Following these remarks by Jimmy Carter...
"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," Carter said. "I live in the South, and I've seen the South come a long way, and I've seen the rest of the country that share the South's attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans."
...who does Anderson Cooper think deserves another spot on his show to weigh in on the subject of racism? Racist Tea Bagger Mark Williams of course! Who else could he have possibly had on besides Williams after that insightful commentary we just had from him on the previous show?
Transcript below the fold.
COOPER: President Jimmy Carter saying that racism not only exists in America, but it's bubbled up because many white people believe an African-American president cannot lead the country.
With us now, Mark Williams, a chief organizer of the Tea Party Express. Also joining us tonight, CNN analyst Roland Martin. Mark, is racism a factor in these protests and the kind of anger that we have seen directed at the president, which is what President Jimmy Carter is saying?
MARK WILLIAMS, ORGANIZER, TEA PARTY EXPRESS: A tiny fringe.
And, you know, by now we're used to Jimmy Carter spouting stupid stuff that puts this country in a bad light.
What I would like to know from Jimmy Carter is, how do you explain the fact that President Obama is president and that his approval numbers are dropping through the floor? Did America wake up one day and decide that it's a racist country?
It's absurd. There's a fringe that says that. But, if you -- if you look out over the sea of signs at these tea parties, you will see a handful, a tiny handful, of anything that even -- even strikes of racism or even the color of the man's skin.
And -- and, of course, that's -- you know, you're going to get that. And I don't know how you -- short of repealing the First Amendment, how do shut -- how do you shut up a bigot?
COOPER: Roland Martin, what about that? Should Jimmy Carter have said this? Is he accurate? Is he right?
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I believe that the president, the former president, is indeed accurate, because he is speaking to what is a strong perception out there, not just from African- Americans, but also from whites as well.
When you talk about a fringe -- Mark speaks of a fringe element. And when you have conservative radio talk show host Tammy Bruce, who calls the first lady trash, when you have Glenn Beck, who says he has a hatred of white people, when you have Sherri Goforth, who worked for the Tennessee GOP state senator, who sends an e-mail out depicting the president like a spook, does not apologize initially because of the racism e-mail, but she says, I sent you the wrong e-mail list, what you have here, you do have individuals who have a problem with this.
You have four -- according to reports, 400 percent increase on threats on the life of the president. What's the difference between him and the previous 43? It is certainly his skin color. I think we cannot deny the reality...
WILLIAMS: Well, there is another difference, Roland.
WILLIAMS: There's another big difference.
COOPER: Let him finish. Then Mark can go.
MARTIN: ... that race -- there are subtle elements of race. Everything is not so overt, so out there in terms of colored drinking signs and signs for white only, but you do have subtle instances of race that we cannot deny that exist every day in American society.
WILLIAMS: Well, given that I have been a radio talk show host for 30 years almost, to cite the hyperbole that we sometimes engage in to make our point, take it over the top, is kind of lowering yourself there, Roland, because...
MARTIN: Well, actually, I hosted a radio show...
WILLIAMS: ... you know, don't forget, we have an entertainment aspect to what we do.
MARTIN: ... Mark, and this is an example.
WILLIAMS: But -- but to say that any of that, with the exception, perhaps, of the spook comment, is race-based is to ignore the other major differences in this administration.
And that is this administration is doing everything it can to dig into the pockets of the working Americans, steal from them, and steal from future generations, while borrowing from the Chinese today, to undermine this country.
WILLIAMS: Why is he out there bowing to Saudi kings, apologizing for this country wherever he goes?
MARTIN: Here's the reality, Mark.
WILLIAMS: Obama, do not apologize for me.
MARTIN: Mark, Mark, Mark, Mark, here's the reality.
The fact of the matter is, if you look at the facts, the deficit increased in President Bush and President Clinton. That's a fact. But the point here is, we have to -- we cannot deny the reality. When you look at the -- the viciousness of parents, mostly white, objecting to the president speaking to...
WILLIAMS: You try to take children's futures away from them, and their parents are going to object, Roland. It's that simple.
MARTIN: Mark, Mark, Mark. Excuse me, Mark. Mark, Mark, Mark, Mark, one second.
MARTIN: When we have people who are objecting to the president...
COOPER: Guys, guys, there is no point in talking over -- guys, really, there is no point in talking over each other. Viewers just turn it off.
So, Roland, finish your thought. Then Mark can talk.
MARTIN: When you have the viciousness of people objecting to the president speaking to schoolchildren, and then I look in Arlington, Texas, where they say, we're not going to show the kids, but we're going to bus to go see the former president talk about education as well, you cannot...
COOPER: But, Roland, there are people who will say, well, look, in past years, and under President Bush, we saw people demonstrating, showing signs saying President Bush was a Nazi, saying he was a fascist. Why is this any different?
MARTIN: Because you also look at the level of criticism.
When you hear people say statements like, you know, I want to take my country back from this man, it's also how you're looking at it. When I look at Jimmy Carter, 85 years on this earth, he has seen things through his eyes as a white man from the South that, frankly, I cannot necessarily see.
He has a different point of view. The same thing, I may see something as a man and say, I don't see what the big deal is with that, but a woman may say, I have a different experience because I'm a woman.
COOPER: So, when you hear somebody -- Roland, when you hear somebody say, he is changing our country, I want to take my country back, you hear...
