Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter recently said in an interview that the heated animosity directed towards President Barack Obama is largely inspired by racial bigotry:
I happen to agree with Mr. Carter's assertions. Some concerns, though:
- Those folks who reflexively hate Carter don’t care (“rawr! The peanut farmer who let us get punked by Iran?! Whatever!”)
- Most ‘mainstream’ media pundits (papers, radio, tv)—even in editorials—won’t call it racism for fear of being labeled biased, or even ‘Politically Correct’.
- Don’t expect Prez Obama to speak on this, except to “respectfully disagree” with Mr. Carter, especially after what happened with the Skip Gates case.
- I can empathize that the Prez doesn’t want to get caught up constantly discussing racial conflict at every perceived opportunity, and it "is" a distraction; President Obama definitely has serious policy issues to spearhead like health care reform, which I hope is accomplished (and substantive!); but I have to chuckle when the White House has to constantly defuse someone calling out the clowns among neo-con culture..
South Carolina congressman Joe Wilson's "You Lie" outburst was not in a vacuum. There's the relentless equating by pundits of of 'socialism' with 'communism' (ignoring the roots of Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security); the birth-certificate obsessionists; the Tea Party activists who hold up picket signs depicting Obama's face transposed with Adolf Hitler's mustache & Nazi regalia; all of this exposes the coded but barely-veiled racialized animosity that a certain demographic holds for Obama. "Pulling the race card" becomes the de facto response to any public charge of racial bias even if its framed within a logical context. Purely fiscal objections to any Obama policy proposal take a back seat to making sure that the general public is "informed" of alleged ties to radical Islam or Marxian theory.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell expresses grave concerns about contemporary GOP culture, and he gets openly bashed & marginalized by Rush Limbaugh and company; Michael Steele, despite being head GOP cheerleader as the Republican National Committee chairman, is constantly at risk of his official powers being whittled away-- http://rodonline.typepad.com/rodonline/michael-steele/. But of course, nothing racial about it.. just business...