Race-baiting ad ‘sucks the air’ out of health care debate
“I guess I’m a racist,” declare the speakers in a shocking video opposing health care reform. Some critics of reform apparently are saying they are unfairly being called racists.
The ad was created by conservative filmmaker Ray Griggs and some reports say it has appeared on Fox News.
Blogger Andrew Sullivan first noticed the ad Sunday.
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.
“I think obscene is maybe the best word I can use to describe it,” Princeton University African studies professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. “It sucks all the rhetorical air out of the room.”
Harris-Lacewell added, “We now can’t have a conversation about either structural racism which exists in the health care system, the ways that race might be motivating some of the critiques about Barack Obama. Nor can we even have a decent conversation about what’s wrong with the assertions about what the health care reform is because it’s such an appalling message.”
This video is from MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Dec. 7, 2009.