Carter’s Courage

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In the past few days, former President Jimmy Carter has caused a national firestorm by remarking that much of the current opposition to President Obama is rooted in racism. As expected, the racist wing of the GOP quickly dismissed Carter’s comments as wrongheaded and divisive. In truth, however, President Carter was merely identifying a political reality that many of us have been unable or unwilling to recognize: much of the current anti-Obama sentiment has little to do with policy and much to do with race.

Since becoming the Democratic party’s nominee last May, President Obama has been the victim of the most racist smear campaign in American political history. From the xenophobic investigations into his religious background to the moonbatish birther controversy, the right-wing political machine has gone to extravagant lengths to paint Obama as an uppity, untrustworthy, and unprincipled outsider whose very existence represents a threat to the American way of life.

Although the language of race has rarely been explicitly invoked, terms like “Marxist,” “Nazi,” “extremist,” and “foreigner” have been used to smuggle racism and xenophobia into the public conversation without political consequence.

Of course, this is not to suggest that everyone who opposes President Obama is a racist. To the contrary, there have been numerous legitimate reasons to challenge the president’s policies and plans since the beginning of his term. Unfortunately, even the most legitimate critiques have too often been cloaked in a deeply racidicalized veil that appeals to the most vulgar sensibilities within our country.

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13 thoughts on “Carter’s Courage

  1. What makes this specific debate unconventional, is that in the case of Joe Wilson’s irreverent paroxysm, there is no empirical evidence supporting its racist underpinnings. People like Pres. Carter and myself, who have been born and raised in the rural South, have been thoroughly immersed in the culture that produced Joe Wilson and many others of his ilk. We are far too familiar with what others are oblivious to, which is that he represents not a fringe element, but a dominant segment of the Deep South whose still struggling to cope with the tectonic paradigm shift that Obama’s election, to the highest political office, has created. One can argue causation versus correlation all day, but the fact remains that heretofore, there has been no modern President subjected to such an abiding campaign of defamation and disrespect; a level that stands out even in a political system characterized by ardent partisan rancor. My hat goes off to President Carter.

  2. bitter brother, the analysis is also correct when you factor in the fact that obama has been in office such a brief period of time, and has not really lost any of the widespread support for policies and procedures. yes, his approval numbers are slightly down, but most americans are still fairly comfortable with job obama is doing.

  3. Great piece. Great opinions. I’m still trying to hold on to that “hope”, but It seems that Obama is being backed down into a corner and playing right into the republicans hands, like Marc stated. I just can’t help but think he’s too smart to get played like this….time will tell.

  4. So, when you called Bush and Cheney “psychotics” (http://www.marclamonthill.com/bush-cheney-going-crazy-4324), was that also some kind of racist codeword like “extremist” or “Marxist”???

    How is one to divine when criticism is racist and when it’s just criticism? People like you, Carter, and one of my college roommates, seem to be able to peer into people’s hearts and see their hidden racism. No other reasonable explanation will suffice, like actually being concerned about socialist changes to the country, or in the case of my college roommate, not actually wanting to be woken up at 6 am by his girlfriend’s call.

  5. Thank you for a great article. Whether acknowledging the “elephant in the room” will help curb the orchestrated attacks by the right remains to be seen. In the meantime, I will continue to pray for the President every day.

  6. Why are we black people happy because Jimmy Carter is playing race card?? How come eachtime someone on the “left” plays the race card for Obama, the “right” counters it with Michael Steele who is also an African American?? This is politics at its best and we as African Americans would end up being the losers if we don’t start to think outside the box.

    I watched some your debates on foxnews and most times you sound articulate and refreshing but sometimes i wonder if that is what you should use your “GOD GIVEN” talent and wisdom for. Given your qualifications and knowledge in “ANTHROPOLOGY”; i think you should use what you have acquired to educate young African Americans like myself about our African History before “SLAVERY” and how
    we once ruled the world.We brought “Spirituality” to mankind,we invented science,medicine,architecture
    ,astronomy,astrology,and our ancestors built all the pyramids and wonders in Egypt(Kemet) before the invaders(Europeans & Arabs) came to Africa with their propaganda(religion) which lead to the “Destruction”,”Enslavement” and “Colonization” of the motherland.

