The Non-Apology of Rep. Joe Wilson Shows Hidden Claws of Racism

Representative Joe Wilson’s inappropriate outburst at President Obama’s health care address to a jt. session of congress is part of the continuing saga by Joe Wilson and others to twist what President Obama said in his speech and the details of the proposed reform package.

So, why did Joe Wilson allow himself to rudely interrupt the President? Maureen Dowd of the New York Times wrote a piece entitled, “Boy, Oh, Boy” that addressed this prickly question. She said:

But Wilson’s shocking disrespect for the office of the president — no Democrat ever shouted “liar” at W. when he was hawking a fake case for war in Iraq — convinced me: Some people just can’t believe a black man is president and will never accept it.

Is that it? Are the relentless smear campaigns about President Obama fundamentally about the fact that he is the first black president in the U.S. and some people south of the Mason-Dixon line and in other parts of the country have trouble wrapping their minds around that fact?

What else could explain why there is a seemingly perpetual effort to smear President Obama and to misinform the public through Fox News and other media personalities like Rush Limbaugh to purposely scare Americans about proposed health care reforms?

In his play, Coriolanus, Shakespeare wrote about how certain elements of the common people could be riled up and manipulated by self-professed tribunes of the people. Fox News seems to be playing this role together with congressmen who may have hidden racist ideologies percolating in their veins.

What is the antidote to save the people from the proliferation of lies parading as news that are fed to them by the right wing media, courtesy of monied interests that want to preserve the status quo and protect their financial assets?

It’s time to take the gloves off and call these attacks on President Obama what they are: racist diatribes for political gain.

There is no excuse for Rep. Joe Wilson’s disrespectful behavior towards the president, he should be severely reprimanded by Congress. There is a time and a place for discussion and voicing disagreement, and Mr. Wilson was out of line in claiming he couldn’t control himself at that moment.

This country is a melting pot of people and we should be proud of that heritage. It is a victory for our country that we have a young black president who is actually a melting pot unto himself. He is both black and white, he is a perfect blending of cultures, like our nation. He also brings the great welcoming Aloha spirit of Hawaii to our nation’s capital.

President Obama is asking for true dialogue, not demagoguery by factions within congress, on the right wing airwaves, or in the corridors of financial and political power. We must also become critical thinkers to contribute to the dialogue and to let the demagogues know that their empty harmful rhetoric must change for the sake of meaningful dialogue and progress for health care reform.

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