“You Lie!”: Wrong and Disturbing Behavior That Must Stop


September 10, 2009

Something terribly wrong and disturbing has been happening along the political landscape in this country since Barack Obama was elected President of the United States of America.  It all came to a head last night in a highly disrespectful outburst during President Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress when South Carolina Republican Congressman Joe Wilson yelled, “You lie!”

Wilson apologized to the White House soon after the speech and again Thursday, but did not back away from the issue that prompted his outburst saying, “People who have come to our country and violated laws, we should not be providing full health care services,” he said.

His heckle came after Obama said extending health care to all Americans who seek it would not mean insuring illegal immigrants.  The House version of the health care bill explicitly prohibits spending any federal money to help illegal immigrants get health care.  So Wilson is either ignorant of the facts or a liar.  Which is it?

In Wilson’s district, many voters said the heckle wouldn’t affect their support for him. Some said they wished more politicians would speak their minds — but most said they wished it hadn’t happened.

It would not surprise me if some of these people are out waving the flag and yelling, “This is America!”  “I’m an American.”  “We Want Our Country Back!”

Let’s stop the madness.  Do these misguided Americans understand that heckling the President of the United States is UN-AMERICAN?

Whatever happened to respect for the Office of the President? I can’t prove what I’m about to say, but I’m going to say it anyway.  I believe Joe Wilson would have kept his comments to himself if the President addressing Congress last night was white.

Joe Wilson retired as a colonel in the South Carolina National Guard after 31 years.  His four sons have served in the military.  This makes his outburst against the nation’s Commander-in-Chief even more disturbing.

Let’s look at this from another angle.  Could you publicly call your boss a liar at the company staff meeting and feel confident that you would have your job the next day?

It appears that there is a growing and disturbing segment of our population that feels that it is acceptable to challenge this President at every turn even if it means disrespecting the Office of the President.  This must stop!  There are too many uninformed and misguided “whack jobs” who will interpret this behavior as a signal that they can say and do anything they want when it comes to anything President Obama says and does.

There are things happening on this President’s watch that many of us have never seen or heard in our lifetime.  The lies, distortions and misrepresentations about this President’s policies, questioning his birth and showing up with loaded assault weapons at venues where the President is scheduled to speak are all part of a very disturbing pattern of behavior laced with race.

Yeah, I said it—race.

President Obama has accepted Wilson’s apology saying that he is ready to bury the hatchet.  “I’m a big believer that we all make mistakes,” the President told reporters Thursday when asked about Wilson’s “You lie!” outburst.  “He apologized quickly and without equivocation, and I’m appreciative of that,” Obama said.

Sen. John McCain was a guest on CNN’s Larry King Live last night.  When asked about the Wilson incident, McCain said Wilson’s outburst was “totally disrespectful — [there’s] no place for it in that setting or any other and he should apologize immediately.”

This is not to say that the President and his policies are all sound.  The growing deficit and lack of specifics about policies are a concern for this commentator.  However, this is the United States of America and historically past Presidents have never been treated like President Obama.

Wilson’s House web site crashed after he was identified Wednesday night as the heckler and he took a lot of criticism on his Twitter page for breaching protocol.  House rules expressly prohibit lawmakers from calling the President a “liar” or accusing him of “lying.”

Comedian and entertaining broadcaster Rush Limbaugh was upset that Wilson apologized.  On his radio show today Limbaugh said, “That was a blatant lie. I’m gonna tell you something. I’ve — one of the things that’s really irritated me all morning and last night, was listening to Republicans, even after Wilson has apologized — and I wish he had not. But he’s apologized, and even after he’s apologized, members of his own party are all over television denigrating him.”

This behavior, if left unchecked will start a disturbing pattern of behavior including some that is race based.

The bottom-line is that all citizens of the United States should respect the Office of the President.

GJHeadShot Gary Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In America.com a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In America.com Blog. Gary is also the author of the new book“25 Things That Really Matter In Life.”


4 Responses to ““You Lie!”: Wrong and Disturbing Behavior That Must Stop”

  1. Very well written! Thanks

  2. Jeff the Interpreter Says:

    You lie! Two words and many similar actions were on display for the world to see how America treats it’s President who is African American. The world witnessed the overt racism and covert attempts to jettison race relations back to the 19th century. The world saw how White politicians with a single agenda to bring down a sitting president not over issues of finance or industry or foreign policy but on the moral grounds that the richest nations on earth, the last remaining superpower (militarily) chooses to treat its sick and dying. The world saw our democracy allow shortsighted political stooges bring the debate over equal quality of life for all down the level of rude and desperate behavior. So America, don’t be surprised when at the next receiving line, dignitaries from other countries ignore and down right negate the presence of our President. Don’t be surprised at the perception that American is now a country of barbaric ideologist who have forgotten all civility and opted for ignorance to rule the day.

    The actions of a few at Town Hall meetings, school PTA’s and now the halls of Congress have demonstrated once and for all that no matter how far we have come with equality and opportunity, America is a nation on a downward spiral towards the abyss of self destruction. That a few can cause so much trouble and not be held accountable is a symptom of a dysfunctional union which will not be balanced until all semblance of “White Supremacy” is erased from the earth.

    The actions of Joe Wilson have made the issue of power and respect, personal and the backlash, “I’m afraid” will be the total break down of society. The inmates are running the halls of the asylum and the world is watching.

  3. […] “You Lie!”: Wrong and Disturbing Behavior That Must Stop « Black … […]

  4. This type of anger/hatred has been brewing for quite some time. From the Willie Horton ads, the “Welfare Queen”, OJ, the angry people who attended McCain/Palin rallies, which by the way no Republican leader denounced at the time, to “illegal immigration”, the news that Hispanics at the current rate will out number whites (personally I believe this news took a lot of these people over the top). Add to that an African American President thats appointed Judge Sonya Sotormayor to the Supreme Court and who most likely will appoint another minority (African American woman of Asian/Oriental woman) when Judge Stevens retires you get the angry mob mentally that we see today. I dont see this getting better anytime soon.


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