Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Are we all racists?

The House has rebuked South Carolina's Republican U.S. Representative Joe Wilson for a breach of decorum. Not, apparently, simply because he broke decorum, but because he refused to publicly apologize to the House. Never mind that Mr. Wilson had apologized personally to the man he called a liar, and that man had graciously accepted his apology. Never mind that liberal House members have never apologized for booing our last president.

The Congressional Black Caucus has branded Mr. Wilson's act of calling President Obama a liar as an act of racism. Former president Jimmy Carter says that Mr. Wilson's comments are "based on racism." What is racist about one man calling another a liar? Would it have been an act of racism if President Obama had called Mr. Wilson rude, as did nearly everyone else? (Even Mr. Wilson admitted his act was rude). Would it have been a racist act if Mr. Wilson had called Kanye West a "jackass" as President Obama apparently did? Why must every unpleasant interaction between two people of different color be labeled a racist incident with assumed motives of hate when the same interaction between people of the same color is just a disagreement? Why must insecure and paranoid people imagine motives? And why do we, as a nation, allow them to make political hay of their own ignorant brayings? In the words of Rodney King, "Why can't we just all get along?"

Meanwhile, testing the truth of Brendan Behan's statement that "There is no such thing as bad publicity...", Mr. Wilson may be wearing the House's rebuke as a badge of honor. We note that his home state campaign contributions have surged by well over $1,000,000 in the past few days. Living in our society surely is not EZ.