Is Criticism of Obama Racist?

In the wake of Rep. Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” outburst at President Obama’s State of the Healthcare Debate address to a joint session of Congress, more critics are coming out and claiming that criticism of Obama is based on race.

On Saturday, Maureen Dowd wrote in her New York Times column:

But, fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!…Wilson clearly did not like being lectured and even rebuked by the brainy black president presiding over the majestic chamber.

I’ve been loath to admit that the shrieking lunacy of the summer — the frantic efforts to paint our first black president as the Other, a foreigner, socialist, fascist, Marxist, racist, Commie, Nazi; a cad who would snuff old people; a snake who would indoctrinate kids — had much to do with race.

Today, the Drudge Report is highlighting an AP article that quotes former Georgia governor Jimmy Carter saying “I think it’s based on racism….There is an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American should not be president.”

Then there’s this evergreen chestnut from Georgia representative Hank Johnson: “We will probably have folks putting on white hoods and white uniforms again, riding through the countryside intimidating people. That’s the logical conclusion if this kind of attitude is not rebuked.”

Yes, there’s a fine line between accusing a President who was, to be charitable, not telling the whole story about something, and hooded Klansmen running rampant through the halls of Congress. The logic is indisputable. Somebody should call Robert Byrd…he’ll know what to do in just such an emergency.

All of this proves several things. The first thing it proves is that if you managed to combine Maureen Dowd and Jimmy Carter into one person, like grafting Ray Milland’s head onto Rosie Grier’s body, you would have something with the intelligence, the wit, and the charm of a giant isopod.

But I digress.

I’ve never heard of Georgia rep Hank Johnson, so I won’t comment on him here except to say that his comments about this subject are so simplistic they actually cross the border into the territory of feeble-mindedness. However, the very concept of Jimmy Carter, an anti-Semitic fool who presided over a failed Presidential term and who toadied up to every monstrous dictator who graciously gave him boot licking privileges, is going to lecture anyone about anything is staggering. Jimmy Carter was, is, and always will be, an absolute embarrassment to this country. At least Maureen Dowd is only an embarrassment to the New York Times and the Pulitzer committee.

But are they right? Is the criticism of Obama, from “You lie” to the town hall protesters, based on race?

While I’m sure that there are people out there who don’t want a black President because of the color of his skin or some perceived “otherness,” the short answer is NO. I’m loath to admit, to borrow MoDo’s phrase, that there are any people out there who think this way, mainly because my admission will be seen by the Left as another conservative conceding their point. But there are racists in the world, and they do have a problem with a black President. Newsflash people: You think Louis Farrakhan disliked George Bush because of his No Child Left Behind policy? Racists come in all colors, and just as there are whites (and Asians, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, Inuits, and Arabs) who don’t like Obama because of his skin color, there are also blacks (and Asians, blah blah blah) who didn’t like George Bush or any of his predecessors because of their race. Let’s face it: a lot of the criticism of the Founding Fathers that has emerged in the last twenty years has been of the “they’re Dead White Men” school of non-thought. How is that not racist?

The fact is that people dislike Obama for the same reasons people disliked George Bush. For some it’s strictly party-based. For most it’s based on policy. For a tiny few, it’s based on race.

Accusing Obama’s critics of racism is a vicious trick used by the Left. In the world of politics, accusations of being “racist” carry considerably more baggage than “adulterer” or even “thief.” The charge is the atomic bomb of political accusations and it is designed to end the debate and shut the other side up. That is what Dowd, Carter, Johnson and their ilk are really doing here: they do not like the way the debate over health care (or whatever the current debate may be) is unfolding, and they are trying to stifle anyone who disagrees with them by marginalizing those people as “racists.” Frankly, this says more about the people hurling the accusations than it does the recipients of their phony outrage. With the rarest of exceptions (I’ve never once met anyone who has disliked Obama because of race), the accusations are untrue and should be either ignored or exposed as the political weapons they are. They’re just a way for the operatives on the Left to say “Shut up.”


Michelle Malkin has more on the House rebuke of Joe Wilson while Hot Air brings you video and commentary on Hank Johnson and thoughts on Jimmy Carter. Meanwhile at First Things, The Anchoress beats up on all concerned…deservedly so.

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2 Responses to Is Criticism of Obama Racist?

  1. Ian Thorpe says:

    It isn’t racist to call a black person a liar, it is in fact racist to call a white person racist when they use the term liar of a black person. To construe this as a racially motivated insult implies an assumption that black people do not lie. I would be very surprised were this proved to be the case.

    Wilson was hasty however, he should have found a more subtle way of calling Obama a liar. That is a terminological inexactitude” was once used by Winston Churchill.

  2. Uncle Lou says:

    Unless you are being critical of yourself, I am pretty sure you can be blamed for infringing on the diversity and individuality of another.

    I am confused as to when a persons diversity, background, or DNA profile, became a shield or cloak behind which to hide ones malfeasance or misdeeds. It is an interesting diversionary technique but it should not be a bull work behind which supporters rally.

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