Jimmy Carter said Republican congressman’s outburst was based “on racism”

by , under All categories, Enrique

Here is an interesting case: The biggest military and economic power in the world, the United States, continues to be hounded by one of its dubious legacies – racism. On the other side of the Atlantic, we too have a long way to go before we wipe the scourge of racism from our continent.

It is a positive matter, however, that in Finland the debate on racism and equality for all of its inhabitants has been taken up by parties on the traditional left and right of the political spectrum. Racism has no place in our society since it undermines our Western democratic values.

Former President Jimmy Carter, a civil and human rights champion, said this week that US Representative Joe Wilson’s outburst to President Barack Obama’s speech to Congress was based on racism.

“I think it’s based on racism,” Carter said in a story by AP at a town hall meeting held at his presidential center in Atlanta. “There is an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American should not be president.”

Wilson shouted from the aisles “you lie!” during Obama’s speech.  He later apologized for the outbreak.

Carter, who is also a member of the Democratic Party, added: “Those kinds of things are not just casual outcomes of a sincere debate on whether we should have a national program on health care. It’s deeper than that.”

  1. Tiwaz

    And of course, because he claims someone is racist it must be so!

    Has there been ANY verification that this was indeed racist motivated outburst instead of one where republican representative genuinely felt that democrat policy was too full of loopholes?

    None. But screaming “Racist!” is treated like some kind of ultimate veto by some people. And one that does not require any kind of verification or proof to back it up.

    • Enrique

      –Has there been ANY verification that this was indeed racist motivated outburst instead of one where republican representative genuinely felt that democrat policy was too full of loopholes?

      Such an affirmation carries a lot of weight in my book If it comes from a person like Jimmy Carter.

      –But screaming “Racist!” is treated like some kind of ultimate veto by some people.

      If you look at the video clip, there is nobody “screaming.” But yes, if you use foul language, lose your temper, insult other groups with racially motivated remarks, you do undermine your arguments.
      The question that I would ask is if President Bill Clinton would be introducing a bill to reform health care, would he be portrayed as a Hitler and Communist? We don´t know but probably the attacks would be different.

  2. Tiwaz

    -“Such an affirmation carries a lot of weight in my book If it comes from a person like Jimmy Carter. ”

    So basically he could lie through his teeth, knowingly or unknowingly, and you would lap it up?

    I thought you at one point demanded that people should not just accept crap like this at face value. But I guess that only applies to when truth presented is one that undermines multiculturalist ideology.

    Screaming racism requires not proof.

    -“If you look at the video clip, there is nobody “screaming.” But yes, if you use foul language, lose your temper, insult other groups with racially motivated remarks, you do undermine your arguments.
    The question that I would ask is if President Bill Clinton would be introducing a bill to reform health care, would he be portrayed as a Hitler and Communist? We don´t know but probably the attacks would be different.”

    So you agree that white man would be target of verbal assault as well? So WHERE IS RACISM?

    If white guy and black guy both get attacked for same reform bill there is no racism.

    In essence, you or Carter have no proof of any racist intention. You are just strengthening my position that claims of racism are less about truth and more political/ideological weapon which people like you accept without slightest doubt.

    And I harbor no love towards US republican party, I identify in many issues more with democrats. But I find playing racism-card like that to be extremely disgusting.

  3. Jonas

    This is a difficult matter to judge. The Congressman (Wilson) who made the liar outburst during Obama’s speech does have a history which could be interpreted as being at least “sympathetic” to racism. For instance according to HBL, he was a key figure in the campaign against the removal of the Confederate flag from the state congress building in his home state. The Confederate flag is viewed as a racist symbol by the vast majority of the USA’s non-white population (and of course, by many of the white population as well). But Carter’s deduction is very difficult to concretely prove which perhaps actually does not help Obama’s current standing, as Republicans no doubt will now claim that the Democrats are playing the so-called “race card”. Regardless of whether they are right or wrong to do so, it will only distract from the debate on health care and give the hard right-wing of the Republican party another stick to beat Obama.

    I actually think that the USA even before Obama’s election had become extremely polarised, to a degree that is in fact damaging its societal integrity. There seems to be a very real hatred between the two sides in American politics which isn’t found here in the Nordic countries and probably not in most of the rest of Europe either. I suspect that this hate-filled politics, and we currently see itself embodied primarily in the health debate, would have taken place regardless of whether it were Obama or Hillary Clinton as President. Many right-wing Americans seem to have genuinely convinced themselves that the Democrats represent some kind of “socialist evil” that must be defeated at all costs. Of course, from a European viewpoint, it’s almost laughable. But it’s also very sad. Unfortunately, it seems that it is completely acceptable in US politics (and in US media) to make the most weird remarks and have them accepted by your supporters without challenge (e.g. Palin’s death panel remarks and Fox News’ continual bizarre propaganda). It does make the by-stander from abroad begin to question the average intelligence of the American electorate.

