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Playing Race Card Is “Wearing Thin”

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I personally had no problem with my children watching the president speak (“Unspeakable,” Back Page, Sept. 16). However, we live in a free country. People have the right to choose what they think is best for their children. As a citizen of the United States, you should also be free to criticize the president if you do not agree with his policies without being labeled a racist. Playing the race card is wearing thin. It also seems as if people have short-term memory loss when it comes to disrespecting the president. I have never seen a president disrespected more then President George W. Bush.

With that said, I would like to comment on Terone Green's assertion that Obama is being attacked based on his race. Green claims that we would all be remiss if we ignored that it was the first message to schoolchildren from America's first black president, who was the first to endure this parental and political scrutiny. He is wrong, especially when it comes to Bush Sr. In 1991 when President George H. W. Bush spoke to children at Northwest Washington Junior High School, House Democrats criticized him for using Education Department funds to produce and broadcast the speech. Then House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt said, “The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping produce smarter students.” The Democrats went on to investigate the event. They not only probed the production of the speech but also summoned top Bush administration officials to Capitol Hill for a hearing. No wrongdoing was found. However, even after the probe, The Washington Post still ran a front-page article implying that the speech was staged for the president's political benefit. I can only imagine what would be said if Republicans had done likewise to Obama.
Martin Plotkin
Richmond

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