    How come when you talk to young African Americans, all you talk about is “Hiphop” and “Jay-z”??? Hiphop on one-hand has done more harm than help to our culture,downgraded our women which are our pride according to our African heritage; yet you tell us that’s part of our history.Jay-Z on the other hand has never done anything tangible to uplift the “black race” with all his wealth and he is the major reason why hiphop went from being “Our voice” in the 80’s and early 90’s to the trash it is today.. We’ve good rappers like: NAS,TALIB KWELI,MOS DEF,DEAD PREZ,ANDRE 3000,JAY ELECTRONICA etc. but how come you never talk about them?????

    We as African Americans try so hard to be everything except being “African” but no matter how hard we try, Africa still lives in us through our spirit and skin.The sooner we begin to embrace our “Africaness” the better for us..When Eric Holder said: “we as americans are a nation of cowards” i thought
    he was talking specifically to the “Whites”,after soul searching, i found out he was talking to us. We are cowards,we are always on the defensive,we always play race card,we have no vision,we have no real leader,we believe every propaganda without doing any personal research and that’s why “Religion” & “Homosexuality” have destroyed our communities. Thank God for the lives of: DR. JOHN HENRIK CLARKE,DR. CHANCELLOR WILLIAMS,DR. RAY HAGINS,ASHRA KWESI,PROF. IVAN VAN SERTIMA,
    DR. LEONARD JEFFRIES AND DR. YOSEF BEN-JOCHANNAN.I have been able to learn alot from these great African Americans about the necessity to embracemy “Africaness” which was why my ancestors were once great.

    I really don’t know what your intentions are but i’m suspicious about the way you dine with the enemy(foxnews) when you claim you are a “Democrat”. There is something “Political” about what you do;maybe you are planning to run for a post in future but like the saying: “what shall it profit a man if he gains the world & loses his soul”.. A word they say is enough for the wise !!!

    N/B: I’m a 19year-old harlemite that used to look upto you till my homeboy introduced me to these great African American scholars.

  7. Listen race will never go away – come on live with it. Why it won’t go away? Because it’s the first thing people see when they see us. Can we ignore it? NO, because you will have ignorant silly people who still wants to belittle others.

    Carter is however, stating what always existed and that makes him wrong on this issue. I do not think people are racist, they have a fundamental difference with what obama is saying and them expressing themselves strongly makes them upset. this craziness makes it appear to be racist. i will admit some of the posters we have seen are racist but they should not speak for the rep party.

    obama will have to fight for this health care…..

  8. From my observations, the only people screaming racist things lately, seem to be people who are race baters. If someone on the left has a book to sell, or a t-shirt with a snappy saying, or if they want to be o TV, they just have to scream racist and the idiot media will be right there to film them.
    I teach at a interracial high school and in the past 14 years have seen precious little racism practised among either staff or students. I note that in every major sport, blacks and whites and Latinos play side by side.
    Advertising and television programming has been interracial for decades.
    Are there still racists in this world? Good grief yes. It’s just lately they all seem to be on the left, making noise for political purposes.

  9. Once again we are discussing race while the real issue is deflected. This debate reminds me of the 1987 Tawana Brawley hoax a sad case of grand standing and race baiting by Rev. Al Sharpton. I vividly remember the controversy and the subsequent Geraldo moment on the old Morton Downey Jr. Show in which Rev. Al Sharpton called Roy Innis an “Uncle Tom” for challenging the validity on the Tawana Brawley controversy.

    Fast forward to 2009, and we have a biracial president of African decent. It would be a correct assumption that this would not have happened back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. However, we did elect someone in Jimmy Carter with very similar political views. It is no doubt that we are returning to failed policies that worsened our economy and weakened us to our enemies abroad.

    Now we stand on the edge of fundamentally changing our federal government with things like Cap and Trade and Universal healthcare and people are shocked that some folks my object? Surprised that in a bill that contains over 1000 pages that most members of congress have not read might have provisions that are objectionable. So when one lone congressional representative breaks with congressional decorum and exclaims “you lie” at Pres. Obama, suddenly this is not about a disagreement of substantive nature, it is racially motivated.

