By Louis C. Ward
NNPA Guest Columnist
Recently, retired Lt. Col Ralph Peters and Stacey Dash, both contributors on Fox News shows, blatantly disrespected President Obama on different news shows on national television. Lt. Col. Peters called our president a “total p**sy,” and actress Stacey Dash blurted “our president doesn’t give a sh*t about terrorism.”
Bill Slieve, senior vice president of programming for both networks, announced, “Earlier today, Fox contributors Lt. Col. Ralph Peters and Stacey Dash made comments on different programs that were completely inappropriate and unacceptable for our air.”
Thanks for the acknowledgement, but the damage has been done. And for me, it wasn’t enough that the contributors were suspended for two weeks. They should have been fired permanently.
First, it was bumper stickers, then road signs and memorabilia disrespecting President Obama, now it’s lawmakers, news commentators, and even candidates seeking the Republican nomination for president being discourteous to my president, your president and our president on national television and radio.
America, when will we stand up to those who disrespect Barack Obama, the first African-American President of the United States? Freedom of speech is a constitutional right in America, but defamation of character and disrespect is not. We must speak out against impertinence to the United States presidency.
When the presidency is disrespected at home, it sows seeds for foreign countries to disrespect our president as well. Look at what China and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel said to and about our president.
When he was first elected in 2008 on the platform for “Change in America,” television screens across the nation showed people, representing different ethnic groups, crying because an African-American had been elected President. Most anticipated a new day with a better life for African-Americans in the most powerful country in the world.
A new time for all people of America to come together to make America, not only the most powerful country in the world, but the greatest country in the world, where people will be able to live in harmony and, hopefully, achieve prosperity on economic and social levels.
For a short while the future of America looked bright. The dream of Dr. King, Jr. was realized, and racism seemed to be put on hold. Unfortunately, there’s always a small group of individuals within the American populace with a hidden agenda, an agenda for evil, wickedness, and the pursuit of fairness, equality and justice for just a few Americans.
As soon as Barack Obama won the election, a group of individuals huddled together and vowed to thwart his agenda for change in America. Let’s not be naïve, America, you know exactly who I am talking about. Many of those individuals are in office today.
But that’s politics! And we all know politics is a nasty business.
In 2009, when President Obama was addressing Congress, Republican Congressman Joe Wilson shouted: “You lie!” This kind of behavior is reprehensible.
I don’t ever recall anyone calling the President of the United States a liar while he addressed Congress. Why does it happen now, and why to President Obama? Can it be because he’s an African America?
My take on it is yes!
At the end of the day, America, you may not like the man, but you have to respect the Office of the President of the United States. It deserves our respect, our loyalty and our support. We must stand up America and demand that it receives as much.
Louis C. Ward is a photojournalist, community activist and contributing writer to The Orlando Times. You can find more of his work at www.orlando-times.com.