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The Politics of No



It is very evident that the Republican Party in Washington is playing the game of saying "no" particularly when it comes to any medical care bill that is presented by the Obama administration. The same attitude seems to apply to many other areas of what Obama is trying to do to get us out of the financial mess that we are presently in. My question is: Is it more than differences in political philosophy and partisan politics?

About 25 years ago, I led a group of people to build senior citizen housing in New Jersey. The need was very evident, but it took a 14-year battle to overcome both political and citizen opposition. We finally got it built because the city had no low-income housing and they would not be getting government revenue sharing funds that amounted to millions of dollars. Senior citizen housing qualified for low-income housing. The reason for the change was money, not a social need. But community opposition continued because of another factor that played into the picture. It has been called racism. The community was lily-white. Low-income housing meant that "negroes" and "Puerto Ricans" would be moving into the community. This fear dominated the whole white community. When applications for this housing were received, some 1,200 were from low-income white people who lived in the community, not one black or Puerto Rican applicant. The real opposition was founded in the fear of blacks and Puerto Ricans coming into the community. In other words: racism.

Racism isn't a word that is spoken in public, but it still very much exists in this country. No one talks about it, but could "The Politics of No" in Washington have some bearing on the fact that we now have a black President? There may be more truth to this statement than anyone cares to admit.

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