Editor’s Note: The following letter, received by email, is a response to Barbara Howard’s July 31 column in the South Florida Times titled, The Politics of Blackness: Sometimes I wonder what racism really is.
Dear Barbara Howard:
I read the article that you wrote in the South Florida Times regarding President Barack Obama’s ability to help reform our current health care system. It would have been fine if you had simply stuck to the topic at hand.
Question: Have you ever lived in a country where there is socialized medicine? I have. And I must tell you, it is way more civil than the current healthcare system we have here in the United States. News flash: I have known people who have exhausted their savings and lost their homes because of medical bills, all due to the current health care system. The past 43 presidents of this beautiful country did not have to be concerned with walking through the doors of a hospital that would turn them away on face value, or lose their home because they owe so much money for medical expenses, or because they do not have health coverage.
To make a long story short, you quoted your mother, but I just wish you had discussed this article with your mother, just before you pressed the “send” button to the editor of the South Florida Times.
Why? Because there is nothing more disheartening than reading an article written by a person who appears to be conscious of what is going on around them in this world, all the while truly suffering from a carnal disbelief in one’s people. Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, your mother should have taught you to love yourself and have confidence in the many contributions that we as a race of people have made in this country, for this country. Yes, we can and we DID jump over a huge hurdle. But we still have a long way to go. Your very words pull us back 50 years.
It is sad because President Obama represents you, me, and all of America. Period. Did you not read the book, Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison, 1952? If not, perhaps you should.
Please, Ms. Howard, take a moment, step back, and the next time you feel the need to mix “isms” with health care reform and the current president of these United States of America, all in one paragraph, ask yourself, “What would W.E.B. Dubois, or Booker T. Washington or Mary McLeod Bethune say regarding what I am about to publish about the president of the United States of America?”
If you review those thoughts, and your conscious mind says, “Yes,’’ then push the “send” button.