The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Whose plan do you like better?

Let's talk about racism and President Obama's health care plan. There are some who believe that because the President is a black man that those who oppose his policies are racist. Former President Carter is among those who believe this.

Now, I have been to the deep South. And, I have seen the stars and bars displayed right along with the KKK's flag outside eating establishments. I have been in Alabama bars where the patrons told me that "the reason white folks in the South are racist is because all the smart niggers went north after Lincoln freed them."

I have been to community centers in north-central South Dakota where the KKK's banner was proudly displayed next to the Kiwanis and the Knights of Columbus flags. Back in my reporter days I had a sheriff in a South Dakota county tell me that if I came to his county asking questions about the KKK, I would disappear, my car would disappear, and nobody would ever find me because nobody would look for me.

Yes. There are racists everywhere. Thankfully, they are the minority. For a former president to declare that the dissent now facing our president is race based is dishonest. I have many times on this blog said that I believe that Republicans need to learn that the Democrats won the election and if we hope to make our voices heard, we need to get real and become less shrill. So now do the Democrats.

It is a blatant insult to simply dismiss dissent as being race based. So far, I don't like much about Obama's administration. And I wouldn't like it any more if Obama looked like the gentleman on the right in the photo above.


senor citizen said...

Well said. Thank you.

Bill Fleming said...

So you are in complete denial then Michael?

How's about I put up some pictures of some of the signs at the rallies?

Would that convince you?

How about we take a look at the legacy of South Carolina legislatures and the resume of Joe Wilson?


How about few Glen Beck reruns?

Some more Rush Limbaugh race baiting quotes?

Are you seriously denying that the neocons are flaming the fires of racial hatred for cynical political purposes and that there are many, many people who are responding to it with raw, visceral, irrational emotion. Hating latinos, hating blacks, hating liberals, calling us Marxists and Fascists all in the same breath?

I simply refuse to believe it.

You are way, way smarter than that.

Or are have you just become so numb to it, you can't see or hear it any more?

David Newquist said...

The issue is the anger. There is such a thing as appropriate anger when people are betrayed and injustice is committed. But the behavior at the town halls and the tea parties was in protest of false charges--socialism, communism, naziism, dismantling the Constitution, lying. When people are expressing anger over any kind of thing they can grab onto as a justification, one must ask, what are you really mad at?

The answer is in the portrayals of Obama on the signs, the posters, and the T-shirts. The racism in those portrayals is undisguised.

It isn't all criticism of Obama that is racist. But so few of the critics have addressed the actual issues. It is the phony ones that belie the racist motives.

nonnie said...

You guys aren't interested in listening to the actual concerns of the protesters. And you are following your party line of painting us as racists. Go for it. We know why we are upset with the policies of this administration. We would be just as upset if Obama were white; after all, we are just as upset with Pelosi, Reid, et al as we are with Obama, and last I checked they are aren't black.

But if it makes you happy to attack us as being racist, enjoy yourselves. If you look at the rhetoric from both sides, you will see just who is using race-baiting etc.

Neal said...

Is everyone who opposes Obama a racist? No.

Are some people who are opposed to Obama racists? Yes.

End of discussion.

Bill Fleming said...

Yes, David, it's the anger and the chain of media used to express it.

And its a feedback loop.

Hate radio begets hate posters which beget people carrying ominous looking weapons to Presidential and Congressional town halls meetings which beget out and out violence.

This is all being driven by cynical politicians and strategists who want to discredit the current administration and who know exactly how the pavlovian stimulus response mechanism works.

And nonnie is right, it's not just aimed at Obama, although he is the largest target, it's aimed at homosexuals, latinos, Indians, asians, and then— more abstractly—liberals, marxists, socialists, fascists, moslems, athiests, RHINOs, etc.

In other words anyone who doesn't look, think or act like "us."

It's classic xenophobia writ large across the fabric of our nation.

And the excuse is even more insidious:
"Hey, there will always be racism. That's just the way it is. Don't make waves, don't bring it up."


