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Take a look at the following excerpt, which I got from an article:

"Hitler and Obama have a lot in common," says 65-year-old Rich Cook, explaining that both men manipulated the masses masterfully.

Let me ask all of you: do you suspect this of being a coded racial attack against the President?

Okay, I lied--sort of. The excerpt I quoted is actually from this article from 1996, and the politician being compared with Hitler was not Barack Obama, but Bill Clinton. (The excerpt is verbatim, except you have to replace the word "Obama" with "Clinton.") But how many of you were ready to answer "yes" when I asked whether it was a coded racial attack? (Be honest.) I am especially curious to see if anyone selects "yes" in the poll--which would suggest they answered the poll before reading the body of this diary. It's a sneaky trick, I know, but I did it to make a point: Why does the same attack suddenly become racist as soon as it is applied to a black president?

Some of the attacks on Obama, I will agree, seem clearly to have racial overtones, such as the birther business. But sometimes I think we go too far, perceiving any attack on Obama as racial. I myself have been guilty of this tendency from time to time. Even an insane, ridiculous attack isn't necessarily racial. Past politicians (such as Bill Clinton) have endured similar invective. For many Obama supporters, the attacks begin to take on the qualities of a Rohrschach, inkblot test: no matter what form they take, they are always interpreted as a coded slur against the first black president.

I've been discussing this matter with others over the past few weeks. The question we've been debating is whether--or how much--the extreme attacks on President Obama are evidence of racism. A discussion under a previous diary, in which the diarist suggested that the comparisons between Obama and Hitler in a rally constituted evidence of racism, sparked this diary. Full disclosure: Being white myself, I lack the direct experience of coded racism (though being Jewish, I have had some experience with coded anti-Semitism, a topic for another day). Still, I have attempted to reason out the issue to the best of my ability.

Ever since Obama appeared on the national stage, he has been subject to some of the most grotesque and extreme attacks ever made against a contemporary politician. He has been called a racist, a Marxist, a terrorist, a baby-killer, and an usurper. He has been compared to Hitler and Stalin, not to mention the Joker from The Dark Knight. He has been described as a brutal tyrant and as a starry-eyed naif, a demagogue and a bumbler, the attendant of a radical Muslim church.

But anyone who thinks that rabid, violent conspiracy-mongering and name-calling are anything new have a short memory. Remember the swift-boating of John Kerry? Remember all the conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Vince Foster? In the 1990s, Clinton was called a rapist, a murderer, and a drug addict, and these theories were advanced openly by such major right-wing figures as Rush Limbaugh, Jerry Falwell, and even William Safire.

He was, also, as mentioned previously, compared to Hitler. Ross Perot made the comparison, in a 1998 appearance on Meet the Press. So did a poll taken by the New York Post, which listed the Clintons alongside Hitler, Stalin, and Charles Manson as the most evil people of the millennium.

And anyway, the right's use of Godwin's Law is old hat by now. Limbaugh has long talked about "feminazis," and who can forget Ann Coulter's description of Katie Couric as "the affable Eva Braun of morning TV"? (Actually, I can.) The left once was the most guilty of this type of slur, but after the end of the Cold War, when "commie" began to lose its sting, the right began to take up comparing its targets to Nazis. Jonah Goldberg's early-2008 book Liberal Fascism talked a lot more about Hillary than Obama. Of course, the right hasn't given up likening Democratic policy to socialism and communism. They did it to Clinton, and so they're doing it to Obama as well. That as much is predictable, and would have happened whether the president was black or white.

Still, there is something more going on, with these attacks on Obama. Nobody in the Clinton era, as far as I can remember, threatened secession. Nobody hosted "tea parties" that directly conjure up the early American fight against British colonialism. Nobody accused Clinton of being a secret Muslim, or secret foreigner. He was attacked as unpatriotic, as most Democrats are by the right, but he wasn't accused of being literally not an American.

