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White House communications director: racism "less a part of it than some other people might think,"

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Indigent Donating Member (89 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:22 PM
Original message
White House communications director: racism "less a part of it than some other people might think,"
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 12:23 PM by Indigent
From today's Washington Post:

Although Obama does not pore over the conservative attacks himself, he is not oblivious to them, advisers said. He does not watch cable television regularly, but he reads his news summary each morning, and he often follows up with staff members when he hears what he considers out-of-bounds allegations -- sometimes after learning of them in e-mails from friends outside the White House, for example, or from ordinary voters at rallies. Little of it surprises him, aides said.

"In the fall of the campaign, you could find many similar sentiments at McCain-Palin rallies and certainly at Sarah Palin rallies," communications director Anita Dunn said. "These aren't new arguments. The level of vehemence, the emotional level of it, is at a campaign peak, which is unusual to find in a non-campaign year."

Dunn played down the role that race could have in fueling the rancor. "I think that is less a part of it than some other people might think," she said. "If you look at the history of this country, you see that in times of great stress and change, there are people who are concerned, who are threatened, there are people who are scared."

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel echoed her point. "Father Coughlin called Roosevelt a socialist, the John Birch Society was created in reaction to Kennedy, Clinton had Scaife and others who went after him," he said. "And now they've come after Obama on Socialism and other things. This has always been a creed from those voices dealing with Democratic presidents. But yes, there's an intensity, given the time frame we're all under, that's different."


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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ananda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. disagree
Racism is a major part of the impetus driving the hate.
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chaplainM Donating Member (744 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
2. Taking the high road
The President's response throws into sharp contrast the difference between him and his opponents.
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slampoet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:33 PM
Response to Original message
3. Well, "some other people" think your job is to lie through your teeth......

Oh wait, that's everybody who thinks that.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
4. The White House doesn't want to fuel this
more and wants to stick to the issues, imv..but, whatever, racist assholes exist and they're getting fueled by hateradio, etc, etc.
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WyLoochka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
5. I agree with this
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 12:40 PM by WyLoochka
These mean-spirited, ignoramuses have been with us since the country was founded. It is not all about race - we would make a serious blunder by claiming that it is.

No doubt that some, perhaps a good portion, of the ignorant actors are racists, on top of being stupid from the get go, and their racism heightens their illogical frenzy. But, they'd be frenzied if the Democratic President were caucasian.

Edited to add:

I'll never forget the completely uninvited confrontation I had with a produce clerk in a grocery store about six months after Clinton took office. He was mouthing ugly shit just like I'm hearing from these whackos today. Almost verbatim.

I did file a formal complaint with the manager right on the spot. I never saw the creep again on subsequent trips to the store.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. It is all about white christian male supremacy though
You don't necessarily have to consciously be out to lynch those of other races to have an ingrained belief that you are better than everyone else.
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goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. I agree with you
I will never forget the mess with WHITEwater.
It was so dirty and they kept it going on and on and on and on.
Meanwhile, through all their smoke and mirrors, major legislation was delayed or did not pass.

They find anything to latch onto because they are desperate.

The desperation is scary because if the Left keeps screaming back at them that they are ignorant etc., they don't get better.

Of course,the M$M keeps the fires rolling.

Vicious circle.
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Cant trust em Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
6. The White House gains nothing by blaming everything on racism. nt
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
7. Socialist is code for "insert racial/class epithet"
That's all. But the point is a good one to make. Republicans have been doing this shit since forever.
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emulatorloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. To me it is like the standard "DEMONCRAT CAKE" with a thick Racism Icing.
It is business as usual for the haters, but they have another tasty element to play with on their three layer hate cake.
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Hansel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
11. Wrong.
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 02:45 PM by Hansel
Most of the vitriol is most definitely being fueled by racism.

If their scenario was the case, why aren't there large groups of Democrats involved in the shouting at Town Hall meetings and signing on to Tea Bagger events? We are upset about the economy, but we aren't acting like we are insane.

