Until the Left in America achieves the political maturity, Attacking Obama is not rascist
Criticizing Obama Isn’t Racist
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Has America become a more racist country since January 20, 2009?
Those who support President Obama would have you believe that it is.
How else does one explain someone like alleged comedienne Janeane Garofalo? While appearing on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann last April, Garofalo offered this opinion about the “tea parties” protesting Obama’s economic policies. “It’s about hating a black man in the White House,” said Garofalo, “That is racism straight up.”
Her comment certainly made on impression on Chris Matthews, Olbermann’s colleague at MSNBC. Earlier this month, the Hardball host seemed to be channeling Garofalo during a segment with Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and former Club for Growth President Stephen Moore. Commenting on the opposition to Obamacare that has been articulated at various town hall meetings throughout the country, Matthews said those who objected “are upset because we have a black president.” To his credit, Moore called Matthews’ quip “an absurd comment” but Matthews sent his message loud and clear.
Such commentary is hardly confined to the broadcast media. It can just as easily be found in the print media. Not surprisingly such sentiment can be found on the pages of The New York Times. Nobel laureate Paul Krugman recently wrote:
Now, people who don’t know that Medicare is a government program probably aren’t reacting to what President Obama is actually proposing…. they’re probably reacting less to what Mr. Obama is doing, or even to what they’ve heard about what he’s doing, than to who he is.
So in this instance, Krugman provided double the devaluation. Not only did he insinuate racism on the part of those individuals who were merely exercising their First Amendment rights he also essentially called those who disagreed with President Obama stupid.
Krugman isn’t only writer for a New York City newspaper to express such an opinion. Mike Lupica of the cross town rival The New York Daily News is another case in point. Normally a sportswriter, Lupica is better known for commenting on the state of the New York Yankees rather than on the state of the nation. But that didn’t deter Lupica from wading into the protests against Obamacare:
We hear that all of this is democracy in action. It’s not. It’s boom-box democracy, people thinking that if they somehow make enough noise on this subject, they can make Obama into a one-term President.
The most violent opposition isn’t directed at his ideas about health care reform. It is directed at him. It is about him. They couldn’t make enough of a majority to beat the Harvard-educated black guy out of the White House, so they will beat him on an issue where they see him as being most vulnerable.
But by that logic one could make the case that liberals and leftists couldn’t make enough of a majority to beat a Yale-educated Texan of the White House so they tried to beat him over Iraq, an issue where they saw George W. Bush as being most vulnerable. Yes, this is democracy in action. Lupica and his cohorts just don’t like the outcome.
If I had just one wish that would come true between now and November 2012 it would be to be able to criticize President Obama and his policies without self-righteous socialists, liberals and other assorted leftists making accusations or implications of racism. Yet I have no illusions this wish will come true. These aren’t the first cries of racism and they won’t be the last. I would like to think the Garofalos, Matthews, Krugmans and Lupicas of the world can do better than that. But then again maybe they can’t. Crying racism is an easy substitute for critical thinking.
Yet let’s make one thing loud and clear. It isn’t racist to criticize President Obama.
When you are an elected official and especially if you are the highest elected official in the land then criticism comes with the territory. Within this territory, a third of the people are going to love you no matter what you do, a third are going to hate you no matter what you do and another third will love you today and then hate you by the end of the month before loving you again at Christmas.
In the case of President Obama, the people who love him all of the time do not understand the people who love him only some of the time never mind the people who do not love him at all. When Obama’s admirers hear him being criticized there is an underlying assumption it is motivated solely by his race. This explains the comments from Garofalo, Matthews, Krugman and Lupica. Never for a moment does it occur to them that there are people who genuinely disagree with President Obama on health care, the economy or any other issue. It never occurs to them that people with a conservative point of view can actually see the world beyond the boundaries of race. Of course, this might very well be the case precisely because these liberals and leftists can’t see the world beyond the boundaries of race.
Until the Left in America achieves the political maturity necessary not to conclude that every criticism of President Obama constitutes an act of racism then race relations in this country will never evolve to the point where all people and their actions are judged on the basis of their individual character. Yet somehow I don’t think Garofalo, Matthews, Krugman and Lupica want to live in such a country.
Aaron Goldstein was a card carrying member of the socialist New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP). Since 09/11, Aaron has reconsidered his ideological inclinations and has become a Republican. Aaron lives and works in Boston.