Over the past two weeks Mike Lupica in the Daily News, Joan Walsh on Salon.com and she who must be obeyed, Maureen Dowd have come to believe there is an under current of racism. Today, during an interview with NBC, President Jimmy Carter has also come this conclusion.
So, as I was gearing up for another hell raising rant I heard an essay on NPR this afternoon by John McWhorter about this subject. Mr. McWhorter is an author and works for a conservative think tank and he is African American. He sees evidence of racism in some of what is being said and done by the President's opponents. He thought that race may be behind Cong. Joe Wilson's rudeness last Wednesday but he concluded that no one really knows what was really going through the Congressman's mind we do not know what he was thinking at the time. He concluded that unless someone confirms what is behind their words and actions we should be careful about throwing the word racist at people.
Is is easy to accuse Barack Obama's opponents of being racist but, it is so easy that it is intellectually dishonest and it not only diminishes the arguments in defense of the President but makes them less effective.
When I hear the statements made by Glenn Beck and that other guy on the radio I am sure it's racist. When I see people carrying posters that read "The zoo has an African lion and the White House has a lying African" or "Hey Barry show U.S. your Smallpox vaccination" or "Trade Obama Back to Kenya" or "Whats the difference between the Cleveland Zoo and the White House" or "Obama Bin Laden" or a poster of a black man who looks like the President picking the purse of a little old lady and a sea of Confederate flags are at each teabagger event, it is really really easy to assume racism is behind these protests. When I see a Congressman from South Carolina with a history wedded to the old south shout at the President from the well of the house chamber I tend to suspect racist motives. But, I will defer to Morning Joe Scarborough that we really do not know what is in Congressman Wilson's heart.
Except for the extreme fringe, most of the President's opponents are honest, hard working, patriotic citizens, they may be sometimes misguided and often wrong, but they are not racist and it is unfortunate that they are being lumped in with the loons. John McCain is not a racist.