacks, and American politics in her poem “The American Vision of Abraham Lincoln AT THIS MOMENT” and let me know what you think about the poem and my view.