President Obama's election was supposed to usher in an era of racial unity greater than any Americans had previously experienced. By making the historic move to place the first black president in the White House, Americans signified that they were ready to move beyond the racial conflicts of the past and move forward, arm-in-arm.
At least that's what we were told.
So much for that.
In the last two weeks, MSNBC's Chris Matthews, official hot-air-trial balloon for the Obama administration's public relations strategy, has played the race card incessantly. First, he proclaimed that Republican New Jersey senatorial candidate Steve Lonegan was using a racist "dog whistle" when he stated that Cory Booker's Newark was a "black hole" for state tax funds. Then, Matthews said that tea partiers using the word "we the people" to describe the country signified racism, since not everyone agrees with the tea party program. Then, to top it all off, Matthews declared Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who is of Cuban descent, a racist for joking upon his return to Texas, "Gee, it's great to be back in America." That led Matthews into this wild rant: "This 'We're Americans, we white people out here in Texas, as opposed to people who live in the big cities: the ethnics, the blacks, the browns. Those people in Washington, those liberals, they're not Americans.' This guy either has a total lack of understanding of American history and the hell we went through in the McCarthy period or he knows it damn well and is playing that card."
Matthews has not been strapped into the straitjacket yet, but he's getting close.
Meanwhile, Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., went further than Matthews, declaring that the tea party was akin to the Ku Klux Klan. He put out a flyer to his constituents with a burning cross in place of the "t" in the word "tea." The flyer stated, "The Tea Party is no more popular than the Klan." When called on to disown this race-baiting trash, Grayson instead doubled down, stating, "there is overwhelming evidence that the Tea Party is the home of bigotry and discrimination in America today, just as the KKK was for an earlier generation. If the shoe fits, wear it." Grayson did not explain why the KKK was a group that voted unanimously Democrat, why progressive hero Woodrow Wilson was a huge fan of the KKK, and why KKK former honcho Robert Byrd was treasured by the Democratic Party until the day he died.
Charges of racism have echoed from nearly every left-leaning mouth of late. Opposition to Obamacare: racist. Opposition to President Obama on the shutdown: racist. Don't like the president's tie-shirt combination? Racist.
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