Before we consider the racial angle, we need to consider something else: the Republicans just suffered their most devastating election defeat since Johnson beat Goldwater in 1964. Their party is in tatters, and they face a Democratic president possessed of uncommon skill and charisma. The situation contradicts everything they've been brainwashed to believe through the apparatus of talk radio, FOX News, and all the other right-wing media outlets that have grown increasingly powerful over the past generation, and which were virtually nonexistent in Goldwater's time. They believe fervently that we live in a center-right nation, and that the Democratic policies which Obama has so effectively articulated are nothing but dangerous radicalism. They cannot accept that the nation has willingly rejected their conservative views and embraced the Democratic ones, so their only recourse is to assume it's some kind of conspiracy--the ascendance of a Hitler-like demagogue, aided by the media and election fraudsters, to pull the wool over the nation's eyes and take over the country.

I think they would feel this way even if the president in question were white. To say their hysteria is entirely because of the President's race gets the cause and effect wrong, in my view. They've gone into hysteria primarily for the reasons I outlined above. It's not so much the right being racist as it is the right being the right. Racial resentment has long been a quality of the cultural right, however, and it comes to the surface in situations like this. To put it simply: the extreme right has gone into hysteria over Obama because they're pissed about losing, but many of them are expressing themselves in racist ways because that's what they're accustomed to doing. Still, they wouldn't be acting this way toward a politician of color whom they like, such as Bobby Jindal. To them, Obama cannot be separated from the type of politics he represents.

Originally posted to Kylopod on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:20 AM PDT.

Poll

Is the Hitler comparison in this excerpt a coded racial attack against Obama?

57%43 votes
42%32 votes

| 75 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

    •  The attacks may or may not (9+ / 0-)

      be racially coded, depending on the content of a specific attack, but the rage underlying the attacks are derived, at least in part, from the demise of white skin privilege and the consequent emotional pain racists feel.  Their world is falling apart.  This anguish drives hate and rage.

      They "prefer an America where parents will lie awake at night worried if they can afford health care their children need."

      by TomP on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:23:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right On. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP

        Which leads to this question:

        Was the comparison to Hitler in 1996 a coded racial attack on Clinton, given that he also worked for the diminution of white skin power in his time as President?

        It is only racial in either case, in the sense that it is an attack on economic class, as black people are disproportionately located in the "have not" class, and whites among the "haves."

        "Kindly stop irritating the adults while we try to run the country."—h/t to Casual Wednesday

        by MooseHB on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 02:53:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Just Curious (7+ / 0-)

    What percentage of people believed Bill Clinton was born in Kenya?

    Senator Inhofe? If you're still wondering? He's on my side.

    by TooFolkGR on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:21:49 AM PDT

  •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MsSpentyouth, tnproud2b, MooseHB

    Still, there is something more going on, with these attacks on Obama. Nobody in the Clinton era, as far as I can remember, threatened secession. Nobody hosted "tea parties" that directly conjure up the early American fight against British colonialism. Nobody accused Clinton of being a secret Muslim, or secret foreigner. He was attacked as unpatriotic, as most Democrats are by the right, but he wasn't accused of being literally not an American.

    Clinton was, however, accused of being a rapist and a pedophile.  I don't see the present attacks as being much different; the difference is in what paranoid fantasies are gaining traction.

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:26:08 AM PDT

    •  Yes and no (4+ / 0-)

      The attacks are similar in their ferocity, but not always the same in their content, as I mentioned: Clinton wasn't depicted as some foreign, alien, scary racist.

      •  But because he couldn't be... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MooseHB

        ...at least, not effectively.  The point of these attacks is to provide an outlet and focus for disgust and anger at the President and with the feeling of powerlessness that people on the right have as they have lost nearly all political influence.  

        The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

        by Jay Elias on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:30:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yet there's an underlying xenophobia (2+ / 0-)

          in the suspicion of Obama's foreign family background. If he was a more typical African American with a WASP name, you wouldn't be seeing this kind of thing--yet you probably would be seeing other racially tinged attacks.

          •  Perhaps... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            longislandny

            ...I don't know how much of it is genuine xenophobia (it is hard to picture Orly Taitz as a true xenophobe) and how much of it again comes down to opportunism - Obama genuinely did have a foreign father and spent part of his childhood abroad.  If he had the same name but had spent his entire life in Kansas, for example, I doubt it would have the same traction.

