In a piece on the NBC Nightly News former president Jimmy Carter stated the obvious. Many of the people who hate President Barack Obama the deepest hate him because he is black. Carter said, “I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man.”
Here is the video:
President Carter said, “I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man,” Carter said. “I live in the South, and I’ve seen the South come a long way, and I’ve seen the rest of the country that share the South’s attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans.”
He 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.”
Carter’s thoughtful analysis has a great deal of merit. I get very uncomfortable with liberals who lay the blanket charge of racism on anyone who disagrees with Obama, but if one overlays the map of where Obama struggles the most politically, with a map of the segregated South, they match up very well. There is an obvious racial element, not to the opposition, but to the fear that is guiding the opposition to this president.
Republicans demonized Bill Clinton for his personal shortcomings, but this was nothing compared to level of demonization that Obama has undergone. Obama has been called a communist, a socialist, a black militant, a racist, and a person who isn’t qualified to be president because he wasn’t born in this country. Some of these charges like the socialist one are old of the right wing’s playbook from bygone decades.
The newer charges against this president all seem to track back to race. Obama is a secret black militant. Obama was born in Kenya, and Obama is a racist all play into fears that the black man is out to get whitey. This panic within the GOP should have been more anticipated because the party has become old, white, and Southern.
President Carter is correct. Obama’s election did not resolve the race issue in America. If anything the election of Barack Obama has made the people with racist beliefs more extreme. While the vast majority of Americans aren’t racist, it seems that the racists are screaming the loudest. It is democratic to oppose any president based on policy grounds, but it shameful when anyone is guided by race based hatred and fear.