The Right Attempts to Reclaim Racism to Fight Health Care Reform [Politics and Bullshit]

by Latoya Peterson

Oh brother.  Via Andrew Sullivan, there’s a new political ad out with an obnoxiously familiar message:

The video features various people saying “I guess I’m a racist” and puts up a statistic from the Rassumen reports, stating that 12% of voters believe that opponents of Barack Obama’s health care plan are racist.  This poll was released on September 16th, 2009, less than a week following Joe Wilson’s “You Lie” public outburst.  They conveniently forget to mention this in the video.   They also quote Carter and show a cute image of a mother and baby -“I guess we’re racist!”

The piece goes on to say “If people are racist for opposing Obama’s health care plan, I guess a lot of people in this country are racist.”

Yeah, no shit.  That dynamic existed before any of these health care debates, or this election for that matter.

This ad is apparently running on Fox News (though I have only seen it online) and even features a Congressional Representative -Rob Schaaf of Missouri.

Andrew Sullivan writes:

It’s an effective ad against something of a straw man. I really haven’t heard anyone say that opposition to, say, the public option is rooted in racism. Maybe someone has, but it’s not exactly a meme. Conflating wider worries about the intensity of vaguely articulated loathing of Obama as racially tinged with specific worries about health insurance reform is, however, a useful piece of sophism.

That it is, but it also worries me because it follows the pattern of people hiding behind the mantle of oppression by claiming that they are suffering for speaking their minds.  We already saw this play out with the term political correctness – could racism be next?