from the editor, SamHenry
FINALLY, a voice in the crowd that asks the right question:
September 11, 2009Tom Foreman | Bio
[for full article see
We still have a question: Why does this President evoke such fierce feelings?
Some people insist it’s because he is black. “It’s just racism,” they say. Others respond indignantly, “He was elected by vast numbers of white people. Are you going to pull that out every time his policies are challenged?”
Others argue that after running with a centrist, bi-partisan message he is veering hard into liberal-land, leaving even some supporters feeling “betrayed.” That’s a loaded word even among battle-hardened politicos.
And still others say he is simply trying too aggressively to bring sweeping change to a town that never really wants it, so voters and their Representatives are striking back.
Having listened to an awful lot of voters over the past month or so, I think each of these notions is a little right, but more…incomplete. There is a forest lurking among these trees. I’ve talked to disaffected Republicans, Independents, and Democrats; conservatives, liberals, and moderates; blacks, whites, and everyone else. Each group has people who oppose the president’s plans for different reasons.
What they all have in common is that they feel as if they are being ignored; that when they politely try to discuss the issue, the White House is blowing them off. The President and his defenders say they have tried valiantly to include, even accommodate, the opposition, but many voters just don’t believe it. None of this excuses the Congressman’s behavior or the collapse of professionalism and civility on both sides of the political aisle. But it is still a problem for the president.
A historian once wrote that the cause of every revolution is a ruler who won’t hear the complaints of the ruled. That doesn’t mean the ruler must agree with the disgruntled masses, but they must know they are being heard…or the shouting will only grow louder.
Now add to the above-reasoned analysis:
Inside the 9/12 protest
By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
September 13, 2009
And they wonder who he [the President] is as a person. “The company you keep tells a lot about who you are,” says Tres Berden, a truck driver from Newark, New Jersey. “With all of those associations of his, from Rev. Wright to Van Jones — you don’t know those kind of people without being one.” Berden, one of the few African-Americans in the crowd, is a Democrat who now considers himself a libertarian. He voted for Obama, but quickly became disillusioned. “He isn’t the person he sold us,” Berden says.
You’ve probably heard descriptions of the marchers as crazies and haters and fanatics. Perhaps there were some in the crowd. Far more important, though, was the very presence of so many everyday Americans protesting in Washington, just eight months into unified Democratic control of the White House and Congress. What did Barack Obama and his party’s leadership on Capitol Hill do to bring doctors and truck drivers together in common cause on the streets of the nation’s capital? More than anything, these people are afraid that the new president is running the country off a cliff. They’re in no mood to remain silent now.
Compare the above journalists’ remarks with these:
Who Distributed Offensive Ted Kennedy Sign at 9/12 Rally?
by Tommy Christopher | 8:43 pm, September 12th, 2009
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I think this one says it all:
As if the “Bury Obamacare with Kennedy” sign wasn’t already dripping with class, the Twelvers cover Kennedy’s name with horseshit to really turn the 9/12 ‘tude up to 11. What’s really disgusting about this is that this isn’t some homemade bit of filth, but a pre-printed message distributed by the American Life League, a right-wing anti-choice group.
Posted by Jessie on Sep 14th, 2009
The crudely drawn ‘monkey’ image in the middle of this sign suggests the deeply racist imagery of Obama that appeared during the campaign and has continued throughout his presidency. There are some more of these racist signs posted here. This is the same kind of racist hatred that is fueling the 400 percent increase in death threats to Obama that I mentioned here yesterday.
Although it’s possible that mainstream news outlets are not reporting on the racism at these protests out of some sort of concern for stoking the flames of racism, it seems more likely to me that those deciding on what is – and is not – newsworthy are steeped in a white racial frame that hinders them from accurately perceiving the many ways that the 912 protest is rooted in racism and white supremacy. The combination of this racism and the intense hatred of Obama makes for a dangerous combination.
Actually, Jesse, you and the others who are engaged in photos that edit the character of a crowd of more than 3 million (amazing how hard it was for most people to figure out you had to go to the National Park Service and not to a local website or paper to get this figure] are the ones fueling more hatred and racism. And now add to that classism. Last night on CNN [I think it was Anderson Cooper 360] had James Carville as a panelist. He labeled the 912 protesters as “without class.” And he further exclaimed “did you see some of them”?
And by the way, Carville waved about a poster with a different format than the one about burying Obama with the Kennedys pictured above covered with manure. Now what was the source for that? I am not certain that some of the printed posters all came from right wing extremist groups.