    Now we have the likes of Rep. Hank Johnson uttering totally idiotic nonsense that the KKK will rise to prominence again intimidating people. I am surprise he did not imply that they were going to plant a burring cross on the Whitehouse lawn. Let us not forget the pabulum spewed by a former pres Jimmy Carter who has gone down in recent history as the very worse US president.

    The election of Ronald Reagan vs. Jimmy Carter truly defined what a landslide election is. This failed former president has the audacity to state quite clearly to all, that a significant portion of our populace disagrees with Pres. Obama because of skin color. Not even the president himself feels that the case.
    This brings me to the author of this article my dear Dr. Hill. I have been jousting with Dr. Hill on twitter for months now. Although he has largely disengaged since I caught him in a dare I say lie. Dr. Hill marginalized an e-mail I wrote him on the Lovell Mixon shooting in Oakland CA and subsequent rally organized by the Uhuru Movement. Dr. Hill feels I insulted his ability for rational thought. When I responded that maybe I should have used a vernacular he was most familiar and comfortable with by calling him a “Pinhead” like Bill O’Reilly has, he replied as follows:
    “marclamonthill@Erudite_Enigma For the record, no host has ever referred to me as a “pinhead.” If they did, I would stop engaging them the same way.5:52 AM Aug 23rd from web “
    When he appeared on O’Reilly Sept 9, 2009 and was called a “pinhead”, I asked if he would return to the show considering his Tweet to me, No Answer. My answer was to come when he appeared on O’Reilly on Sept 15, 2009. Since then no more dialog. It is clear that his silence speaks volumes.
    Now my esteemed Dr. Hill wants to jump in the Kool-Aid pool head first by marginalizing people that disagree with Pres. Obama . He wants to equate those that refer to Pres. Obama as “Marxist,” “Nazi,” “extremist,” under the same category as the language that Birthers use. I cannot categorically say that Birthers are not racist or that they all are considering that Sen. McCain’s eligibility was questioned as well at one point. Pres. Obama himself wrote in his book that he sought out the radicals and Marxist in college to hang with. He has surrounded himself with people that are truly radical and Marxist. The president himself has stated that you should judge him by the people he surrounds himself with. So what are we to do? We apparently cannot have political discourse because do so earns us the “Racist” label.
    Some food for thought. Kanye West humiliated Taylor Swift, this was a black man bullying and belittling a small petite 19 yr old white girl. Everyone thought he acted like a jerk and the Pres. Called him a “jackass”. This is the same Kanye West that accused Pres. Bush of “hating” and “not caring” about black people in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. I did not see a single prominent politician or TV personality refer to Kanye as racist despite the obvious tone and behavior. I wonder why that is. There is more documented evidence that Kanye is racist, than Rep. Wilson, but yet here we are. We avoid the true substance to argue the irrelevant and to perpetuate racial animus so that people like Rev Sharpton, Rev Jackson and Dr. Hill can justify their professional existence and provide a solid 90% to 95% voting block for the Democrats.
    In the end, while I can speak only for myself, I am sure I am not unique in feeling tired and weary of this racial idiocy. I roundly criticized the Clintons and their leftist agenda, I had nothing but total contempt for Sen. Ted Kennedy whom I feel was guilty of Manslaughter, and I consider Jimmy Carter to be the most useless and irrelevant person in the history of the US presidency. Notice a pattern they are all white. I disagree with Pres Obama for his policies as I did the aforementioned. I am sure the vast majority of the Tea Party folks and 9/12’s have similar view, and they leave their white sheets on their beds where they belong.

  10. Once again we are discussing race while the real issue is deflected. This debate reminds me of the 1987 Tawana Brawley hoax a sad case of grand standing and race baiting by Rev. Al Sharpton. I vividly remember the controversy and the subsequent Geraldo moment on the old Morton Downey Jr. Show in which Rev. Al Sharpton called Roy Innis an “Uncle Tom” for challenging the validity on the Tawana Brawley controversy.

    Fast forward to 2009, and we have a biracial president of African decent. It would be a correct assumption that this would not have happened back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. However, we did elect someone in Jimmy Carter with very similar political views. It is no doubt that we are returning to failed policies that worsened our economy and weakened us to our enemies abroad.

