Obama does well to distance himself from talk of race
Although there is much truth in former President Jimmy Carter's remarks about residual and covert racism in America, President Obama does well to distance himself from the race discourse. In the campaign days, a few innocuous and humorous remarks had Obama labeled by FOX News and gang as "playing the race card" and "using race as a diversion from the real conflicts and issues" .
The further Obama distances himself from talk about racism, the clearer the hatred spewed from many will be revealed to be inappropriate and unwarranted. To retreat is the mark of a great man, and inferior people will be baffled and perplexed by it.
I must confess, when Jeremiah Wright proclaims that those vehemently against Obama Care are racists who hate the poor, although my hackles rise to rebuke him, deep within, I know what he means. And I find myself very close to agreeing with him. I have a temperament which is more fiery and antagonistic, like Wright's (though I am conservative on many issues, I am an advanced radical when thinking of the poor) and less retiring and aloof like Obama's. But the latter is the best strategic move, for certain.
As the nation's first black president strives to keep the public focused on healthcare, he is facing an unwanted detour into race. That's the last thing Barack Obama wants to discuss as he presses for a healthcare overhaul, which tops his domestic agenda. But this week the White House has been forced to parry questions about the root cause of the raw criticism directed at Obama.
The latest dust-up began Tuesday, when former President Carter said at a town hall meeting that some of it is "based on racism." Carter continued that theme in an NBC-TV interview. "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. Carter added that "racism still exists. And I think it has bubbled up to the surface because of a 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."
On Wednesday, the White House distanced itself from Carter's remarks. "The president does not believe that the criticism comes based on the color of his skin," Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said during a briefing for reporters.
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