Despite the “browning of America” and the election of the first African American man as President in 2008, this country has witnessed an increase in prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against Americans of a race other than white based on the belief that the white race is superior. There are many Americans who are deluded in thinking that racism targets just African Americans since Republicans cannot get over the people electing a Black President. However, it is clear to anyone with a brain that Republicans express their despicable racial animus towards African Americans, Latinos, and Asians, and now a white American soldier held as a prisoner of war by the Taliban as well as the soldier’s white parents.
It is true that Republicans, teabaggers, and various conservative pundits are not attacking ex-prisoner of war Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl because he is white, but it is true that every attack on Bergdahl is founded in the entire conservative movement’s racial animus aimed at President Obama; not the circumstances of Sergeant Bergdahl’s capture, or the conditions of the prisoner exchange that brought him home. The giveaway that all the animus toward Sergeant Bergdahl is based in conservative racism usually reserved for people of color, particular the person of color in the Oval Office, is the Republican hypocrisy they have demonstrated over the past five years holding President Obama to a different set of standards than his white Republican predecessors.
First, the Republicans are hypocrites for assailing President Obama for negotiating Bergdahl’s release through a prisoner exchange of 5 Guantanamo detainees. Lindsey Graham threatened to impeach the President because he allegedly did not go to Congress 30 days before the exchange, but it has been revealed that as early as 2011 the President informed Congress the United States was considering a swap for Bergdahl. In fact, there was an outcry from all manner of conservatives, including perennial loudmouth Sarah Palin who now regularly attacks Bergdahl as a deserter. For the record, at best Bergdahl was absent without leave (AWOL) when he was captured by the Taliban that negates the filthy lie conservatives are promoting to sully Sergeant Bergdahl’s reputation because the African American President negotiated his release.
Republicans, including former prisoner of war John McCain who was released from his North Vietnamese captors in a Nixon-brokered prisoner exchange, have lambasted the President for releasing Guantanamo detainees into the custody of Qatar officials. Many conservatives assert that Bergdahl’s life did not warrant saving if the cost was releasing 5 so-called Taliban fighters, but they certainly had no problems, or called for special investigations, when George W. Bush, a white guy, released over 500 Guantanamo detainees back to fight against American soldiers in exchange for nothing. Republicans also failed to attack hostages held by Iranian terrorists upon their release when conservative demigod Ronald Reagan ignored an American arms embargo and traded 1,500 missiles to Iran to secure the hostages’ release. If trading arms for hostages, or in John McCain’s case, enemy combatants for American prisoners of war, did not warrant conservative outrage and attacks on those released under white Republican presidents, then conservative attacks on Bergdahl are as a surrogate for the African American President who secured his release.
Now, the real giveaway that Republicans’ attacks on Bergdahl are based on their racial animus towards President Obama is their instantaneous one-hundred-and-eighty degree shift from “bring ‘our’ soldier home” to “Bergdahl is a deserter” when the African American President announced the prisoner of war was coming home. It is important to note that Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was not, and has not been, charged with or formally accused of anything. In fact until his release by the Taliban, he was an active-duty U.S. Army sergeant being held as a prisoner of war worthy of the solemn commitment all men and women in uniform deserve; “We leave no soldier behind on the battlefield.” Unless of course an African American President orders the exchange and then Republicans transfer their racial hatred for President Obama onto Sergeant Bergdahl branding him a traitor and a deserter.
Regarding the claims by cretins such as Palin and Fox News talking heads that Bergdahl is a traitor, he escaped his captors twice, once for three days until they “found him in a hand-dug trench, nearly naked and exhausted.” It took 5 Taliban soldiers to finally subdue Sergeant Bergdahl who fought to avoid being recaptured; that does not sound like a deserter or a traitor. Also, there has been criticism against Bergdahl, and his parents, for their political views, particularly Sgt. Bergdahl’s disenchantment with the Afghan War and the mistreatment of innocent Afghani civilians that led him be be “ashamed of America.” It is safe to say there are many, many Americans ashamed of America based on the death and devastation this country wrought on both Afghanistan and Iraq for ideology, profit for Dick Cheney’s company, and enriching the military industrial complex.
Bowe Bergdahl has been condemned by the popular media, by social networks, by all manner of conservative pundits and Republican politicians not because they know any details, but because they hate the Black President that secured his release. The Republicans’ are still entrenched in their five year contention that Barack Obama is not American because he is Black, and if he is not American then the prisoner of war he brought home is not an American and must be a traitor. He was not a traitor for the five years he was held captive while conservatives pushed to “bring our soldier home at any cost.”
None of this sickening Republican outrage is about Sergeant Bergdahl, or his family, it is about an African American President Republicans claim is not American, not capable of being patriotic. And because he fulfilled America’s promise to its fighting men and women to “leave no soldier behind,” Sergeant Bergdahl is the recipient of conservatives’ racial hatred for this President that they would rather have left an American soldier to die at the hands of the enemy than bring him home; even after they condemned the President for abandoning an American soldier to his enemy captors.
Republicans are so consumed by racial animus and rage that they have finally sunk to a level of attacking a white American soldier, a prisoner of war, as surrogate for Barack Obama. The conservative movement appeared to have sunk to the depths of depravity when they shutdown the government and tried to destroy the good faith and credit of the United States that was borne of racial hatred for this President. However, all their anti-American actions over the past five years pale in comparison to attacking a young man who volunteered to fight and die for his country, was held in captivity as a prisoner of war for five years, and escaped his captors twice, only to be the recipient of Republicans’ racial hatred for the President that negotiated his return home. Racism is a vile cancer that has metastasized to such a level in the conservative movement that their racial animus is extending to a white American soldier as surrogate for the Black President who brought him home. Conservatives have indeed hit rock bottom.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.