            The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

            by Jay Elias on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:39:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The motivations may vary from person to person (0+ / 0-)

              Lou Dobbs, for example, is a known xenophobe, so it makes some sense he would get into this kind of thing. Orly Taitz may have other reasons. (Is she Israeli? I haven't been able to get much info on her, but I did see her being interviewed by satellite from Tel Aviv. Many right-wing Israelis have a knee-jerk hatred of Obama.) And Alan Keyes has his own reasons, being someone who lost to Obama in 2004. Some people are just loons given to believe in conspiracies. But I do believe the birther theory is heavily racially tinged in its origin, even if not everyone who gets into it is intrinsically a racist.

              •  She was born and raised in Moldova... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Kylopod

                ...when it was a Soviet Republic.  She went from the Soviet Union to Israel briefly, and immigrated the the US in 1987.

                The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

                by Jay Elias on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:46:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I've done some research on Dobbs (0+ / 0-)

                he claims to be an independent and attacks this administration but did anyone here climb on his bandwagon when he called for Bushes impeachment or rode himhard on his policies or was he just a non issue then because he wasn't against the now POTUS? As far as his stand on the birthers he stated he believed he was a US citizen and just asked for a better cdopy of his birthcertificate to shut everyone else up.

                •  Phil Berg, who issued the first lawsuit, (0+ / 0-)

                  claims to be a Hillary Democrat, and he is also a truther. I'm willing to accept that not everyone in the birther movement is a right-winger. And a few gullible souls like Camille Paglia and Andrew Sullivan, neither of whom are actual birthers, have been suckered into the bogus argument that Obama is withholding release of his long-form birth certificate.

                  So I don't really care what Dobbs' politicial affiliation is (though he does doubt global warming). Saying he believes Obama is a citizen is not enough. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a citizen but is still ineligible to be president. The birthers don't necessarily deny that Obama is a citizen (though some of them do); what they deny is that he's natural-born.

      •  Clinton's father was American. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kylopod

        And Clinton did not have a Muslim stepfather. OTOH, Obama has never been accused of murder or drug-running. And no one is expecting any Gennifer Flowers in his life either.

        Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. -susan ertz

        by graycat13 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 12:02:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Many commentators have suggested (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          graycat13

          that Obama would never have stood a chance of ascending to the presidency had he had a reputation as a skirt-chaser, like Clinton did in 1992. I do think there are racial double standards that affect how people perceive Obama's traits--though that's a discussion all of its own.

          •  Of course there are. (0+ / 0-)

            But most of the stupid idiotic rumors are believed because somewhere inside them is a fact. If Obama's father had been an American, there'd have been a totally different rumor.

            Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. -susan ertz

            by graycat13 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 12:13:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  And a MURDERER lol (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MsSpentyouth, Jay Elias, Kylopod

      Senator Inhofe? If you're still wondering? He's on my side.

      by TooFolkGR on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:31:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is no difference in the viciousness and (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Raven, Kylopod

      mendacity of the charges, but the accusation of "foreignness" is new. And, being directed against America's first black president, there's certainly an element of appeal to racism in it.

      I said "an element," instead of saying that's all there is. There are other elements in it. I usually don't call someone a racist unless I know a good deal about them.

      i can't watch [Obama] speak on tv for more than 5 minutes or else what he's saying starts to make sense to me. It's very scary.

      by Kimball Cross on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:33:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kimball Cross

        That's what I've been getting at. I'm somewhat in the middle on this question, compared with other people I've been discussing it with.

        •  There are people out there that grasp at straws.. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kimball Cross

          hense the birther movement. But as far as being racilialy motivated with the rest I don't think so. For 8 years Bush was called a chimp for his physical caritaristics, could you imagine if someone clled the Potus that. Just because there is opposition to a platform it's not racial. Look at the town halls, the people protesting are doing it to their reps. Sorrt I ramble and have been told before I have bad sentence structure and syntax what ever the fuck that is just bear with the lowly construction worker.

