Anti-Obama demonstrators in Arizona taunted the president of the United States with racial slurs in Arizona this past Tuesday, the 50th anniversary of the historic Voting Rights Act. The sight of hundreds of protesters proudly raising hate-filled signs echoed anti-civil rights demonstrations of the 1960s, but with an ironic twist.
Obama traveled to Arizona as part of a monthlong series of speeches promoting the economy. At Delta Vista High School in Phoenix, the president unveiled policy recommendations to jump-start the American housing industry. Outside, a boisterous group of protesters sang, "Bye Bye Black Sheep," and waved signs that said, "Impeach the Half-White Muslim." According to the Arizona Republic, some demonstrators accused Obama of fanning national racial tensions. One protester characterized the president as "47 percent Negro" in a racist play on Mitt Romney's offensive comments denouncing almost half the nation as freeloaders who helped deny him the White House.
This naked display of racism supports Obama's recent public admission that America has yet to enter a postracial era. The nation's first black president -- the symbolic and elected leader of our democracy -- is still reviled by many white Americans solely because of his skin color. This makes Barack Obama a singular unique case in American history: the first black man ever to be racially profiled for winning the presidency.
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