I have been noticing a racial tinge to the health care reform protests. But after seeing the sea of angry white faces holding signs with Obama as an African Witch Doctor, and other signs commenting about his Muslim heritage, I have to agree with President Carter that there is an element of racism and xenophobia within the current opposition to our President.
This is certainly not to say that everyone who opposes health care reform is racist. There are honest people out there who for other reasons could oppose the reform efforts, but there is an anger and a rhetoric of hate towards the President that exceeds any normal response that the heath care debate should illicit.
Contrary to what they keep yelling about, there have been no major tax increases, and none planned for the middle class, our debt has increased but that is basically the result of the Bush years and the financial disaster. All the things that the Tea Party are yelling about have no grounding in reality. This disconnect, combined with an attempt to portray Obama as not-American (birther movement), the current angry mob is emitting a weirdness that is hard to pinpoint or understand. I agree with President Carter that this opposition movement is displaying a deeply held, yet perhaps unconscious racial distrust of the president. What else would lead a white man from South Carolina to feel he has the right to yell down the sitting president of the United States who is African American? This racial weirdness plus the rhetoric of right-wing radio, has led to a 400% increase on the threats on the President’s life. Let’s tone the rhetoric down people.
Here is Jimmy Carter calling it as he sees it.