Conor Rogers, Editor-In-Chief
Ideology: Republican | Writing from: Washington, DC
Joe Wilson may be rude, he may have yelled at the President in a forum normally reserved for tight decorum, perhaps he thought he was in the British House of Commons. He may even be wrong that any of the healthcare plans extend care to illegal immigrants. According to former President Carter, Joe Wilson is all of these things and more, much more: he is a racist.
The idea that those who are most vocal in their opposition to President Obama are somehow racist seems to be gathering steam – it’s now appeared in DNC memos, and espoused by the inter-connected talking heads and blogs from the left side of things. Though I find it comforting that the Democrats have no other ground to attack Republicans on aside for ad-homenem attacks, this sort of logical progression (that those who oppose President Obama the loudest must be racist) is deeply troubling and the worst kind of politics – and not the kind we were promised in Barack Obama’s ‘post-racial’ end to ‘politics as usual’. Over the summer, town hall protestors were painted with a large brush as racist xenophobes. Many in the media have insinuated that tea parties are fueled by racism or even that the steady drop in Obama’s approval ratings are due to racist undertones in debates about healthcare. Yet, do not forget it was the very same TV stations, newspapers and columnists who constantly reminded us during the election that Barack Obama had a black father from Kenya and that Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin were women – but who is to blame for stoking the supposed fires of racism and sexism? According to democratic talking heads and ‘mainstream’ media it’s the tea party protesters and their big health insurance company allies.
Are some elements of the Republican Party racist? Yes. Do some signs at anti-taxation protests cross the line? Of course. Yet, as a public consciousness, we are expected to suddenly forget President Bush hung in effigy, vehement anti-religious rhetoric of some on the far left and the sexist attacks launched on Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin by the Obama campaign and liberal pundits. Are some elements of Democratic coalition racist? Yes. Do some of their protests go too far? Of course.
The problem is that it’s not just Joe Wilson that’s been branded with the “R” word. If you oppose funding an organization that half-a-dozen times over has given tax evasion advice, registered false voters, and misused federal money, guess what? You’re a community hating racist! If you oppose tax increases, and expansions in social programs – you’re not just a racist, you’re a greedy CEO racist (the worst kind!). Do you own stocks, and don’t want to pay an additional excise tax on your kid’s college fund income? Obviously, you’re an old racist white man…plus, you’re anti-labor, and hate working people, too. I could go on and on, oppose gay marriage because that’s how you were raised? You hate gay people! Oppose abortion? Well you obviously don’t care about women. Did you start a business and don’t want to pay double in taxes when you try to flip it and sell it? You’re just another racist, greedy, capitalist…wait; you created jobs for lower income Americans? How dare you get a reward! It gets worse…just this week Georgia congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) accused those who don’t condemn Wilson as being akin to members of the Ku Klux Klan.
Carter & company are the very same liberals, who decried ‘anti-American’ labels launched by those on the right during the Bush Presidency as they moved to oppose the War. But today, as those supporting Barack Obama and/or Nancy Pelosi’s healthcare proposals bemoan the cries of socialism coming from the right (which, yes, are overblown) they commit the very same idiocy and logical fallacies in volleying “racist!” “anti-poor!” and “xenophobe!” across the aisle to the GOP.
As thousands of scholars around American are puzzled as to why America has yet to overcome racism, get over stereotypes, and engage in a racist debate – that as Attorney General Eric Holder so eloquently put it, is full of cowards – perhaps we’ve found our reason. Can anyone take a debate about racism seriously when a former President of the United States accuses an unruly congressman of hating a black man for being in power? Is it possible to advance women’s rights when the first working mom to run for Vice President is viciously slandered for choosing to do so only months after having her child? On top of it all, If you yell out loud during congress, you’ve done something akin to lynching and cross-burning. These debates are teaching young Americans that racism isn’t an idea – it’s a label that can be thrown at anyone for political beliefs, and even their positions on tax policy.
Though I actively opposed President Obama’s campaign for the Presidency, I had truly hoped after his election that he would bring about a new discussion on race in America, and that he would truly inspire some social classes that are truly in need of rags-to-riches story to help them again believe in their own potential and ability to accomplish their goals, whatever they may be. But instead, our first African-American President is allowing such invalid and ludicrous accusations and discussions of racism to explode under his watch – a terrible shame.
Joe Wilson is a racist? President Carter, You Lie!