Thursday, September 17, 2009

Alan Paton wrote that immortal description of his country, South Africa, when it was in the cruel grip of apartheid in 1950. It is a description that could now apply to the United States.
As Alan Paton once cried for his country, so to must Dr. Martin Luther King be crying for his nation. Dr. King marched not only for Blacks, but for women like me, for Americans with special needs like my son - for all who lacked equality in the workplace, the classroom and in social services.
How he would decry a fellow Georgian, Jimmy Carter, who labels any of us who disagree with the policies of President Obama as racist. I am not, nor have I ever been a racist. And I am appalled the former president would dare hurl such a slur at those of us who embrace a different path for America than our president.
I do not disagree with Mr. Obama over Cap and Trade because he is African-American. I disagree because it is a misguided policy that will increase utility bills hundreds of dollars a year for users and not achieve a cleaner environment. What Cap and Trade will do is enrich the likes of George Soros and Al Gore, who own stakes in companies that will trade clean air derivatives on the commodities market.
Those of us who witnessed the upheaval of our country during the sixties, and the seminal changes that followed, felt nothing but pride when Barack Obama was sworn in as our first Black President. That I may disagree with Mr. Obama on a number of levels does not diminish the pride that Dr. King's dream was realized in less that a half-century after his courageous efforts to win equality for so many in this nation.
For Jimmy Carter I feel only shame and a measure of anger. He continuously demeaned President Bush and openly undermined the foreign policies of the Bush Administration. His animosity toward Israel has been repeatedly stated in speeches and books. His embrace of Israel's enemies is well documented. Jimmy Carter is old, embittered and in his brief tenure at the helm of this country, he established one of the most dismal presidential records. He was a failure.
This country needs neither advice nor criticism from such a failed president. The American people wisely retired you after one term, Mr. Carter. The retirement of your mouth and its racial vitriol toward those with whom you may disagree is long overdue.
And I would give the same advice to New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who used an unfounded racial slur against a southern congressman who dared to call the president a liar shortly after Mr. Obama accused those who oppose his healthcare bill of lying about its content and impact.
It seems the busiest people in Washington are not those sent there to do the nation's business, but fact checkers. The New York Times would be well served to hire one or two such people. Perhaps it would help Times reporters and columnists regain the credibility they have so shamefully squandered.

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