    • Enrique

      Hi Jonas, nice to read your comment after such a long time. As always, you make some very good points. Like any social ill, racism has learned to hide under many masks. I haven’t lived in the States for quite a while, but I think that the so-called “race card” functions in a different fashion. For one, I think that many people (at least the minorities and many whites) understand what racism is. There is pretty much consensus on what it is.
      I agree with you about the polarization of US politics before Obama was elected. Did you know that even though civil rights have been achieved for blacks, there is still mass poverty, encarceration and disenfranchisement of minorities.
      How are matters the same in Europe when we look at the Roma, for instance, and other minorities?

  4. JusticeDemon

    What prompted Wilson to call the President a liar has not been established. Wilson has offered no explanation and he has specifically declined to apologise to the House of Representatives in the appropriate manner. Nor can this be viewed as impetuous behaviour by a newcomer to the House who is unfamiliar with its explicit rules and customs.

    The usual point of reference in these debates is the pub doorman. A doorman who refuses admission to a disabled person but offers no cogent explanation for this refusal will normally be convicted of discrimination. The accused has a burden of explanation to discharge when a difference in treatment arises, and in matters of discrimination the court is entitled to interpret refusal to explain as evidence of intention to discriminate. Wilson’s refusal to explain why he did not extend to the President the common courtesies of the House leaves him open to the charge of discrimination in exactly the same way.

    It’s also relevant that the subject matter about which Obama was accused of terminological inexactitude is not in any way classified or shrouded in secrecy. Unlike the issue of WMD in Iraq, for example, the proposed regulations governing the scope of the President’s new health care initiative are all set out in the policy documents, and have been the subject of vigorous public debate for some time. The President has openly declared that he considers these regulations adequate for their purpose. This is an open statement of opinion on an entirely transparent question of policymaking. To suggest that the President is lying about this is merely to claim that the President is concealing some other sincerely held personal opinion, but in no way implies that anyone is withholding critical information that might conclusively decide the question.

    Until Wilson offers an explanation of his outburst, he is wide open to speculation as to what might have motivated it. Explicit or subconscious racism is as good an explanation as any other so far provided.

    • Enrique

      JusticeDemon, you are a sight for sore eyes so to speak. Great to hear from you again. Jonas said that a story in the HBL claims that Wilson was against banning the Confederate flag from a number of Southern states.

    • Enrique

      –One interesting thing is that obama came in power with highly racist voices…

      What voices are you referring to?

  5. Tiwaz

    Presumably that Obama received disproportionate amount of votes cast by black voters.

    Essentially giving rise to theory that he was voted by black not because of his promised policies but because he was black. That he could have imitated chicken in the political debates and STILL receive vast majority of black votes.

    This, in turn, is as racist as white people voting white candidate just because he is white.

    • Enrique

      –Presumably that Obama received disproportionate amount of votes cast by black voters.

      Or let me put it in this way. Obama would have never got elected if he did not have votes from whites and other minorities. He would have never made it to the White House only on the black vote.

  6. alex

    Enrigue Says: the (USA)is still mass poverty.There only crazy,lazy,drug & alcohol addicted people.I know a lot people who stay illigel in USA for many yers and nowbady of them live in poverty.

    • Enrique

      Hi Alex, immigrants usually do not have the “privilege” of sitting but must work really hard to find a place under the sun. Of course this is not always the case, but when you move to a new country there are a whole bunch of challenges that have to be overcome: work, housing, education, language, culture to name a few.

  7. alex

    Hi Enrique.I am immigrant and I work hard,I am truck driver.I live with my wife(she immgr.too)in small town pop.629 in Maine.My Job 1300 miles away.We stay in truck on the road for six month for 24/7.Another 6 month we stay home and travel oversea.Many of my naeborhgs live in poverty,they work hard and they told me that they like a simple life.They even don’t wont to clean and move owen garbege.One guy,his family has good buessness,but he likes live in slamb.In Maine you can find irons bar on windows only in indian reservacion.If US gaverment dive me the same benefits I culd live like king. You can read my story here for crossing border at july 11 1974 king.http://nemoo.wordpress.com/2008/11/28/a-disgraceful-era-we-should-never-repeat-in-finland/

  8. alex

    Hi Enrique.I live in small town pop.629.Some people lives in poverty they have money,but they lazy do something and say we like a simple live.I call them to drive a trucks around country.They don’t wont.I immigrant by myself and many my friends too.Nobody of them live in poverty. In USSR when Finns at1974 return us, KGB told us that save us from poverty live. 19http://nemoo.wordpress.com/2008/11/28/a-disgraceful-era-we-should-never-repeat-in-finland/
    ——————————————————
    http://www.panoramio.com/user/2216003

    • Enrique

      Hi Alex, I grew up in the United States (Los Angeles) and saw how hard some immigrants worked. I think you have a very important story to tell so that something like that never happens again. It would be great to speak to you, if possible. Have you received my email?

