Politics & Policy

Oppose Obamacare? Racist!

State senator Karen Carter Peterson (D., La.)
Does the Left really believe this?

Here is a contemporary political truth: Every time you think that the Left and its political party have hit moral bottom, they will eventually prove you wrong.

The most recent example occurred last week in Louisiana. The head of the Louisiana Democratic party, state senator Karen Carter Peterson (New Orleans), stood before her colleagues in the state senate and announced the reason people oppose Obamacare.

“You ready?” she asked three times.

It is President Obama’s color.


“It isn’t about the administration, and it should not be about the administration of the state nor federal level when it comes to Obamacare,” she said. “But in fact it is. And why is that? I have talked to so many members in the House and Senate and you know what it comes down to? Are you ready for this? It is not about how many federal dollars we can receive. You ready? You want to know what it’s about? It’s about race. Now nobody wants to talk about that. It’s about the race of this African-American president. . . . It comes down to the race of the president of the U.S., which causes people to disconnect and step away from the substance of the bill.”

Now why would the head of a state Democratic party — and a state senator — say something this vile and moronic?

There are two possible explanations, and one is worse than the other.

One is that Peterson doesn’t believe what she said; that she said it solely in order to intimidate opponents of Obamacare. When a prominent black person accuses anyone — or even accuses most white people in America — of racism, it usually ends all debate.

This would, of course, reflect poorly on Peterson’s character. But it would actually be the more positive of the two possible explanations. Because the other possible explanation is that she really believes what she said. And if she really believes that the more than 100 million Americans who oppose Obamacare — a CNN poll last week found opposition at 54 percent — do so because Obama is black, America is in trouble.

America is in real trouble if Peterson represents a large majority of black Americans. And we have every reason to believe that she does. She represents a 48 percent black district. And virtually every black leader routinely charges whites with racism.

We simply need to be honest. Either the great majority of American whites are racist — indeed profoundly racist, if they oppose Obamacare solely because the president is black — or the great majority of blacks wrongly perceive reality when it comes to white opinion. In either case, blacks and whites are living in different universes. And one of them is both factually and morally very wrong.

In my view, the idea that whites who oppose Obamacare do so because the president is black is one of those terrible lies that shape a society for ill.

But this is not only a commentary on present-day black America. It is even more so a commentary on the left. Blacks have memories of genuine oppression that have left deep psychological scars. While we wish that reality would trump psychology here, we can understand — though not agree with — black anger at white America.

But the non-black Left — which routinely accuses whites who oppose the president of racism — has no such excuse. Paul Krugman of the New York Times, Chris Matthews of MSNBC, former president Jimmy Carter, Frank Rich of New York magazine, and so many others on the left have no psychological excuse for saying white opposition to Obama is racist. Their charge is just malicious.

This is just one more example of the societal destruction wrought by the Left. Ironically, in this instance its primary victims are . . . blacks.

— Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio-talk-show host and columnist. His most recent book is Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

Dennis Prager — Dennis Prager’s latest book, The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code, was published by Regnery. He is a nationally syndicated radio show host and creator of PragerUniversity.com.

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