OPINION: Controversy Over Obama’s School Speech Is About Race

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From The Root:

“I don’t want our schools turned over to some socialist movement,” Brett Curtis, a parent in Texas told the New York Times last week. He said he would keep his three children home from school rather than have them listen to President Barack Obama’s speech to the nation’s school children.

Jim Greer, the Republican Party chairman in Florida, said he “was appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology,” according to the Times. And a political commentator on the Rush Limbaugh show compared President Obama to Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong-il, the communist North Korean leader.

For the past few days as news outlets have reported on school districts and principals around the country being inundated with calls and e-mails from angry parents demanding that President Obama’s speech today not be broadcasted to their children, the story line has been that partisan politics was driving the controversy. What has not been as widely discussed, however, is how much the president’s race has also factored in the debate as the underlying force driving the parents’ outrage. It may be subtle, but the message is clear to any thinking person listening to the angry parents. Not only do they oppose a supposed socialist lecturing their children, they also don’t want a black man doing it, even if he is their president.

What’s most irksome about this fake controversy is the level of hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty being exhibited by the parents protesting President Obama’s alleged attempts to indoctrinate their children using subliminal messages cloaked in socialist ideology.

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