          •  That's because Bush DID resemble a chimp (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tonedevil, Kimball Cross

            Sorry, that's just a fact. Obama has never reminded me of a chimp, in his physical characteristics. (I am sure you could do a physical analysis based on pictures, but I will pass, thank you very much.)

            But more important, there are sorts of charges that automatically sound suspicious when you apply them to a minority. For example, if you called a non-Jew "cheap and money-grubbing," most people probably wouldn't blink an eye, but if the same charge was applied to someone Jewish, it would sound anti-Semitic. It may not seem fair, but we always have to remain cognizant of the kind of insults that have a long history of being used as ethnic or racial stereotypes.

  •  The entire social context is different when (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Raven

    RW-ers denounce a black Democrat as an evil tyrant, as opposed to a white Democrat.

    i can't watch [Obama] speak on tv for more than 5 minutes or else what he's saying starts to make sense to me. It's very scary.

    by Kimball Cross on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:29:42 AM PDT

  •  Some people just cannot deal... (4+ / 0-)

    with the fact that Barack Obama is our President.  It scares them, and each day that goes by fuels this more.  What do I say to them? ... too damn bad, he wants to HELP you people, not destroy you.

    "There is no red America, or blue America, there is the United States of America." 2004 DNC Speech

    by BarackStarObama on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:29:53 AM PDT

  •  I think the underlying fear... (5+ / 0-)

    ...of Obama is partially racial, whether people are cognizant of it or not.  The attacks themselves may not be racial, but the fear of "others" (whether it be race or politics or religion) is the source of these attacks.

    You are entitled to express your opinion. But you are NOT entitled to agreement.

    by DawnG on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:31:36 AM PDT

    •  is it possible (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Raven, longislandny

      to be against his policies without being a racist?

      •  absolutely. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kylopod

        I was against Bush's policies.  I didn't hate him.  I didn't know him.  

        It's one thing to be against someone because of what you think, it's another thing to be against someone because of what you feel.

        You think Obama's policies are damaging to this country, then great.  That's fine.

        But most of the opposition to Obama (from the right) is not even based in fact.  It's manufactured out of thin air to prey on people's fears.

        You are entitled to express your opinion. But you are NOT entitled to agreement.

        by DawnG on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:56:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  kind of of like for Palin? n/t (0+ / 0-)
          •  kind of like WHAT for Palin? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tonedevil

            exactly?

            You are entitled to express your opinion. But you are NOT entitled to agreement.

            by DawnG on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 12:10:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You commented ... (0+ / 0-)

              "But most of the opposition to Obama (from the right) is not even based in fact.  It's manufactured out of thin air to prey on people's fears." The statement rings just as true if you replace 'Obama' with 'Palin' and 'right' with 'left'.

              •  I guess I don't see it. (0+ / 0-)

                Palin commented a few days ago that Obama's healthcare proposals will kill her youngest child.

                Exactly WHAT do you think, coming from the left, even comes close to that as "preying on people's fears"?

                Now keep in mind that I was born and raised in Alaska, AND a woman before you answer that.  I am not speaking from a poisition of ignorance about the politics of the state.

                The only thing I was ever afraid of with Palin, is that people would actually BUY her garbage.  She's a a complete fraud.  She ran for Governor of Alaska on an anti-corruption platform (Which wasn't difficult considering how badly Murkowski messed up the state in that regard), and then proceeded to be just as corrupt once she got into office.  That is her schtick.  She tells her base exactly what they want to hear, but she doesn't deliver on any of it.  

                That is not anywhere NEAR the equivilant of the objection we see against Obama from the right.  The right are not objecting to the promises Obama is NOT keeping.  They're objecting to the promises he is keeping.

                You are entitled to express your opinion. But you are NOT entitled to agreement.

                by DawnG on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 01:14:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I assume what you are referring to (0+ / 0-)

                  is Palin's concern that a bureaucratic committee with most members appointed by Obama having a say in how her child gets treatment. That should be up to the doctor and patient/guardian. I'm sure you will come back with some argument basically saying I misunderstand, I haven't read the bill, or something to that effect. That's ok. I won't be able to convince you. You won't be able to convince me. I'm really just trying to understand what is so great about Obamacare. Huge government programs seem to only succeed in failing while taxing us to death.

