What do you really expect?
Recently, I’ve been viewing world events with greater interest than usual. Although many of us either ignore or approach world events with a sense of hopelessness and helpless resignation, I believe it’s imperative for us to maintain awareness of how the U.S. government interfaces with the rest of the world in our name.
I submit that when our government closes embassies for an indeterminate period, evacuates embassy personnel or emphatically issues travel advisories to American citizens, we cannot afford to bury our heads in the sand about world issues. Our practical involvement in world affairs becomes increasingly critical in the face of current events in the world. When we examine circumstances related to the murders in Benghazi, the deposing of presidents in Egypt, the civil unrest in Syria or the granting of asylum to Edward Snowden by Russia, we are reasonably obligated to understand the role the U.S. plays in these affairs.
Anyone analyzing current world events must also analyze the related assessments of the so-called media experts. Concurrent with that analysis is the requirement to filter these assessments through the prism of political motivation. Following my own advice, I’ve been able to develop personal clarity through my own world view on a wide range of these critical issues. I’ve also been able to confirm that, in the minds of his political opponents and critics, President Obama will never be acknowledged for his ability to manage the affairs of state.
I could attempt a counter-critique of the foreign policy critics by name, but the list would be far too lengthy for the space I have and would only mirror the lengthy list of domestic policy critics. To simplify things, let’s say that 50 percent of the raucous radical right finds it appropriate to say that President Obama hasn’t done enough. The other half says that President Obama has done too much. To confuse matters even more, every few days, they switch positions. Adding insult to injury, few, if any of them extend the courtesy of respecting the office of the presidency. For most, it’s merely Obama this or Obama that!
Whatever side of the argument to which they switch, a common theme for many of them is the complaint that “Obama’s” policies have created the diminished esteem in which the U.S. is held in the world community. This is the principal issue I most resent. I wonder if they’re too uniquely feeble-minded to understand that the disrespect shown by the world community to the president and the US is a reflection of the disrespect shown to him in the media, by some in the public and by many elected officials.
Sadly, many who lead this country also lead the assault against the president. Whether covertly or overtly, they set the example of disrespect that the weak-minded follow. From the outburst of “You lie!” during the State of the Union address to the most recent chants of “Bye Bye Black Sheep!” in Arizona or the rodeo stunt, when one considers the innumerable instances of race-based disrespect directed at the president, it isn’t difficult to understand any doubts of U.S. credibility or disdain held by our international adversaries.
I challenge political leaders who harbor animus toward our president to reconsider their oath of office:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion … So help me God.
I challenge them to consider their own roles as “enemies of the state.” After their own unconscionable behavior, I ask, “what do you really expect of others?”
Dr. E. Faye Williams is Chair of the Congress of National Black Women. She can be reached at www.nationalcongressbw.org or 202.678.6788.