Larry Elder

Imagine, lessons in civility from the network that gave a show to the race-hustling incendiary, the Rev. Al Sharpton. This "civil rights activist" became famous by falsely accusing a white man of raping a black teenage girl. Sharpton helped foment the 1991 Crown Heights riots, a three-day outburst of mostly black-driven, anti-Semitic violence that one Columbia University professor called "a modern-day pogrom." Sharpton once called David Dinkins, the black mayor of New York City, a "n--ger whore." MSNBC also gave a show to Ed Schultz, who once called conservative radio host Laura Ingraham a "right-wing slut."

But the claim that racism drives much of the opposition to Obama does not confine itself to cable. Former President Jimmy Carter also blames racism for much of Obama opposition: "I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African-American. Racism ... still exists, and I think it's bubbled up to the surface because of a belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country." Proof? None required.

Lack of respect for the office of the presidency? In the interest of time, we provide but a few reminders from the distant past:

"George W. Bush is our Bull Connor," said Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., comparing Bush to the Southern lawman who turned dogs and water hoses on civil rights marchers during the '60s.

"Bush is an incompetent leader," said then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "In fact, he's not a leader. He's a person who has no judgment, no experience and no knowledge of the subjects that he has to decide upon."

Sen. (then-candidate) Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.: After Hurricane Katrina, President Bush "let people die on rooftops in New Orleans because they were poor and because they were black."

"I sometimes feel that Alfred E. Neuman is in charge in Washington," said then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, referring to the dimwitted icon of Mad magazine. She even used Neuman's catchphrase, "What, me worry?" to describe how Bush handled tough issues.

Democratic Sen. (and then-Minority Leader) Harry Reid of Nevada called Bush a "loser" and a "liar." Reid apologized for the "loser" comment, but "liar" stood.

Etc., etc.

Former ABC White House reporter Sam Donaldson, who called Munro's interruption "wrong and unusual," wrote: "Many on the political right believe this President ought not to be there -- they oppose him not for his polices and political view, but for who he is, an African American."

"Many"? As many as those who support and defend Obama -- because he is black? Or is it rude -- and racist -- to ask such a question?


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.