My daughter, son and I were on West End Avenue recently. The kids noticed the bumper sticker before I did. They asked me what it meant. I couldn’t believe what I was reading.On the back of a very nice, red truck was a bumper sticker displaying the famous Obama campaign logo, crossed out, with the statement, “Don’t Re-Nig,” next to the picture.
What does it mean? It means that regardless of the president’s intelligence, his insight and his attempt to work for a country that is desperately broken, he will always be the “n..” in the White House.
I was angry. I first responded by calling the non-emergency line of the Police Department. The very nice officer explained that, albeit offensive, the bumper sticker is not a crime and didn’t warrant police intervention, but perhaps it may be a violation of my civil liberties. Civil liberties include my right to safety.
Am I safe, as an African-American, where someone can freely express bigotry and hate with no consequences?
My second response was to call my son in Washington, who happens to work for President Obama. He understood my need to have the person reprimanded, but reminded me that their civil liberties give them the right to freedom of expression.
He said to prepare for more to come as we get closer to 2012.
He encouraged me to channel my anger and frustration into energy to help get the president re-elected. I will work, and I will tell others of this experience.
As for the driver of the red pickup truck, I’m praying for him.
** Writer’s note: I would never call the police over this, obviously. But it’s sad.