By: Nicole Lashomb*/TRT Editor-in-Chief–
If you’re anything like me, you may be experiencing some anxiety this election cycle—severe anxiety. I’ve always been a news junkie. But now, every day, all day, I’ve found myself checking various news outlets for the latest polls and the latest zingers by political candidates to a point of no return. I have obsessively donated to campaigns that my wife and I have a vested interest in, the ones that will do their best to ensure our safety and protections for the future not only as members of the LGBT community, but as members of other marginalized communities as well.
It has baffled me how someone as deficient as Mitt Romney can even be close to the President in any of these polls, especially considering all of the President’s achievements to date (see page 13 for LGBT achievements alone). Romney has been caught blatantly lying about his plans and “beliefs,” which happen to change from day to day based on what he thinks select audiences want to hear. As President Obama put it, he is suffering from a severe case of “Romnesia.” He wants to stifle women’s rights, LGBT rights, racial and ethnic groups’ rights, immigrant rights, and virtually all other rights that do not align with his narrow perspective of humankind; or in this case, mankind. His mankind—white, heterosexual, and rich. Then, I got it.
According to a recent report by the Associate Press, “51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey.”
But, there is reason. Whenever any marginalized group moves forward, there is always a backlash, usually twice as hard. Think about the “anti” movements directed toward the LGBT community and others through racism, sexism, and many other “isms,” compared to four years ago. The “majority” feels threatened with the social progress we’ve made, whether they know it or not. We are moving forward as a nation, largely in part to the president’s vocal support of personal freedoms. Yet, such advances have also drawn the extremists out of the woodwork.
Race matters. Think about the bumper stickers, cartoons, posters, videos, etc. that portray President Obama in a negative light or as a stereotype. Sure, I’ve heard it. Bush was made fun of too. This goes far and beyond being the brunt of a joke. I bet Bush was never lynched in a grotesque effigy. Was he? We are polarized in the worst kind of way.
The results of the survey depicted that by racial prejudice alone, President Obama “could lose 5 percentage points off his share of the popular vote in his Nov. 6 contest against Republican challenger Mitt Romney.”
Not surprisingly, most of the study’s participants that were found explicitly racist identified as Republican by a whopping 79 percent.
In this Presidential election, there is a clear choice to make—either a choice for acceptance, tolerance and inclusion or a choice that will benefit a privileged few. Before casting your vote on November 6, please do your homework. If there is anything I’ve learned in this election cycle is believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see, particularly when it comes to Willard Mitt Romney. Does the figure 47% come to mind? If not, Google it.
* Nicole Lashomb is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Owner of The Rainbow Times. She holds an MBA from Marylhurst University and a Bachelors from SUNY Potsdam. You can reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.