  9. Tiwaz

    -!How are matters the same in Europe when we look at the Roma, for instance, and other minorities?”

    How about Roma adjusting to society where they live? Some of them have abandoned their tribal traditions and do just fine. They just had to adjust to society around them, study and then get a job.

    It is not fault of majority if minority refuses to meet the requirements of functioning society.

    -“Or let me put it in this way. Obama would have never got elected if he did not have votes from whites and other minorities. He would have never made it to the White House only on the black vote.”

    DISPROPORTIONATE.

    You clearly have issues understanding this. Obama got more black votes than is statistically realistic. He got black votes for sake of being black.

    Of course he would not have made it to white house with only black votes, but black voters disproportionately voted for him regardless of his political agenda.

    Thus, racist vote.

    If it was revealed that white people voted en masse for McCain just because “he was white” people like you Enrique would likely be screaming bloody murder. Why no such outburst for Obama?

    Why are such double standards tolerated?

  10. Kal

    -You clearly have issues understanding this. Obama got more black votes than is statistically realistic. He got black votes for sake of being black.

    Of course he would not have made it to white house with only black votes, but black voters disproportionately voted for him regardless of his political agenda.

    Thus, racist vote.

    What does it matter? Ask yourself why you even have to (continuously) ask such a question? Why are you even worried about why black voters voted for President Obama…why shouldn’t they have? You ask a question like that because you resent it and that’s the plain simple truth. It’s hard for YOU to believe that they all voted for him because of his issues and policies. So what if some Black conservatives voted for him because he is black (I say some because there is a place in this world for Alan Keys/Michael Steele et al)

    The fact is they voted for him. You are inferring that blacks voted for President Obama because they hate whites..because racism is hatred. The problem with your analogy is that you feel blacks voted against the middle- aged white candidate McCain because they don’t like white people and to get one of their own in office to give them ‘one up’ on the status quo. That very idea is what causes all the backlash towards this current President of the united States. Tell yourself the truth you might not like it but maybe it will open your mind and heart a little bit more.

  11. Tiwaz

    -“What does it matter? Ask yourself why you even have to (continuously) ask such a question? Why are you even worried about why black voters voted for President Obama…why shouldn’t they have? You ask a question like that because you resent it and that’s the plain simple truth. It’s hard for YOU to believe that they all voted for him because of his issues and policies. So what if some Black conservatives voted for him because he is black (I say some because there is a place in this world for Alan Keys/Michael Steele et al)”

    What does it matter?

    It matters that it is RACISM! They did not vote his policies, they voted for his RACE!

    If WHITE population had done the same, voting for McCain for sake of the shade of his skin, Enriqe and you would be screaming bloody murder!

    It shows despicable DOUBLE STANDARDS!
    What is not acceptable for one, must never be acceptable for another.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1083335/Breakdown-demographics-reveals-black-voters-swept-Obama-White-House.html

    95% of blacks voting for Obama. Justify that with ANYTHING else but RACIST VOTE.

    You can’t. Black people in USA are not 95% democrats.

    Go ahead, show me evidence that 95% of black people in USA are democrats. Majority perhaps, but not 95%.

    Would you be taking it with such stroll if white people had gone for McCain with 95% of votes? No, as said, you would be screaming bloody murder and accusing them loudly of racism.

    So where is that righteous wrath on black racists?

  12. Kal

    Oh and seeing as you like to populate this blog with simultaneous posts (aliases n all) I would like to add that might want to consider the other races who voted as well, which I’m sure most would agree are most likely to be impartial (unless of course you are a lunatic nutcase hellbent on proving whites are god’s chosen people and all other races are out to destroy them).

    In fact, whites were the *only* race whose majority didn’t vote for Obama. Is this due to political/religious indoctrination? Perhaps because the majority of whites have corporate/conservative supplied jobs and job security (at the expense of everyone else most likely)? Considering GWB had 90+% disapproval rating IIRC and McCain’s policy was quite similar, one would expect a similar proportion of whites to disapprove of McCain, what gives? I know, maybe they’re racist!

