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Obama’s ‘Old White Guys’ Should Not be Targets of Bigots

By Glenn Gramigna

John Kerry, decorated Vietnam veteran, dismissed as old white man?
Obama makes his choice for defense secretary and is criticized for tapping another ‘old white man.’ This particular old white man, Chuck Hagel, is a decorated Vietnam war veteran.

Bigot...The word is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “one who looks upon a disparaged group with hatred and intolerance.” Clearly, all of us have witnessed the tragic consequences of bigotry, both in our own experiences and in the blood stained pages of history, from the African-American who is denied a job strictly because of the color of his skin to the woman who is denied a deserved promotion because she has hit the Glass Ceiling.

All such examples of discriminatory behavior are wrong and should be stamped out.

However, if the word is to have any meaning at all, it should be applied even when degrading characterizations are aimed at members of a group that is among the most defiled and despised known to the 21st Century world. Namely, “old white guys.”

On recent editions of the Andrea Mitchell Show on MSNBC, as well as related programs, numerous attractive young female commentators have not hesitated to refer disparagingly to President Obama's recent nominees to his national security team as “old white guys.” “The President has been appointing nothing but a bunch of old white guys.”

But, think about it. If the word “black” had been substituted for the word “white” in these utterances, these remarks would have clearly been seen for what they were: bigoted and offensive. Or substitute the word “women” for “guys” and once again you have the kind of remark that usually leads to loud protests and hurried, slightly hysterical apologies.

But, as long as these racial, gender, and ethnic putdowns are aimed at white males, no one sees fit to object...until now.
And who is this trio of obviously unqualified male pigs whom our proud half African-American, half Caucasian President has seen fit to nominate for positions such as secretary of state, defense secretary, and CIA director?

John Kerry, Obama's nominee for secretary of state, is a Vietnam veteran who won a Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts in his country's service. He has since gone on to serve for 28 years in the U.S. Senate during which he came within an eyelash of being elected President.

Currently, he is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel won two Purple Hearts in Vietnam while serving there as an infantryman. If confirmed, he would be the first enlisted man to ever head the Defense Department. He was a U.S. senator for 12 years and now serves as the co-chairman of the president's Intelligence Advisory Board.

John Brennan? Another case of an unqualified “old white guy” being appointed to office no doubt thanks to the Old Boy's Network! Who would want a CIA director who spent 25 years working for the agency before serving for the last four years as Obama's counter terrorism advisor?

So what if he was one of the masterminds behind the successful raid that killed Osama Bin Laden?

The woman these ladies would have liked President Obama to choose to head the Pentagon is Michele Flournoy, a former undersecretary of defense for policy, who has had a distinguished career, but one that is clearly not up to the caliber of a Hagel or Kerry.

In any case, we feel that the decisions participated in by a president's national security team are so critical, with war and peace often hanging in the balance, that any chief executive should have the right to choose the most qualified people he can find without regard to ethnicity, gender, or age. If that meant three African-American women, three Eskimos or whatever, that would be fine.

As for the hard working, highly intelligent women of the Andrea Mitchell Show, we don't mean to denigrate their accomplishments any more than we will tolerate their denigration of the “old white guys” in question. We do strongly feel that it wouldn't hurt if these ladies would show a little respect to these three men who have devoted and risked their lives to protect THEIR freedom.

Politically Correct or Not?

Newsweek ceased publishing a print edition at the end of 2012 and will focus on an online version of the magazine in 2013.

The magazine recently published a cover that compared President Barack Obama to Napoleon Bonaparte and called out to the GOP "You're Old, You're White, You're History."

It was met with no outrage or serious protest.

Imagine the hue and cry that would erupt if someone published a cover about a crusading white prosecutor who put thousands of young black men in prison for non-violent drug war convictions.

If on the cover they showed the prosecutor dressed as a victorious General Sherman marching through the inner city and the headline: “You're Young, You're Black, You're Imprisoned," would anyone object?

In any event, Newsweek is going the way of a lot of print publications and will not appear on newsstands any longer.

Perhaps a lot of old, white Americans just stopped buying it.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Jan 15 , 2013