Historical Insights Into Racism

idea light bulbAaron Blake, a reporter who covers national politics for The Washington Post’s blog “The Fix,” noted in a recent column that President Barack Obama has recently begun to personalize congressional Republicans’ steady opposition to his policy proposals. In a series of recent speeches, the president has gone beyond the typical give and take of partisan sniping to hint that something darker and more sinister may lie behind the hard time that many Republicans in Congress are giving him.

“He has suggested on multiple occasions that Republicans aren’t just opposing him out of partisanship, but out of personal animus or spite,” Blake wrote in a post with the headline “Obama’s new argument: Republicans are picking on me because they don’t like me.”

At the heart of the president’s argument is his presumption of conservative motives. And let’s be frank about it, even if the commander in chief won’t: There’s an odor of racism that fouls the air around much of the conservative opposition. This view is shared by a great number of progressives, including some prominent figures who have dared to express it, including former President Jimmy Carter, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, or DCCC.

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