Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Racism, Front and Center

The last month and a half of US politics has been uglier than usual. Across the country, we have seen riotous constituents (and a few others) screaming at Members of Congress, carrying fire arms, and spewing hate-filled language at every meida outlet available.

In just the last week, we've witnessed both a member of the House of Representatives shouting at the President of the United States during a major speech before Congress and a "march on Washington" with some of the most blantat, vitriolic messaging I've ever seen.


Georgetown University Sociology Professor Michael Eric Dyson has an idea. Maureen Dowd has an idea. Former President Jimmy Carter has an idea. And they're all calling it the same thing: racism.

Georgetown University Sociology Professor Michael Eric Dyson responded to the claims of "angry ideological differences" v. "racism" with a succinct social, political, and historical context of race/racism in the US:

In her 9/13 NYTimes Op-Ed, Maureen Dowd outlines what she calls "the lunacy of the summer," concluding that all the name-calling of the president (from 'socialist' to 'granny killer') comes back to an attempt to discredit the President as "other."

And in an interview with NBC, former President Jimmy Carter has this to say:

At what point do we ignore the party lines and focus on human decency (or a severe lack thereof)? As feminists; as Republicans/Democrats/Libertarians/Greens/Women's Party/Independets...whatever(!) we mustto deal with this. This is not a post-racial society, and this is not a bi-racial society. We are a multi-racial society that MUST address our multi-racial problems.

What are your thoughts? Is this the tipping point? Where do we go from here?

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