                  •  You made a statement... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Kylopod

                    ...that implied the left does the same thing to Palin that the right does to Obama (preying on fears to fuel opposition instead of intelligent opposition to policy).

                    I was asking for examples to back up your assertion, while simultaneously using Palin's comments to back up my assertion about how the Right preys on people's fears to oppose Obama.

                    So, I'll ask again.  How does the left 'prey on fears' about Palin exactly?  As you asserted in your previous comments?

                    You are entitled to express your opinion. But you are NOT entitled to agreement.

                    by DawnG on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 02:09:48 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Were you asleep during the presidential campaign? (0+ / 0-)

                      According to the quotes below, you should be scared of a murdering, special needs denying, Christian sexual deviant. If that's not preying on fear, I don't know what is.

                      Bob Beckel: "She [Palin] could be Freddy Krueger's running buddy on Elm Street."

                      Soledad Obrien reported "...what she did with the special needs budget, which I'm sure you're aware, she cut significantly, 62 percent I think is the number from when she came into office..." A simple  investigation showed Palin actually increased the budget.

                      Radio talkshow host Randi Rhodes: "Sarah likes to sleep with teenage boys"

                      Cintra Wilson of Salon.com called her a "Christian Stepford Wife"

      •  Many on Kos are against his policies (0+ / 0-)

        For example, many here dislike his views on health care, detention, and gay rights--though from the left direction.

        •  I venture to guess not very many. n/t (0+ / 0-)
          •  Do you even read this site? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tonedevil

            There are a fairly constant flood of diaries by people who think Obama's health care proposals are too timid, his failure to end DADT contemptible, and his allowance of preventative detention inexcusible.

            •  My point is ... (0+ / 0-)

              that not very many would be in favor (or admit to being in favor) of a viewpoint on the debate that coincides with those on the right. Sure, you may disagree with many things Obama says only because it doesn't go left far enough.

              •  There are issues (0+ / 0-)

                on which I'm to the right of Obama. For example, I favor school vouchers (though not federally mandated).

                I don't think most of the people here automatically interpret every criticism of Obama from the right as racist. I think they tend to apply that interpretation to the more extreme, inflammatory types of attacks, such as the cries of "socialist," talks about death-care, and comparisons with Hitler. Whether these sorts of attacks are in fact racist is a legitimate question, but they are definitely not civil.

    •  Important point, Dawn (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DawnG, Tonedevil, Kylopod

      Totally agreed: while the protests may have a strong racial component, those protesting may not be fully aware that they are reacting to Obama's race. They are fearful and angry, and possibly unsure why. They feel restless and unsettled, so somebody yelling about "let's have a tea party!" can enlist their support. This explains the all-over-the-map messaging.

      Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

      by The Raven on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:54:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You may have misinterpreted my diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil, blueness, Kylopod

    Maybe not. But the point of my diary wasn't to say that comparisons between Hitler and Obama were coded racism.

    I focused on three items: Use of the swastika, use of the word "socialism," and the disorganized complaints of the protesters - what it is that they say they are protesting.

    Because bald racism is politically incorrect, the protesters are selecting symbols that invite protest as cover for their hatred. This makes sense to me because a. many of the Teabagger "complaints" have no relation to reality, b. we didn't see these people during the last 8 years when the constitution was being shredded, and c. the Teabaggers are all white and the anger they express looks and feels like the kind of thing you saw during the early days of desegregation.

    Others here have suggested that, while surely racism may play a role in all this, the real cause for discontent is a feeling of loss-of-status, the death of the white-majority weltenschauung. I recognize this fully, but my thinking is that this sense of an old order passing - if true - is still tied closely to Obama's race.

    Were Obama white, and named "Bob Smith" or the like, we would still see some pro forma protest, but I doubt it would be this angry and, frankly, insane. "American taxpayers are the Jews for Obama's ovens," read one guy's placard. This level of hate doesn't come from concern over national debt or a car rebate program.