    Now we stand on the edge of fundamentally changing our federal government with things like Cap and Trade and Universal healthcare and people are shocked that some folks my object? Surprised that in a bill that contains over 1000 pages that most members of congress have not read might have provisions that are objectionable. So when one lone congressional representative breaks with congressional decorum and exclaims “you lie” at Pres. Obama, suddenly this is not about a disagreement of substantive nature, it is racially motivated.

    Now we have the likes of Rep. Hank Johnson uttering totally idiotic nonsense that the KKK will rise to prominence again intimidating people. I am surprise he did not imply that they were going to plant a burring cross on the Whitehouse lawn. Let us not forget the pabulum spewed by a former pres Jimmy Carter who has gone down in recent history as the very worse US president.

    The election of Ronald Reagan vs. Jimmy Carter truly defined what a landslide election is. This failed former president has the audacity to state quite clearly to all, that a significant portion of our populace disagrees with Pres. Obama because of skin color. Not even the president himself feels that the case.
    This brings me to the author of this article my dear Dr. Hill. I have been jousting with Dr. Hill on twitter for months now. Although he has largely disengaged since I caught him in a dare I say lie. Dr. Hill marginalized an e-mail I wrote him on the Lovell Mixon shooting in Oakland CA and subsequent rally organized by the Uhuru Movement. Dr. Hill feels I insulted his ability for rational thought. When I responded that maybe I should have used a vernacular he was most familiar and comfortable with by calling him a “Pinhead” like Bill O’Reilly has, he replied as follows:
    “marclamonthill@Erudite_Enigma For the record, no host has ever referred to me as a “pinhead.” If they did, I would stop engaging them the same way.5:52 AM Aug 23rd from web “
    When he appeared on O’Reilly Sept 9, 2009 and was called a “pinhead”, I asked if he would return to the show considering his Tweet to me, No Answer. My answer was to come when he appeared on O’Reilly on Sept 15, 2009. Since then no more dialog. It is clear that his silence speaks volumes.
    Now my esteemed Dr. Hill wants to jump in the Kool-Aid pool head first by marginalizing people that disagree with Pres. Obama . He wants to equate those that refer to Pres. Obama as “Marxist,” “Nazi,” “extremist,” under the same category as the language that Birthers use. I cannot categorically say that Birthers are not racist or that they all are considering that Sen. McCain’s eligibility was questioned as well at one point. Pres. Obama himself wrote in his book that he sought out the radicals and Marxist in college to hang with. He has surrounded himself with people that are truly radical and Marxist. The president himself has stated that you should judge him by the people he surrounds himself with. So what are we to do? We apparently cannot have political discourse because do so earns us the “Racist” label.
    Some food for thought. Kanye West humiliated Taylor Swift, this was a black man bullying and belittling a small petite 19 yr old white girl. Everyone thought he acted like a jerk and the Pres. Called him a “jackass”. This is the same Kanye West that accused Pres. Bush of “hating” and “not caring” about black people in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. I did not see a single prominent politician or TV personality refer to Kanye as racist despite the obvious tone and behavior. I wonder why that is. There is more documented evidence that Kanye is racist, than Rep. Wilson, but yet here we are. We avoid the true substance to argue the irrelevant and to perpetuate racial animus so that people like Rev Sharpton, Rev Jackson and Dr. Hill can justify their professional existence and provide a solid 90% to 95% voting block for the Democrats.
    In the end, while I can speak only for myself, I am sure I am not unique in feeling tired and weary of this racial idiocy. I roundly criticized the Clintons and their leftist agenda, I had nothing but total contempt for Sen. Ted Kennedy whom I feel was guilty of Manslaughter, and I consider Jimmy Carter to be the most useless and irrelevant person in the history of the US presidency. Notice a pattern they are all white. I disagree with Pres Obama for his policies as I did the aforementioned. I am sure the vast majority of the Tea Party folks and 9/12’s have similar view, and they leave their white sheets on their beds where they belong.
    I guess we can add coward to the mix on Dr. MLH, he took down my last post.

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