10 Horrifying Racist Attacks on Obama
The warm months of 1969 came to be known as the "summer of love." Surely the past months of 2009 will go down in history as the "summer of hate" -- with fearsome crowds of thuggish, and almost entirely white, conservatives railing against Barack Obama's stimulus package and proposals for health care reform and "cap-and-trade" climate legislation.
At least, those are the ostensible targets.
But the overheated rhetoric masks a more fundamental complaint about the perceived loss of white America's tribal power in an era with the first African American president.
At this summer's "tea parties," town hall meetings and the recent march on Washington organized by Fox News talker Glenn Beck, signs with Obama portrayed as an African witch doctor, complete with a bone through his nose, and signs claiming Obama is the rightful president only of Kenya and other thinly disguised racial markers have been commonplace.
Clearly, these demonstrations of inchoate rage are about more than public policy. Former President Jimmy Carter stepped into the fray this week, stating the obvious: "intensely demonstrated animosity" toward Obama, the 39th president said, is "based on the fact that he is a black man." This elicited a torrent of angry denunciations from right-wing media.
While Carter might have overstated the degree to which the anger is motivated by racial animus -- saying it was behind "an overwhelming portion" of the criticisms lobbed at Obama -- it's clear not only from the street protests, but also from the rhetoric employed by the conservative media elite that racism is indeed alive in "post-racial America," and is certainly ratcheting up the temperature of the country's discourse.
We took a tour of that discourse and present 10 recent examples of the kind of racially charged barbs that played a part in Carter's statement.
1. Oh no! Evil monkeys stole our balls!
You know who really had their act together? British colonists in India. But oppressing a country of hundreds of millions for more than a century was not without its dangers. For instance, sometimes monkeys descended on the Brits' golf courses and stole their balls.
And that it is how former House Whip Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., chose to illustrate the challenges facing conservatives in the Obama era. Friday, AlterNet's Adele Stan reported Blunt's words to the conservative Values Summit:
"... Something they didn't anticipate was monkeys came running out of the jungle, and they grabbed the golf balls ... and they might throw the golf ball back at you. ... So for this golf course, and this golf course and this golf course only, they passed a rule, and the rule was, you have to play the ball where the monkey throws it."
The crowd roared with laughter.
He went on to say that he recently saw a bumper sticker he liked that read: "Don't let Obama find out what comes after a trillion."
2. Rush Limbaugh, worried about future of favorite cookie, blows off steam by making racist joke about Obama
In a July broadcast, Rush Limbaugh voiced his displeasure -- nay, outrage -- about food-safety advocates potentially "going after" Oreo cookies. Added the great wit: "Might have to put that off until Obama's out of office, but they'll eventually go after Oreos."
3. When you weren't looking, Obama snuck reparations into the health care bill
This is why we have to be vigilant. According to Beck and Limbaugh, Obama is using health reform to force reparations for slavery from white America. Beck: "Everything getting pushed through Congress -- including this health care bill -- is transforming America. And it's all driven by President Obama's thinking on one idea: reparations. ... He believes in all the 'universal' programs because they ‘disproportionately affect' people of color" (All of whom Obama knows personally, cause … you know … ).