Obama and race rears ugly head

Former US President Jimmy Carter has sparked an eruption in the US over an 'alleged racist' comment made by a senator last week, who attacked the current president Barack Obama's policies. Carter, speaking in the video below said that the comments were of a racial undertone when a Joe Wilson accused Obama of lying to Congress over healthcare, an issue which has been a political hot potato here in the UK as well - sparked off by the Tory MEP Daniel Hannan. (You only have to look at the UK blogosphere to guage the reaction to it.) Carter waded into the row, which has sparked an online media and blogging frenzy, with all and sundry having their say on it. A general consensus in the US is that just because the electorate elected the first ever African American president, there is still an 'undercurrent' of racism going on in the land of the free - there's certainly an undercurrent here in the UK, so would the UK really be able to cope with the election of a Black UK prime minister? However, is it really the case that this was a sordid heckle by a Republican's distaste for an elected first-ever Black president, or was it just a silly heckle that was made into a mountain from a molehill. Is it not also the case that whenever there is criticism of Obama's policies in future, there will be the playing of the race card? Here in the UK, (from personal experience), it seems that freedom of speech is being stifled by the race card on certain issues. Can we really speak our mind to other groups and not be accused of being racists, fascists, or indeed NAZI's? (I'm thinking of those who might not support the British National Party but are disenchanted by the mainstream UK political system. US president Obama has yet to respond to the frenzy - and if I was in his shoes, would continue to keep it zipped, unless it's absolutely necessary. No-one would deny that racism is still prevalent in all parts of the world. It's unacceptable in any form, but if a simple heckle such as 'You Lie,' can erupt into a media debating frenzy over race, then is our freedom of speech and legitimate query in serious trouble? Put it this way, would this have had serious media and blogger coverage if it had been against a White President? No....

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1 Response to "Obama and race rears ugly head"

Sumantra's picture

Sumantra

Thu, 09/17/2009 - 09:04
<p>I just read a wonderful article, on civility in the U.S. Recent events, including Kanye West, making a fool of himself, in VMA, and Serena Williams threatening the line judge, to this hilariously childish approach of Joe Wilson...is jarring the foundations of sensitive American souls...and reflects the declining standards of Human to Human interaction...Thankfully, for every Kanye, there's a Beyonce...</p><p>Good stuff, Chris...</p>