MARTIN: When I hear someone say, he's not one of us, when I hear them say, I want my country back from him, I'm saying, wait a minute. What do you mean from him? He's the president, elected by 50-plus-one percent of the country. We cannot deny those sole elements. Again, I think there is an effort to make him a delegitimate president. We cannot deny the subtle pieces there. And I think about John Murtha, when he was a congressman during the campaign when he spoke about the people from his district, the issue of race. People said, how dare he say that? He represented the district for 35 years.
WILLIAMS: Roland, I would like to ask you then what was -- what is racist about the boos and the catcalls I got every time I mentioned Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid across country?
What was racist about my having a role in the unseating of conservative Republican white man John Doolittle, who was number two at the trough after Jack Murtha? What is racist about the vitriol directed at Barney Frank, the vitriol directed at Jack Murtha and the administration in general...
MARTIN: I'll tell you this, Mark.
WILLIAMS: If you think for one minute this tea party thing is about Obama, I have got news for you. This started during Bush.
WILLIAMS: And, as I have said repeatedly, President Bush planted the seeds, and all President Obama did was come along with a sack of fertilizer and a bottle of water to make it flourish, and then surround himself with these wack nuts, these czar nuts that he's got around him...
MARTIN: Mark, Mark, Mark, here's the difference, Mark.
WILLIAMS: ... who are bound and intent to do...
WILLIAMS: ... what they can to disrespect the people who pay the bills.
MARTIN: Mark, here's the difference.
When I -- when we speak about these issues, it's amazing. When I begin to get the e-mails, Anderson, from people, all right, and we could be talking about the president picking who should win the Super Bowl. And, all of a sudden, race is injected. Race oftentimes is attached to this president, not just in terms of people out there speaking.
And when you begin to read blogs, and you begin to read comments...
WILLIAMS: Where did you see this? Where did you see this...
WILLIAMS: Mark, Mark, Mark, one second. Mark, one second.
I often -- I get tons of e-mail every day. I will respond to people and say, wait a minute, how did you jump to the issue of race? How did that even come into the conversation?
WILLIAMS: Roland, you're -- you're better than Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. You're engaging in...
MARTIN: I'm making a broader point.
MARTIN: Mark, excuse me.
I'm making a broader point. And that is, I'm not in denial about race in America. Just because we elected an African-American president does not somehow mean race simply left this country. We cannot ignore that.
What I'm saying is, we, as African-Americans, as whites, Hispanics, Asians, whatever, we have to be willing to call people out for what it is, and not ignore it, like you choose to do, Mark.
COOPER: Mark, Mark, let me ask you, you said in the beginning of this that there is a small fringe element in some of these demonstrations...
COOPER: ... a very small element, you said.
A lot -- as you know, a lot of play has been given in the media to some of the signs that people have held up. There is this witch doctor sign that -- that has gotten a lot of play. We're showing it right now.
Is that something, when you see, you think, OK, that is -- do you believe that is racist? And, if you do, is that something you would tell people in your movement who come to your rallies, look, don't be -- don't be bringing that sign?
MARTIN: Yes. Obviously, I would. And, yes, it is -- it detracts from the -- from the actual discussion. And it's engaging in the same kind of demagoguery that Roland is engaging in and that the others in the race-baiting business, who make their check off of -- off of perpetuating racism, like the Jacksons and the Sharptons do.
But the fact of the matter is, I'm also in the media. And I understand what makes a good picture, a TV picture. And those signs, face it, they make the camera, because they're unique. There -- you don't see picture after picture of little kids holding up signs saying, "President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, don't spend my future," because there are thousands of them.
MARTIN: But, Mark, have you come to them and say, take it down, that is not -- we do not want to have -- have you done that?
Have you called on your supporters and say, that is not allowed here; take that down?
MARTIN: I don't determine what people believe or feel or express, Roland.
MARTIN: No, no, no, answer the question, Mark. Have you done it? Have you done it?
WILLIAMS: Unlike you folks on the far left, I do not mandate to people what they should feel and believe.
WILLIAMS: I don't have to agree with people who say it. Why should I?
WILLIAMS: I'm supposed to find one guy in a crowd of 10,000 and say, hey, take that sign down? What does that make me? That makes me no better than the -- than the onerous, odiferous philosophies we're trying to fight.
MARTIN: Mark, the difference between me and you is, I'm willing to fight racism if it's coming from African-Americans or from whites or anybody else.
WILLIAMS: Well, the difference between me and you is, you make...
WILLIAMS: ... on perpetuating racism. I don't.
WILLIAMS: You, sir, are an apologist for them. And you allow them to move forward.
And that's the problem, Anderson.
COOPER: I want to give Mark the final thought.
WILLIAMS: Well, the difference between me and a lot of people is, there are people in the professional race-baiting business who make a good living off perpetuating racism.
I don't happen to be one of them. I'm an American. And what I see happening to my country scares me, because we are headed down a path that we have seen before in human history. And, if we go to the end, we know how this book ends.
COOPER: We're going to...
MARTIN: And I have seen racism before, as well. That scares me.
COOPER: Mark Williams, I appreciate your time on the program.
WILLIAMS: Thank you.
COOPER: Roland Martin, as well, thank you.
MARTIN: Thank you.
COOPER: Good discussion.