Monday, March 26, 2012






Race.   Not Race.   Race.



Don't blame me.     And don't blame Newt Gingrich.    Blame David Plouffe.

Gingrich was criticized when he blasted President Obama for allegedly bringing race into the discussion of the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida.      Queried about the matter, the President had stated "When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids....    If I had a son he'd look like Trayvon."

On ABC's This Week (transcript here), George Stephanopoulos played for presidential adviser David Plouffe the video clip in which Newt Gingrich commented

What the president said, in a sense, is disgraceful. It's not a question of who that young man looked like. Any young American of any ethnic background should be safe, period. We should all be horrified, no matter what the ethnic background. Is the president suggesting that, if it had been a white who'd been shot, that would be OK, because it wouldn't look like him? That's just nonsense. 

Plouffe told Stephanopoulos

Well, first of all, the president spoke out, I thought, very powerfully. And, in fact, there's been broad agreement, almost universal agreement, including the people running for president, that there ought to be a thorough investigation of this.  

Those comments are reprehensible. And, you know, Speaker Gingrich is clearly in the last throes of his political career. And, you know, you can make a decision whether to go out with some shred of dignity or say these irresponsible, reckless things, and he's clearly chosen the latter path, and that's unfortunate for the country.


Gingrich was waxing indignant that the President had injected a racial angle into a shooting which appears to have had a racial component, notwithstanding whether it will prove to have been a bias crime.    On another network (CNN), South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, disagreeing with "the criticism by our guys," noted "We all know there’s a racial component to this, and when the president highlights it, I don’t think it adds a whole lot."

On the same morning that Senator Graham would defend the President and Plouffe would attack Gingrich as "reprehensible," Plouffe appeared on another of the Sunday morning talk shows (transcript here).      There, asked by host David Gregory why Obama "doesn't lead more forcefully" a conversation about race, he replied

First of all, he's president of every American.  But I think whether you look at the comments he made when the MLK Memorial was established, if you look at some of the comments he's made throughout his presidency, he spoke very powerfully about the journey that the country's been on.  He's now a very important part of that journey, obviously.  His election made history in that respect.

So I think his leadership here has been profound.  I think he's definitely had a huge impact on African-American girls and boys thinking that they can do anything with their life.  But obviously, we've got to continue to make progress here.  


Plouffe said Obama's "election made history" and the President has "definitely had a huge impact on African-American girls and boys thinking that they can do anything with their life." On another network, Newt Gingrich was "reprehensible" for talking race.    One moment an Obama adviser trumpets comments made by Obama "when the MLK Memorial was established" and argues the President "spoke very powerfully about the journey that the country's been on.       He's now a very important part of that journey, obviously.    His election made history in that respect."      Gingrich's race-tinged remarks, however, were "reprehensible."

It is a cynical, slimy campaign which has been waged by the Obamites.     When there is a comment by a GOP politician implying that Barack Obama was not born in the U.S.A., is a Muslim, or in some way does not fit the image of the conventional, traditional American President, there is ridicule or (largely justified) outrage from the Center for American Progress, MSNBC, and other Obama supporters.      The next day, we are reminded of the rebirth of the nation, and the remaking of the world, inspired by the election of a black President.    

They cannot have it both ways, and the first impulse is more accurate.     The country has been transformed in the past three years neither by expanded opportunities for young black men, revitalization of urban black neighborhoods, or the flowering of racial harmony.Progress on these fronts has been, well, nonexistent.        If the nation has been on some sort of New Age "journey," the destination might not be what we hope for.





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