Before the rally
Teabagger Mark Williams says: 'Obama is an Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug and a racist in chief' and tries to defend it!
WILLIAMS: He's certainly acting like it.
GERGEN: You think he's a racist in chief? Racist in chief? Is that what you called him? That's unbelievable. It's unbelievable,
WILLIAMS: Until he embraces the whole country--what else can I conclude? He and guys like James are totally, totally isolating the rest of this country; if you're a working-class American, then you know, that's it.
For some it was wildly excessive and confusing tax laws. Others were there out of concern for their children and grandchildren. Some were there because they’re maddened that the same glorious policies that have made Detroit look like Bangladesh after a garbage haulers strike are being introduced on a national level, a few were upset because the same people who created these massive problems are charged with fixing them, others don’t want their country sold out to some global entity, and one man I saw had a sign that said “‘Government job’ is a contradiction in terms.” Many were there for the reason of “all of the above.”
There’s real racist animus here: check out the video above of Tea Party nuts convinced that Barack Obama can’t be president because he faked his birth certificate and is actually Kenyan by birth. My God—do you know what that means? It means a black man is illegally president! Because it’s just not possible for a black man to be president unless something has gone horribly wrong with the system! Citizens, act now and get to your local Tea Party!!!
Has the president turned his back on black America?
By Naomi Klein
It was nonsense, of course, but the outburst was instructive. No matter how race-neutral Obama tries to be, his actions will be viewed by a large part of the country through the lens of its racial obsessions.
Obama's supposed racism gave a jolt of energy to the fringe movement that claims he has been carrying out a lifelong conspiracy to cover up his (fictional) African birth. Then Fox News gleefully discovered Van Jones, White House special adviser on green jobs. After weeks of being denounced as "a black nationalist who is also an avowed communist," Jones resigned last Sunday.
The undercurrent of all these attacks was that Obama, far from being the colour-blind moderate he posed as during the presidential campaign, is actually obsessed with race, in particular with redistributing white wealth into the hands of African Americans and undocumented Mexican workers. At town hall meetings across the US in August, these bizarre claims coalesced into something resembling an uprising to "take our country back". Henry D Rose, chair of Blacks For Social Justice, recently compared the overwhelmingly white, often armed, anti-Obama crowds to the campaign of "massive resistance" launched in the late 50s--a last-ditch attempt by white southerners to block the racial integration of their schools and protect other Jim Crow laws. Today's "new era of 'massive resistance'," writes Rose, "is also a white racial project."
There is at least one significant difference, however. In the late 50s and early 60s, angry white mobs were reacting to life-changing victories won by the civil rights movement. Today's mobs, on the other hand, are reacting to the symbolic victory of an African American winning the presidency. Yet they are rising up at a time when non-elite blacks and Latinos are losing significant ground, with their homes and jobs slipping away from them at a much higher rate than from whites. So far, Obama has been unwilling to adopt policies specifically geared towards closing this ever-widening divide. The result may well leave minorities with the worst of all worlds: the pain of a full-scale racist backlash without the benefits of policies that alleviate daily hardships.
By Barbara Ehrenreich and Dedrick Muhammad
Despite the sense of white grievance, though, blacks are the ones who are taking the brunt of the recession, with disproportionately high levels of foreclosures and unemployment. And they weren’t doing so well to begin with. At the start of the recession, 33 percent of the black middle class was already in danger of falling to a lower economic level, according to a study by the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University and Demos, a nonpartisan public policy research organization.
Uninsured like me
Diversity is healthcare reform's worst enemy. White America has never liked social insurance for people of color
By Michael Lind
The stereotype of the welfare-dependent Latino illegal immigrant appears to have replaced the black inner-city welfare recipient as the "other" in the imagination of many Americans suspicious of further expansion of the federal social insurance system. This explains Rep. Wilson's outburst that President Obama had to be lying when he said that illegal immigrants would not benefit from healthcare reform.
By Bob Herbert
When a gorilla escaped from a zoo in Columbia, S.C., a longtime Republican activist, Rusty DePass, described it on his Facebook page as one of Michelle Obama’s ancestors.
These are bits and pieces of an increasingly unrestrained manifestation of racism directed toward Mr. Obama that is being fed by hate-mongers on talk radio and is widely tolerated, if not encouraged, by Republican Party leaders. It’s disgusting, and it’s dangerous. But it’s the same old filthy racism that has been there all along and that has been exploited by the G.O.P. since the 1960s.
