I think Joe Scarborough can be a complete idiot at times. I rarely agree with him but I usually respect him. Not this time. He is one of many who misconstrued and oversimplified what President Jimmy Carter said about racism.
Former President Carter said the majority of “organized protests” against President Obama were racially based. He didn’t say all opposition to the President was racially based. He also said that the people who were racially motivated in their hate speak were vigilant about it. I mean how else would you construe “Welcome to our plantation” on a sign at the Glenn Beck/Fox News/Freedomworks.Org rally in Washington.
Scarborough went on to say that President Carter was playing the race card because Obama’s approval rating had lost 20 points from January. Scarborough claimed that Obama was elected by a majority and that people just don’t “turn into racists”. It’s “all about approval ratings”.
No it’s not. Here’s the point Joe Scarborough missed: If Obama had a 70% approval rating that means 30% don’t approve. Of that 30% a large proportion of them are racist. They hate blacks just like they always have in the South. If Obama’s approval rating dropped to 50%, that means 20% more people disapprove of the direction he is taking the country. Hell, I am not happy with the President right now. But that original 30% or a large portion of it, is still there. Again, Carter never said all criticism of Obama is based in racism, he said the majority of the “organized protesting” is based in racism. And he’s right.
And Carter should know. He was born and raised in the south and was the Governor of Georgia. President Carter is a smart man, and a humanitarian. I trust his judgement over Scarborough’s any day of the week. When an 80-year-old white man from the South says that there is a severe hatred being displayed towards the President and it is based in racism, I believe him. That doesn’t mean all people who disagree with the President are hate-mongers. Just some of them.
Scarborough also said that Jimmy Carter has lived in a bubble since 1976 and continued with “What America does Jimmy Carter live in?”. He lives in your America, Joe, and mine.
Scarborough says that Bill and Hillary Clinton were treated much worse by their detractors than Barack Obama is being treated. But the Clinton’s did not continually have their lives threatened on blatant protest signs painted by Birthers who miss the days of the KKK.
Maybe the Clintons and George Bush were called mean, hateful things. But those words and those emotions were never based in racial hatred. I can NOT believe that you, Joe Scarborough, believe that the good ol’ boy network of Negro-haters in the South doesn’t still exist.
There are people alive today whose great-grandparents owned slaves in this country. There are people alive today whose grandparents and parents used different building entrances and different water fountains than Black folks. And there are children alive today who live in an American where anti-black views and values still exist and are passed down from one generation to the next in Southern White families.
Racism is about treating people differently because they are a different color than you. It is based in ignorance, arrogance, and fear. Do you really think that a poster of Barack Obama as a monkey, or Hitler was brought to a rally to have an informed discussion on health care? These people, the ones that Jimmy Carter is talking about, are so filled with hate and anger because a Black man is President, that they can’t see straight. All they see is red. Scarborough may refer to these racists as the “fringe”, but what else is left of the Republican party than the fringe.
The Republican Party is the party of the white South who fought for, and died for, the right to own slaves. There are some who still resent losing that war and are proud to carry the Confederate flag. Joe Wilson, they guy from South Carolina who screamed “YOU LIE” at the President, voted to keep that Confederate Flag flying at the State Capitol because it was part of South Carolina’s heritage. Joe Wilson is right.