Jonathan Martin of Politico notes that, even though racism against the president is supposedly widespread, “it’s still a sensitive enough issue that the [Democratic] party doesn’t broach it directly.” By “sensitive,” of course, he means “far-fetched, ludicrous, and laughable.”
Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) claims that in Senator Joe Wilson’s outburst toward the president last week, Wilson “kind of winked at that element” of the U.S. that disrespects Obama because he is black. I’m not sure what criminal statutes are on the books for “kind of winking” at an “element,” but I do know that Democrats’ charges of racism until recently have been so timid and indirect, because they know that if they made them openly, they might have to produce actual evidence of racism.
Lately some of the attempts to label opposition to socialized medicine and trillion-dollar deficits as racism have gotten more blatant.
The Reverend Jeremiah Wright was just caught on video snarling, “I think the racists in the right wing are upset because poor people are about to be helped.” And it wasn’t even during one of his weekly sermons!
Jimmy Carter weighed in on the subject over the weekend: “[A]n overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man… [and] a belief among many white people… that African Americans are not qualified to lead this great country.”
MSNBC bloggers recently wrote, “Whether it’s fair or not, there is a perception growing that race is driving some elements of the opposition to Obama.”
Maureen Dowd wrote of Wilson in the New York Times, “[F]air or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!” Oh, the New York Times doesn’t need to be fair! Stop being so hard on yourself!
According to Dowd, who was praised by liberal bloggers everywhere for finally stating openly what they believed but didn’t feel comfortable expressing, “Wilson clearly did not like being lectured and even rebuked by the brainy black president presiding over the majestic chamber.” Note to Dowd: None of the conservatives in Congress did, and it had nothing to do with Obama’s being brainy or black—it had everything to do with his being wrongheaded and pompous.
Dowd lamented “the frantic efforts to paint our first black president as… socialist, fascist, Marxist, racist, Commie, Nazi; a cad who would snuff old people.”
I don’t know—some would say that taking over banks, car companies, and the health care industry is a bit socialist; wanting to “spread the wealth around” is a bit Marxist; having a spiritual mentor who railed against white people in church for 20 years is a bit racist; nominating former communists as czars is a bit Commie; receiving material support from groups that beat up health care protestors at townhall meetings is a bit Nazi; and planning to set up government panels to ration end-of-life care implies a willingness to snuff old people. Then again, some don’t write for the New York Times.
Dowd added, “Wilson’s shocking disrespect for the office of the president… convinced me: Some people just can’t believe a black man is president and will never accept it.” Yes, and the “shocking disrespect” for the office of Congressman at mostly white Senators and Representatives’ townhall meetings has convinced me: Some people just can’t believe white people can be in Congress and will never accept it.
Dowd charged that Obama is “at the center of a period of racial turbulence sparked by his ascension” and that “this president is the ultimate civil rights figure—a black man whose legitimacy is constantly challenged by a loco fringe.”
For liberals, the equation is “challenged” plus “black” = “victim of racism.”
I suppose we need to inform Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder, Walter Williams, Sonja Schmidt, Mychal Massie, and other fantastic black conservative and libertarian commentators and harsh Obama critics that their opposition is based on mere black self-hatred.
It was also insinuated by major media outlets that the massive tea party held in Washington over the weekend was fueled by racist resentment of a black man in the White House. As amply documented by photos of the event, however, signs protested the actions of not just Obama but: Bush, Congress, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank, Steny Hoyer, Saul Alinsky, government, and the mainstream media, among many other targets.
Tea party signs protested Medicaid and Medicare’s insolvency, passing on trillions of dollars of debt to future generations, providing health care to illegal immigrants, paying for abortions through health care legislation, excessive taxes, cap-and-trade schemes, government takeover of the automobile industry, and the appointment of czars. (Take that, NAACP!)
Finally, signs supported tort reform, health savings accounts, a flat tax, gun rights, the war on terror, and a strange, unheard-of cult called “Liberty.”
Notably absent from protest signs were calls for the repeal of the Civil Rights Act and the resegregation of water fountains. As Obama correctly observed in one of his health care speeches this summer, “This is not about me.”
As for the occasional reference to race on protest signs, Martin writes, “Republicans see an important distinction between Obama critics who are genuinely worried about his… policies and those whose fears go beyond the president’s liberalism… But for some Democrats, it’s difficult to make that distinction when conservative marchers take to Washington bearing images of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Obama that read, ‘He had a dream, we got a nightmare.’” And for some Republicans, it’s difficult to make a distinction between signs comparing King and Obama that would be acceptable to liberals and those that would be branded “racist.”
As one prescient and widely photographed sign at the protest read, “It doesn’t matter what this sign says—you’ll call it racism anyway.”