Starting with Ronald Reagan and Lee Atwater the Republican Party started blowing the racist dog whistle. Maybe the WH doesn't remember the mantra spewing out of Paul Harvey's mouth on behalf of Saint Ronnie, but I damn well do remember. I got caught up in it because I was on public assistance at that time. They tenaciously harped about welfare queens driving Cadillacs and wearing fur coats to drive to liquor stores from day one.

It was all a part of the "tax and spend liberal" BS Saint Ronnie spewed all of the time. The "working man" was told to be angry at the welfare queens driving Cadillac which was code for "Black" instead of looking at the money he was pissing away and the corporations' role in the bad economy and high unemployment rate at the time. The "working men" were so angry that they had no problem conforting me in the checkout line for using food stamps. Or shouting out to an entire store that I was on welfare.

The whole point of bringing up entitlement programs was to remind the working poor that it was the welfare queens that were taking all of their money. The driving Cadillacs part was to play on the "Blacks drive Cadillacs" stereotype. It the big scary warning that if you elect Democrats they will give all of your hard earned money to "th'm thar colored folks". Part of this strategy was the hand wringing about Affirmative Action where the "lazy" Blacks were going to take jobs and college slots away from the hard working white folks.

Bush Sr. upped the ante on the racist dog whistle with the Willie Horton ad. In other words, if you elect a Democrat, he will let all of the Blacks out of prison and they will rape and murder your daughters.

This time it is Glenn Beck with his "stealth reparations" mantra. Because Obama is Black he is going to finally be carrying out all of the nightmares mentioned above, plus he is going to enact a bunch of socialist programs as a form of "stealth reparations". These programs include Health Care Reform and green job programs.

This is the end of the line. Obama is finally going to take over America for the Blacks. These morons have been hearing the racist dog whistle blown for nearly 40 years now. They have been warned over and over again that the Blacks are getting all of your hard earned money. And they are scary. Now you have a Black man in the White House. These morons think that the big ugly plan that the Republicans have been warning them about is about to come true. And people like Limbaugh, Bachman, Palin, Beck, Hannity and on and on and on are all sounding the racist dog whistle so loud now that even the most clueless among the media are starting to hear it.

This unprecedented vitriol is about race. The Republicans are making sure of it.

I think the White House is playing it smart by not getting down in the trenches on this, but the rest of us need to stop pretending that the racist dog whistle hasn't been blowing since Reagan. Everyone needs to stop pretending they can't hear it.
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EmilyAnne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. I think its the fuel. Definitely. The anger and animosity do not match the actions taken by
President Obama over the last 8 months.
There is definitely an irrational fear involved.
I think the irrational fear is based on Obama's perceived "otherness."
His otherness comes down to race.
Whether its just about his literally darker skin or about his "muslim" heritage and name, those are the manifestations of his "otherness."

Maybe some people are irrationally fearful of skinny people or Harvard Law School graduates or fathers?

Whatever, its an irrational fear fueling the absurdly hyperbolic criticisms of his plans and policies.
That irrational fear turns disagreeing with funding end of life counseling into believing that President Obama is going to KILL people.
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centristgrandpa Donating Member (314 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
13. Team Obama, naive is an understatement...
"the assumption that things can only get better" is truly disheartening.

Many among us voted for Mr. Obama hoping for change, the bridge to nowhere has become a toll road. The GOP is playing our President like a deck of stack cards. Until this Commander In Chief leads by example, the party of thugs (gop) will continue it's moral slaughter.

aNd some think racism is not part of the GOP mandate.

I'm truly disappointed...
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OwnedByFerrets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
14. Then say NO COMMENT, but dont fucking lie about it.
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BeyondGeography Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
15. Rahm gives a very professional answer
Which is what he should do.
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TheKentuckian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
16. It has to be lied about. You see how many even on here get touchy
and act as defenders or at least referees to make sure the white guy gets a fair shot. People on the whole are way sensitive on this and do not wish to be confronted with any discussion on race that isn't beyond the pale. If can be explained in any other way then its not racist and even if it is they don't want to hear it.

Obama and the first black anything has to play by the "Jackie Robinson Rules", which should be an indicator of what's really going on to anyone but that doesn't change reality. If Obama doesn't play by the now time honored rules then he goes to about 42% approval.
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