Rachel Maddow On The GOP's Overt Racism

Rachel Maddow weighs in on the overt racism that the GOP and their counterparts in the media don't seem to be too concerned about expressing these day
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Rachel Maddow weighs in on the overt racism that the GOP and their counterparts in the media don't seem to be too concerned about expressing these days.

BECK: This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seed hatred for white people or the white culture.

LIMBAUGH: Here you have a black president trying to destroy a white policeman. I think he is genuinely revved up about race. You know me. I think he is genuinely angry in his heart and has been his whole life.

MALKIN: I think he is a racial opportunist.

LIMBAUGH: Look, I had a dream. I had a dream that I was a slave building a sphinx in a desert that looked like Obama.

BECK: He has a problem. He has a - this guy is, I believe, a racist.

LIMBAUGH: And after that, they‘re going to go after Oreos. Might have to put that off until Obama is out of office, but they‘ll eventually go after Oreos.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Now, the racial divide in this country didn‘t disappear when Barack Obama was elected president. And no reasonable person has expected it to. But it is somewhere between eyebrow raising and breathtaking to have such blunt, unvarnished race-baiting so forward in the national discourse right now.

And the type of race baiting to which we‘re subjected is fairly specific and fairly consistent. The argument that the president hates white people, for example, which you just heard Glenn Beck make on Fox News, that it‘s he, the president, who is racist, that argument dovetails perfectly with the arguments made against Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor and the far more genteel setting of the United States Senate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KYL: Many of Judge Sotomayor‘s public statements suggest she may indeed allow or even embrace decision making based on her biases and prejudices.

SESSIONS: Her wise Latina -

GRASSLEY: Your wise Latina comment -

COBURN: Already prejudiced against one of the parties.

GRASSLEY: Allow biases and personal preferences. She said that a wise - quote, “wise Latina would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male.”

CORNYN: And that ethnicity and gender can and even should have an impact on a judge‘s decision-making.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: The language of our Republican senators is less blatant than the language of professional conservative talkers. But the theme is the same. What we have here are ethnic minorities who can‘t be trusted to use their official power fairly because they‘re prejudiced against white people.

Now, with or without outrageous cracks about the biracial president being an Oreo, as we just heard from Rush Limbaugh, the conservative movement and the Republican Party are positioning themselves the same here. They‘re positioning themselves as defenders of the interests of white America against the threat posed to white America by people like Obama and Sotomayor.

Are white people in America enraged by having a black president, by the success of people like Obama and Sotomayor? Is there out rage that being white in America no longer guarantees you monopolistic access to the positions of greatest power in this country?

There must be some, certainly, but whether or not this race-baiting political tactic succeeds in the 2000s, depends on whether there is enough of that kind of tappable white rage out there to compensate for how bad it makes these guys look to be seen spewing this kind of overt racial invective.

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