In an overwhelmingly partisan vote, the House of Representatives expressed its disapproval of Representative Joe Wilson’s outburst during President Obama’s speech last week. Wilson’s interruption of the President was certainly inappropriate, prompting the Representative to properly apologize to Obama. Some Democrats, however, are increasing the poisonous atmosphere in Congress through their insistence on drawing race into the picture.
Before Congress’s vote, Hank Johnson, D-Ga absurdly stated that without action taken against Wilson people would be wearing “white hoods and white uniforms again and riding through the countryside" – a direct reference to the Ku Klux Klan. Likewise, the head of the Congressional Black Caucus, Barbara Lee, D-Ca, said that we “can't sweep race under the rug — racism is still a factor and must be addressed.” While not directly in response to the Wilson affair, former President Jimmy Carter echoed this sentiment. He stated that “I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man."
The Left’s fixation with bringing race into the discussion is disingenuous and reprehensible. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to suggest that Rep. Wilson’s or any American’s disagreement with Obama’s and the Democrat’s policies have anything to do with race. Wilson’s outburst, while unacceptable in that forum, was the result of well-thought out policy differences, not a deep-seeded racism. The fact that this was the first time a President has been shouted down while speaking on the floor of the House is a testament to the divisiveness and partisanship that has grown under the current administration. The fact that a Representative, who by all accounts is respected and respectful, broke such rules of decorum only speaks to the fact that the administration’s policies are threatening to a vast swath of America.
The Democrat’s endeavors to paint this as racism, is simply an attempt to stifle discussion. By trying to divert the discussion, they are seeking to avoid real discourse over the issues. While Wilson should have addressed his concerns in another forum, Democrats are willing to pull out every stop to silence him. President Carter’s blanket statement is even more dangerous. To label any disagreement with the President as racism takes America down a perilous path. Under such a Carteresque world-view dissent is not allowed and the opposition is silenced.
The only issue of race in any of this is in the heads of these Democratic statesmen. Whether they truly believe these disagreements with the administration are race-based or whether they are simply using race as a political tool to silence Republicans, the Democrats are sorely misguided. It is time for the Democrats to mature past the siren’s call of race as their fall-back explanation for every disagreement with Republicans. Americans care far more about good policy than the skin-color of the individual proposing it. If Democrats are so naïve to think otherwise, they are hurting themselves and America.