I'm bringing it up because I haven't seen our country in this kind of upheaval since the 60's.

I'm bringing it up because in the 60's and early 70's there was a series of xenophobic murders and assasinations, blood in the streets, dead students on college campuses.

I'm bringing it up because a country that accepts the notion that "there will always be racism" is not the country I want to live in.

And just as there are those who are willing to paint signs and carry weapons and shout down their president and congressmen in public gatherings and spew their hatred across the airways to perpetuate hate and xenophobic behavior, there are those of us who are willing to fight even harder and smarter to change it.

Now, I have to say, brothers and sisters, the thing that surprises me most is how much discussion and debate this topic has drawn here on the Forum.

When I posted the Carter thread, I really expected a couple of "amens" and then we'd move on.

I was just positive that for all our differences here, we were all agreed that to perfect our Union, we must transcend our race and class hatred and educate the practitioners thereof, not just pat them on the head and say "now don't be naughty."

I guess were not there yet, huh?

Bill Fleming said...

I forgot to mention, Michael, that the picture you've made of the light skinned, light haired Obama (good job, by the way) reminds me of some other famous person, but I can't quite put my finger on who it is.

Peter Weller maybe?

Bill Fleming said...

nonnie, I'm totally interested in hearing your actual concerns. Please list them for us here would you?

And also please list for us how those concerns justify posters of Obama as Hitler and as an animal, and as a witch doctor with a bone through his nose, and signs that say "Obama should be buried with Kennedy."

nonnie said...

Bill, I do not believe that you are interested the least in my concerns. You are simply interested in believing that everyone not in favor of this adminsitration's policies in somewhat a racist. No matter how much I explain my concerns, how much other people very ably explain their concerns, you come back and claim we are racist. BS. I am tired of it.

No one I know has carried signs of Obama as Hitler or with bones etc. There are some protestors who do. Maybe you should be directing your angst toward LaRouche followers, who BTW are dems, not conservatives, and are the ones who for the most part are using those tactics.

We protest this administration's policies, period. It is from whites, blacks, mixed race, and others. I don't care what ethnic background a person has. I care what the person believes if he/she is in a leadership position in this country as I care where those policies and beliefs will take this nation. It really is not that hard to understand.

You can have your opinion. Plenty did during the Bush years and plenty protested his policies too. That is what makes this nation great. We are allowed to disagree openly. Just please don't lower the debate into a racial issue when it isn't that at all.

My concerns? Well:
Gov't expanding its role and taking more liberty away from me (and you).
Gov't spending wildly with no accountability.
No transparency. (I did hear a good line today about this though; you probably won't like it, but here goes. Obama promised transparency in gov't. And he has delivered! We can see right thru him!) Come on now, you can laugh at that one!?
Double speak on the President's part regarding health care and other issues.
Obama's apologizing for the US to foreign countries.
Obama supporting the exiled Honduran leader (who was planning to overturn his country's constitution and serve a second term and probably longer). He was the criminal, was removed from office legally, and the new interim president is not planning to run again; he can't legally anyway. So why is Obama supporting him?
Obama's support for cap and trade. And I wouldn't have supported McCain in this had he won either.
Pelosi and Reid running the show with no bipartisanship.
Obama's promise of "no taxes" while knowing he would have to raise taxes for his programs, which will hurt the very people he claims to love.
There's a few.

And also please list for us how those concerns justify posters of Obama as Hitler and as an animal, and as a witch doctor with a bone through his nose, and signs that say "Obama should be buried with Kennedy."

nonnie said...

Oops, I had copied that last paragraph above and forgot to remove it. Disregard please!

Bill Fleming said...

Ok, thanks nonnie. Looks like we agree that the hysterical Obama bashing is out of line then, right? Most of your issues are actually with both sides of the aisle. Government in general. And general frustration with the way things are going? Is that fair to say?

Steve Sibson said...


Why are you deleting my questions instead of answering them?

Does not seem like unity to me!

Bill Fleming said...

Your questions have been asked and answered, Steve. As Voltaire said, "Once is philosophy. Twice is perversion."