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“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, that he is African-American," Carter said.
“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. It’s an abominable circumstance and grieves me and concerns me very deeply,” Carter told NBC News.
Is the former Democratic president correct?
If he is....does that mean that every TeaBagger and every Townhall Buster-Upper is a racist? Of course not. My blog friend King attended last Saturday's protest and I don't consider him a racist.
That said, do racial animosities play ANY role in what appears to be an organized and concerted effort to delegitimize America's first black president? Undoubtedly.
As I have observed the Tea Party opposition to virtually anything Obama it's been hard to rule out racial animosity as a major contributing factor.
Racial animosities played a role during the presidential primaries.....
From an ABC piece May 27, 2008....
In recent weeks, the role of race in the Democratic primaries has been increasingly discussed. And while racist caricatures and jokes about threats against Obama's life have been widely condemned, they seem to reflect an undeniable element of racism that still exists in the country and could play an unknown role in a general election.
The latest controversy centered on a depiction of Obama in the cross hairs of a rifle used that appeared on the cover of Georgia's Roswell Beacon newspaper. The controversy focused on the image, though the story, which included interviews with several white supremacists threatened by Obama's candidacy, reflected a deeper reality.
Racial animosities played a role AFTER Obama was elected president....
Arizona Daily Star, November 16, 2008.....
Cross burnings. Schoolchildren chanting, "Assassinate Obama." Black figures hanging from nooses. Racial epithets scrawled on homes and cars.
Incidents around the country referring to President-elect Barack Obama are dampening the postelection glow of racial progress and harmony, highlighting the stubborn racism that remains in America.
Ever hear the phrase, "we want our country back", from those at Tea Parties or Townhall Bust-up sessions?
Here's what the director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center said after the November election.....
Potok, who is white, said he believes there is "a large subset of white people in this country who feel that they are losing everything they know, that the country their forefathers built has somehow been stolen from them."
Grant Griffin, a 46-year-old white Georgia native, expressed similar sentiments: "I believe our nation is ruined and has been for several decades, and the election of Obama is merely the culmination of the change.
"If you had real change, it would involve all the members of (Obama's) church being deported," he said.
Who can forget the Obama-dressed-up-like-Aunt-Jemima waffle mix and the numerous signs alluding to Obama's race?
Who can forget the hours of wasted time by main stream media anchors and talking heads microscoptically analyzing the black/white vote count in every primary? Why was that done? At the very least it was done because of an awareness that there is still a racial divide in the U.S.
How many times did we hear folks like NBC's Chuck Todd or Nora O'Donnell tell us that the black presidential candidate Obama was having trouble with white voters?
Why is it that still today a majority of southern Republicans believe Obama is not a U.S. citizen? Why the drumbeat, even now after 8 months of the Obama presidency, about Obama's father's native country of Kenya? Is that explained by some coincidental big-bang randomness theory? Or more likely, does that southern belief, one which Jimmy Carter understands and has experienced first hand, reflect a predetermined rejection of a black Democratic president, because he's black?
How can the intense focus on ACORN by Fox enthusiasts during the primary and general election campaign....and again now by the Teabaggers and Townhallers....be explained away as an innocent non-racially tinged focus?
Why the triumphant jubilation over the black second-tier appointee, Van Jones, resigning? Why the recurring use of the word "uppity" by so many opposed to Obama? Why the projectionist claim by Glenn Beck that Obama "hates white people", "white culture?"
Conservative culture warriors are more sophisticated than during the 1960's,....not all but most....and I'm thankful for that. Modern forms of racial animosity are more subtle and oblique. It's Obama's policies, opponents say, not his skin color, which riles them up. Policies that many opponents say will take stuff from them and hand it over to the undeserving, however, are just barely thinly-veiled jabs reminiscent of Uncle Ronnie's southern strategy baiting over fictitious Cadillac driving "welfare queens".
Yes, racial animosities play a significant role in today's unhinged attacks on America's first black president.
Can we overcome these animosities that still exist in America? Will the "we want our country back" crowd ever be content with a black president?
I honestly do not have an answer. I certainly hope so.....but I fear that yet another generation will have to die off before it happens.