    Just like with whites, a disproportionate amount of blacks voted for Obama relative to other ethnicities. Unlike the whites (and other ethnic groups) however, the overwhelming majority of blacks are either [close to being] in poverty or are close to someone that is. Besides offering practical solutions to help the impoverished and stimulate the economy, voting for Obama is also a chance to set a new historical milestone – which people of any race are often eager to do.

    Finally, most importantly, blacks have typically always favored a democrat candidates. Considering 88% voted for Kerry in ’04 and how many more people are sick of the war and suffering more economic hardship, it is kinda dumb to assume race alone was the primary catalyst in this unprecedented 8% increase of democrat support. That difference evern smaller when you look at those voting Clinton into power (91%).

    Chances are race did play a factor in many people’s voting decisions (to some degree at least), black or white, but that is a far cry from being their *only* consideration. Peer pressure/trendiness, economic hardship, dislike of the war, conservative politics and a chance to set a record/make history all seem more likely to be influences, IMO.

  13. Tiwaz

    So, now we come to conclusion that Black people have all the other reasons besides racism to vote for Obama.

    Now, Kal, explain to us why it is racism which motivated Joe Wilson to give his outburst, not for example partisan politics which USA is famous for where everything suggested by opposite party is strongly opposed. Specially when it represents ideology which your party opposes.

    Like, oh I don’t know, Healthcare which is one of the biggest hot potatoes in rivalry between Dems and Rebs.

    No, can’t be that. It must be racism right?

  14. Kal

    -So, now we come to conclusion that Black people have all the other reasons besides racism to vote for Obama.

    Who said ‘we’? LOL.

    -Now, Kal, explain to us why it is racism which motivated Joe Wilson to give his outburst, not for example partisan politics which USA is famous for where everything suggested by opposite party is strongly opposed. Specially when it represents ideology which your party opposes.

    Tiwaz, is English not your first language? I say this and will give you the benefit of doubt (on the above garbage you spewed) because you obviously don’t know how to read.

    Nice try at goading me (and I guess somehow stimulating your boring life), but it ain’t working my friend!

  15. Tiwaz

    How about stopping trying to whine about my English and answering the question.

    How can you or Enrique justify that outburst by Joe Wilson is racism?

    What proof there is for it to be racism? You yourself went to great lengths to try to point out that black people voting Obama in overwhelming majority are not racist.

    Apparently you have no grasp of what this thread is about. Read first post where they declare that outburst of Joe Wilson is motivated by racism.

  16. JusticeDemon

    Tiwaz

    This returns to the explanation that I supplied. Wilson has given no credible reason for his uniquely unusual outburst. He is in the same situation as a pub doorman who can supply no acceptable reason for refusing admission to a disabled person.

    It is not credible that this outburst was motivated purely by political differences, unless Wilson is in the habit of heckling everyone (and US Presidents in particular) with whom he has political differences. Evidently he is not.

    Carter is therefore entirely justified in positing overt or subconscious racism as the motivation for the outburst. No better explanation has been given.

    This balance of evidence is enough to convict a pub doorman in a Finnish court of law, so the question is, Tiwaz, are you trying to subvert the Finnish legal system?

  17. Kal

    A bit of history about Rep. Joe Wilson:

    In 2000, Joe Wilson was one of seven Republicans in the South Carolina Senate to vote to continue flying the Confederate battle flag over the state house. At the time he said,”The Southern heritage is very honorable.” The Senate voted 36 to 7 to take the flag down. He is also a member of the “Sons of Confederate Veterans.” This membership says a lot about Wilson. After all, the Civil War began in 1861 in South Carolina and as a result 93,000 confederate soldiers were killed in action, 260,000 total dead in the south and 137,000 plus were wounded in an attempt to prevent the end of slavery, restore the Union and the strengthening of the role of U.S. Government.

    Tiwaz..you’ve guessed it, there’s more!

    In 2003, Wilson was one of the people who doubted Essie Mae Washington-Williams’ claim that she was the child Strom Thurman had out of wedlock. Wilson said even if the story is true, she should not have revealed it because “it’s a smear” on Thurman’s image and was a way to “diminish” Thurmond’s legacy. After the Thurman family acknowledged Washington-Williams was Thurman’s child, Wilson apologized, but added she should not have revealed Thurman was her father. According to Wilson’s statements, it appears Thurman’s legacy would not have been affected by the fact that Thurman, a married man, was cheating on his wife by sleeping with and having a baby by his black maid.

    CASE CLOSED

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