Earlier this week, Louisiana legislator Karen Carter Peterson called Obamacare critics racist:
"It isn’t about the administration, and members, it shouldn’t be about this administration at the state level nor should it be about the federal administration when it comes to Obamacare, but in fact it is," Peterson declared on the floor of the state senate. "And why is that? Why is that? I have talked to so many members both in the House and the Senate, and you know what? You ready? You ready for what it comes down to? It is not about how many federal dollars we can receive, it is not about that. You ready? It is about race. I know nobody wants to talk about that. It is about the race of this African-American president.”
Now, Peterson, the chair of the state party, is denying she called anyone racist. "I didn't call anyone a racist," she told a TV news outlet.
"I'm not stepping away from anything that I said on the floor. I didn't call anyone a racist. I referenced some of the conversations that I'd had with colleagues that, you know, shared with me that one of the factors, it's not always the factor. I didn't say that everybody's decision was based on that. But certainly one of the factors was politics around it and race, the issue of race. So, that has kind of stirred up some folks that are not, I guess, accustomed to having that conversation openly but I think that it's time that we not ignore the issue," said Peterson.
Peterson has refused to apologize for her comments, according to a local news affiliate:
And she's even been seen running away from reporters:
Slowly but surely, the toxin of bias is being leached out of American culture, if incrementally and by degrees. A Catholic was elected president in 1960, and since then Catholic nominees and candidates have become commonplace. A Jew was nominated in 2000 for vice president, and was a help to his ticket. In 2004 and 2008 respectively, Joe Lieberman and Rudy Giuliani ran for president, and their names and religions did not become issues.
Over at Harper's, Jack Hitt has filed a report from the RNC convention, "A Troubling Chant on the Convention Floor." According to Hitt, nativist Republican delegates started chanting "USA! USA!" in response to a heavily accented speaker from Puerto Rico. Of course, racism had nothing to do with it, as Tim Carney explains:
Arkansas Democrat Gene Jeffress, who is running for Congress in Arkansas's Fourth District, offered a strange story about health care reform at a recent campaign stop. The video, picked up by Caleb Howe at RedState, contains some offensive language from Jeffress, who suggests that Republican opposition to universal health care is racist. Watch it below:
The tendency of liberals to define the Republican party, the conservative movement, and most recently the Tea Party movement as the latest iteration of the Old South has been persistent, if not always sane. It survived the failure to convince voters that Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were political scions of Jefferson Davis, survived the appointment by George W.