In my car this morning in St. Louis, Missouri, I saw a bumper sticker on another vehicle that read: “No More Mamas for Obama.” Sadly, the bumper sticker emblemizes the perspective that President Obama will go to great lengths to let all those lazy black people stay home and live off the government. The laziest of all are those Welfare Mamas, having lots of kids just to get more government money. If we’d only cut the cord, the Welfare Mamas would straighten up, lose weight (after all, the stereotype is that most of them are overweight), don business suits and go to work like the rest of us.
Another friend, driving near Springfield, Missouri, reported seeing a bumper sticker that read: “Don’t Re-Nig on Obama.” All this time, I thought the “N” word had been removed from our national vocabulary. At the very least, I thought it was a word you didn’t use in public. But in some circles, it is apparently a fine word to use on bumper stickers, and thus probably in conversations, speeches and billboards.
Racial prejudice seethes and and is tearing apart our national identity. At the very time when we should be coming together to innovate, inspire and motivate the underprivileged, there are many who find it easy to assign labels, and revert to outdated stereotypes.
President Obama is leading by example, and daily proving that these stereotypes are wrong. We should follow his lead, and then speak out against any prejudice around us.