    I wrote my diary because it really struck me very strongly that everything becomes much easier to understand about all this when you realize that what's happening here is symbol-substitution. It is my hypothesis and I'm glad to see this discussion and consideration of alternatives.  

    Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

    by The Raven on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:48:03 AM PDT

    •  What concerns me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Raven

      is that we on the left sometimes throw around the word "racist" too casually, trying to discern people's motives, which may be more complex. That there are racists at these anti-Obama rallies seems beyond question; how important racism is as an underlying motive to the entire movement is less clear.

      •  Always a valid concern (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kylopod

        These protests are unquestionably complicated with multiple drivers. To say that they are racist and admit no other motivating factors would be overly simplistic. Of course, racism itself is a complex issue that is not a simple matter of xenophobia. We have class and social issues interwoven in all this, too. You raise an excellent point.

        Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

        by The Raven on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:59:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think you could argue (0+ / 0-)

    that those attacks on Bill Clinton were racist.  Now, I don't know what the person quoted was specifically complaining about.  But I think there's an underlying similarity here.  It doesn't have to do entirely with Obama being black (though that doesn't help his cause with the right-wing).  It has to do with the fact that both Obama and Clinton wanted to expand or reform some type of social service/welfare program.  In the eyes of these right-wingers, free healthcare or welfare goes to the people who can't work hard enough to get it themselves.  The lazy, the poor... the minorities.  It's a selfishness rooted in white privilege as well as an ingrained attitude that blacks and hispanics aren't deserving.

    All that being said, yes, I do think we need to be careful about what we do and don't call racist.

    •  Well, as I said (0+ / 0-)

      Racial resentment has long been an element of the cultural right. But many people, including those on this site, have suggested that the attacks on Obama, from the teabagging to the Hitler comparisons, are specifically coded racial slurs against this black president--which would put the attacks in a different category than those used against Clinton.

      •  Yeah, and I do (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Raven, Kylopod

        agree with you there.  I think the distinction to make is that a lot of these people probably do dislike Obama being president because he's black.  That is definitely a driving force behind the birther movement.

        But the Hitler comparisons are not specifically coded racial slurs towards Obama.  I do think, in a lot of-- but not all-- cases, they represent a way to vent about an underlying racial resentment towards what they perceive as minorities getting freebies.  It is absolutely not Obama specific though, and in fact, probably has little to do with him at all.  Like you showed, they would call anyone Hitler who was trying to do something similar.

  •  I never thought the Hitler attack (0+ / 0-)

    was racist. I thought it was ludicrous.

    You have to take the attacks one at a time.

    His detractors want him to not be president almost 'by any means necessary.'

    'All I really want to say, is they don't really care about us' MJ

    by publicv on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 12:26:13 PM PDT

    •  Fair enough (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      publicv

      However, you got to look at the poll. As of this writing, not only have 20 people selected "Yes," they outnumber those who selected "No." My experiment seems to have worked.

      •  Your "experiment seems to have worked"???? (0+ / 0-)

        You are free to draw any conclusion you choose from your poll results--- as long as you allow for the possibility that people might read your entire diary and still vote "yes".
        Not because they didn't read your diary, but because they don't agree with you.  It happens.

  •  IMO, the attacks at the Town Hall meetings (0+ / 0-)

    are 100% racially motivated.  In the long run, they have nothing to do with health care.  These people are just enraged that our President is black.  When, in fact, he is bi-racial.  But, they conveniently leave out the fact that his mother was white.

    Indict, convict, imprison. "Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana

    by incognita on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 12:31:32 PM PDT

    •  Many on the right (0+ / 0-)

      like Rush Limbaugh deny that the president is black. Limbaugh claims Obama isn't black or African American, but Arab. I've encountered many right-wingers who argue that Obama is a "fake" black man who pretends to be black even though he's biracial. These arguments are all rooted in denial and rationalization; they're trying to claim he isn't black so as to ward off the charge that their attacks on him reflect a contempt for black people in general. It's similar to the way some anti-Semites act like Jews aren't Jews, claiming that Jews are really Khazars, and that other peoples are the "true" Israelites.

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