Imagine if during the annual meeting of a major corporation, a senior executive shouted “you lie” to the CEO while he was speaking. Imagine if your co-worker or supervisor shouted the same words to your boss during a meeting. What about if a nun shouted “you lie” to the Priest during communion service. Imagine if a deacon said “you lie” to the Pastor while he was preaching. Would anyone ever say those words to a Rabbi speaking during high holy services? We all find these examples to be outrageous, offensive, disruptive, disrespectful and deliberate. Let’s put them in the context of Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) shouting “you lie” during President Obama’s speech before the joint session of Congress. Why isn’t everyone outraged at these antics? His repugnant act goes beyond bad manners. And no, I don’t buy for one minute that he accidentally blurted out those words.
Everyone regardless of race, age, sex or party affiliation should be outraged at the outlandish act of Rep. Wilson (R-S.C.). The fact that some are not concerned shows a deeper problem. Some probably delight in his antics. His acts go much deeper than disrespect for our United States President and Commander In Chief. They underscore a deep history of racism in this country. Racism by any other name is still the same. Racism is inherent in everything in this country. We cannot escape our history. President Obama and some might like to believe we’re post racial. Incidents like these should tell them otherwise. Our fear of addressing it will only prolong it. Unfortunately, racism is long from being over in this country. Just like sexism, classism and others, racism is still alive and well.
We have first amendment rights to free speech to express our opinions. Nonetheless, there is a time and place for everything. During President Obama’s speech before the Joint Session of Congress was neither the time nor the place for Rep. Wilson (R-S.C.) to express his freedom of speech. A resolution should be passed with appropriate sanctions for his behavior. If you act like children, you need to be treated and punished accordingly.
So I hope in the future, the citizens of South Carolina will say to Rep Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), “you lie, you’re fired”.