So last night was the big speech Obama made about the Health Care Reform. It was a speech that was very interesting, outlined a lot of what the plan would do and not do. Of course it’s a heated debate over the entire country from people who crave change to those who are so set against it they have made it their political goal to speak against it. Obviously this is no light matter. The truth of it is that this country hasn’t had a true health care reform in a hundred years! And now its finally catching up to us. We are the only Democratic country who pays the amount of money we do (which is more than almost all other democratic countries heal care systems COMBINED) but we still don’t have good health coverage! Change can be scary, but the end result of our current health care system is even scarier.
In any case what I was most shocked about during this whole thing was what happened during the speech. I was texting with a friend during the speech and we were commenting on it throughout. This person, I should add, is against Obama and his administration so it was an interesting (and civil) debate over the phone between us and as a side note… this person isn’t very political at all and doesn’t really understand it much. In other words, very ignorant… like a person entering a fight just because it’s a fight, without looking at WHY the fight is taking places. Anyways at one point during the speech while Obama was addressing how the new health care plan would NOT support the illegal immigrants living in the country, a Republican stood up and shouted “You are a liar!!!!” interrupting Obama and making him pause and stare them down. Suddenly a got a text:
“Yes! That was awesome!”
I replied “How is that awesome? It shows disrespect and ignorance. I don’t care if it’s a Repub or Demo talking, let them talk”
“Yes that’s true but God it drives me crazy that people applaud Obama! The only reason he gets applauded is that because he is black and has a history of speaking well, like King Jr”
I was shocked that this person would even MENTION the fact that Obama is black so I prodded them to continue, “So wait, it’s important that he is Black that everyone is listening to him?”
“Important?? It’s the REASON he is in office! People that voted for him did it because they wanted to make history. Whites wanted to apologize and give a Black a chance, the Blacks wanted to get their own person in office to make history, and the others that voted did so because they honestly didn’t know any better.”
I was shocked by all of this. It’s amazing to me that this kind of thinking actually exists, and at the very least in the north. I know racial tensions are always very high in the south but I thought the northern parts of the country were at the very least more progressive. To see my friend say that was astonishing to me and I thought would make available for comments on what others felt. Do other people feel Obama was elected for history-making purposes due to his color? Was he elected because he stood for something that this country believed and needed? Was he elected because there just wasn’t any other good choice to make between him or McCain?
I know I voted him in because the time for change had to be now and I liked the change he was proposing. His message, his politics, his attitude, his desire for unity… all of it made me think about a country that was whole again and not tattered after the Bush administration.