I have no patience with those who want to pretend that racism is not an out-and-out big deal in the United States, as it always has been. We may have made progress, and we may have a black president, but the scourge is still with us. And if you needed Jimmy Carter to remind you of that, then you’ve been wandering around with your eyes closed.
Rapping Joe’s Knuckles
By Maureen Dowd
By David Corn
But even if race is not the overriding issue--as Brooks and Obama appear to agree--Obama hatred is not about heroic small-town Americans rebelling against detached elites. (George W. Bush had impeccable elitist credentials, and he didn't draw this sort of ire.) This is about a clash between two visions of America that has been underway since the 1960s. One is the culturally conservative view of a country made up mainly of traditional families--Christian and white--accepting of traditional values and the perspective of the United States as the center of the universe.
The other is a more secular, dynamic and tolerant society composed of different groups that is part of a changing world with shifting balances of power. At John McCain and Sarah Palin rallies last year, I encountered voters who seemed to believe that their way of life--or view of reality--was threatened by Obama. He's a communist, some said--hurling a loaded term that has been used to demonize people for decades. Obama, they feared, was going to rock their world and deliver America into the hands of its--meaning, their--enemies.
Race is not absent from this face-off. The president is always a symbol of the nation, a representation of the country's self-identity. As a biracial (self-identified black) man from a non-traditional, multinational family, Obama sure represents a changing America. The effort to delegitimize him (beyond just opposing him and his policies) does seem connected to his--shall we say--heritage. Quite literally. Ask the birthers.
What the 9/12 project is all about.
By Timothy Noah
The posters, showing Obama wearing a feather headdress and a bone through his nose, have recently popped up in e-mails, on Web sites and at Tea Party protests.
10 Most Offensive Tea Party Signs (PHOTOS)
After the rally
New Jersey Poll: Birthers, Truthers, And The Anti-Christ--Oh, My!
How low will these people go? Look, I think it's important to talk about black male violence, or at least as important as it is to talk about any other important social trend. I don't think we should be squeamish about discussing it in a responsible and fair-minded way, despite what the politically correct say. But good grief, Limbaugh is up to something wicked. He's plainly trying to rally white conservatives into thinking that now that we have a black president, blacks are rising up to attack white kids! Christ have mercy, what is wrong with these people?
Limbaugh also suggested that racism itself was acceptable.
“If homosexuality being inborn is what makes it acceptable, why does racism being inborn not make racism acceptable?” the talk show host asked. “I’m sorry—I mean, this is the way my mind works. But apparently now we don’t choose racism, we just are racists. We are born that way. We don’t choose it. So shouldn’t it be acceptable, excuse—this is according to the way the left thinks about things.”
Does Glenn Beck support the slave trade or is he just an "idiot"?
Provision Beck praised actually "barred Congress from ending the international slave trade before 1808."
"$10 per person" provision Beck praised incentivized slave trade.
Constitutional Convention delegate recognized that "$10 per person" provision protected slave trade.
List of U.S. executive branch czars
Conservative "thinking" in action: Bush appoints the most czars in US history. Conservatives don't utter a peep. Obama appoints almost as many czars. Conservatives erupt in fury, accusing Obama of socialism, fascism, and Nazism.
No rational belief, such as a dislike of liberalism, justifies this dichotomy. As far as I'm concerned, it's more evidence of the right's hatred of Obama. Obama the neo-Stalinist evildoer = pure racism.
Quote of the day:
Carter: Race plays role in Obama dislike
Carter continued, "And that racism inclination still exists. And I think it's bubbled up to the surface because of the belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It's an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply."
Note: Yes, conservatives--as well as liberals--have genuine doubts about government-run programs and large budget deficits. There's a legitimate core to their protests. But most of the over-the-top, exaggerated, or just plain false claims aren't based on anything rational. They're based on fear and loathing of the "other": blacks, immigrants, Muslims, gays, and anyone else who isn't a white Christian American.
For more on the subject, see:
Birthers = "scared white people"
Limbaugh: Indians = "redskins," "clowns"
Conservatives' pro-white agenda
Teabaggers support racist imagery
Last gasps of the Class of '94
Racist "jokes" are no jokes
Buchanan: US "built by white folks"
Palin's "real America" vs. America
Right-wing racism against Obama
Right-wingers foment hate
Sotomayor practices "tribal justice"?
Sotomayor favors "reconquista"?
Teabaggers misuse Indian imagery
Irish cry over White House access
Hate abounds in "post-racial" America