A few weeks ago, former president Jimmy Carter told NBC’s Brian Williams in an interview that he believed some of the criticism toward President Obama was racially motivated. Of course, Carter’s comments started a wave of controversy. A lot of people were angry at Carter for thinking that Obama’s critics must be racist if they criticize him. Of course, that’s not what he said, but a lot of people took it that way. So I don’t get bombarded with e-mails, let me say this: calling anybody who criticizes Obama racist is a stupid and ignorant thing to say. But on the other hand, to say that absolutely none of the criticism against Obama is racially motivated is an equally ignorant thing to say.
Trust me, the examples are everywhere. Just look at the people at those ludicrous "tea party" protests who hold up signs portraying Obama as a witch doctor or a watermelon farmer. Rush Limbaugh played a song on his show called "Barack The Magic Negro." Sen. Lindsay Graham from South Carolina called him "uppity." There was that cartoon in the New York Post earlier this year that showed a monkey, portrayed as Obama, getting shot. There are plenty of other examples out there that show people who are blinded by their own racial prejudices.
Of course, the kings of this army of ignorance are the "birthers." You know, those geniuses who believe that Obama isn’t really the president because he’s not a natural citizen! He was born in Kenya and used his evil influence to create a fake birth certificate so he can build the Fourth Reich! Nothing makes me laugh more than listening to these people (including Chuck Norris) defend their cause. These people can’t come out and say that they don’t want a black president, so they’re going to try and convince everyone that he’s not a natural citizen. I won’t call these people idiots because that is an insult to other idiots. Joe McCarthy thinks these people are paranoid loons. I could go on all day about these people, but I just want all of them to know that I hate them and that they’re ruining America.
It makes perfect sense that people will deny any and all racism toward the president. Racism has been the elephant in the room for a long, long time. People are always afraid to talk about it because they’re afraid that they’ll say something stupid and just create more problems. I get that, I really do, but when these problems arise, we need people who aren’t afraid to address them with intelligence and rationality. We’ve come a long way, but the scars of bigotry and hate are still there. The only thing worse than outright racism is when you deny it when it’s right there in front of your face. Again, not all Obama critics are racist. But we can’t ignore those who are racist, because to stand idly by and let toxic hatred infect American culture is the worst thing we as a people can do.