American Morning

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July 16th, 2010
06:56 AM ET

Gut Check: Race Relations

The NAACP-Tea Party debate has at times escalated into name-calling and accusations of racism. It's ugly – and a far cry from those days when many Americans thought we had turned a corner on race relations with the election of America's first African-American president. Observers say it's the same racial stalemate America's been stuck in for years. Still, not so long ago, Americans were hopeful.

On the day before President Obama's inauguration - a Washington Post poll showed nearly 6 in 10 Americans said his presidency would advance cross-racial ties. By January, 2010, about 4 in 10 believed that. "Anytime we've seen racial progress in the United States, we've seen racial backlash," says William Jelani Cobb, author of "The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress."

Cobb reminds us that even President Obama said he did not believe his election would bring about racial harmony. In a major speech about race in March, 2008, Obama said: I have never been so naïve as to believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle, or with a single candidacy -particularly a candidacy as imperfect as my own." The only other time Obama broached the race issue in a substantive way was in July of 2009 - during the now infamous - and, some say, disastrous, "beer summit."

Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley says don't expect the President to play peacemaker this time around. "The Tea Party is the #1 enemy of the Administration and the NAACP is very strong behind President Obama. But you will not see our President trying somehow to use this moment in a healing way. He's going to ignore it and stay above the fray." Cobb says the Obama presidency's impact on race relations cannot be measured in the short term. "Let's not forget that fifty million white Americans voted for an African-American candidate," he says. "We won't really know what the real significance is for many years to come."

Filed under: Gut Check
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Lillian Guy

    Were Skip Gates a white man, and he was arrested on his own property,after identifying himself and the white President said the police acted stupidly, I dont think there would have been any uproar. I think whites would have been indignite that any one could question a white man rights on his own property. The NAACP has nothing to do with the NBPP, neither do most Blacks, People like this embarass us. Why would anyone in their right minds call people crackers, and talk about killing women and children. I think they wanted to scare foxx new and their audience. They are ignorant. I am sure that they felt they were protecting those people at the voting pole, which is why no voters felt imtimidated.

    July 28, 2010 at 12:45 am |
  2. whynowcnn

    I'll just say that when a person says that the Tea party has fringe elements of racism, then they are delusional, and no need to even go any further. A sittiing congressman from Georgia was spit on and called the "N" word, and it was dismissed by just about all of the media. We had legislators call the president a liar on national tv, and he wasn't even sanctioned by his peers. South Caralina, and Virginia legislators have went out of their way to be very disrespectful to any minorities to include the Presdent, so Anti American is more of what the Conservatives are branding as normal. They have flipped the script, and will take everyone down who oppose them, so I see Tea Party fruitcakes taking over the Republican party one by one while the passifist Dems keep on sitting on their hands, and letting The Prez play point man and take the heat. The media has to be more responsible in their reporting as well.

    July 27, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  3. whynowcnn

    We have missed a teachable moment in American History to show the rest of the world how its done and set the example, but instead a small group of well connected political, and big business types have decided to relive the segregationist racially charged 50's, and 60's all over again. I looked at some of the old political tickers, and it's right out of the old playbook by ruling by fear, and poverty. It's the across the tracks mentatilty that has kept America from it's promise all these years!!! With the 1st black president we could have used responsible journalism, and media outlets to foster a reconciliation of all classses, and cultures in America, but being that capitalism rules then the media, and the Tea Party became the catalysts for igniting serious racial tensions in America that I have never seen in my lifetime, and truly feel that I'm back in my father's era of racism!!! I will tell you this, that many people will not bow down to namecalling, and threatening their families as in the past!!!!! If you don't believe me go to a PTA meeting and see how nice everyone is with the racve issue!!!

    July 27, 2010 at 5:02 pm |

    Today, I thought I'd go back some time to check on comments I wrote to see if they were posted, NOT TO MY SURPRISE, NONE OF THEM WERE! I think I'll just stop watching your show and have my constituents, friends, and family do the same! YOU PEOPLE ARE OBVIOUSLY BIASED AGAINST MY VIEWS, AND CAN'T HANDLE THE BLATANT TRUTH! BLATANT LIES? YES! BLATANT TRUTH? NO WAY, JOSE!

    July 26, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  5. Q2A

    Racism is endemic in America. I was watching to American morning with John Roberts and Kiran Chentry. There was a story about how a young California Latino teen named Steven Ortiz began trading an old cell phone on Craig's List and finally ended up though a series of trades with a Porsche Boxer. This was when the Old Racist monster reared its ugly head. John Roberts saw the picture of this Latino teenager and the Ford Bronco he had traded for the Porsche and said;' was there a Kilo of Cocaine in the Ford Bronco we didn't know about? Why is it always when a person of color or Latino decent does something worthwhile for themselves where they benefit is there always the assumption that drugs were involved somehow on some level. If this was a white kid from anywhere USA this thought would have never entered John's mind and he would have never uttered the accusation on TV. The whole story line would have been that a really smart kid used his business savvy which was quite an accomplishment. The problem in America is that racism is not just about the KKK and these other hateful extremist white organizations. Racism is a mindset of white superiority. It’s power is rooted in the heritage and privilege whites in this country have enjoyed since the beginning of slavery. Until whites stop believing they are the superior race in the world and adopt some of the Christian principles of Jesus; that I am my brother’s keeper, racism will not only continue to survive but it will thrive.

    July 21, 2010 at 6:59 am |
  6. Q2A

    Racism is endemic in America. I was watching to American morning with John Roberts and Kiran Chentry. There was a story about how a young California Latino teen named Steven Ortiz began trading an old cell phone on Craig's List and finally ended up though a series of trades with a Porche Boxer. This was when the Old Racist monster reared its ugly head. John Roberts saw the picture of this Latino teenager and the Ford Bronco he had traded for the Porche and said;' Was there a Kilo of Cocaine in the Ford

    July 21, 2010 at 6:34 am |
  7. Mrs. D.

    Might as well name the school...Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia, recruits whites and Latinos (and probably anybody else) that is bright, talented, and personable. Please apply. Most black people are some of the most accepting people you'll ever. meet. I'm not saying that some blacks aren't racist, but the overwhelming majority don't want to treat other people the way that their people have been treated.

    July 19, 2010 at 3:04 am |
  8. Mrs. D.

    Predominantly black colleges may soon be a thing of the past. My historically black univeristy (HBCU) activeily recruits whites and Latinos. They receive both academic and/or athletic scholarships. I've had a former student go there and play softball and read of a local Caucasian high school male who will be going there to play football. Recently, the valedictorian of HBCU, Morehouse, an all-male school, was a Caucasian young man. He enjoyed it so much supposedly his brother plans to go there too. Other than black females have been elected Miss ______ (fill in the college name) Homecoming Queen in some instances. Black colleges are not inherently racist any more than white colleges are.

    July 19, 2010 at 2:54 am |
  9. Sandy Hartman

    As a TEA PARTYer, I repudiate any and all racism that has the appearance of association with the TEA PARTY.

    As a TEA PARTYer, I am about policy and nothing else.

    I am not happy with the current administration policy nor was I happy with much of the Bush policy.

    As a TEA PARTYer I am offended to be called racist and there lyes the anger at the accusation but if the NAACP or anyone else needs to hear me say that, I have now done so. Let us ALL speak with one voice. "ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL!"

    IF YOU ARE A TEA PARTYer make it clear to those who doubt our intentions and our hearts. Say it where ever you can.

    July 16, 2010 at 10:20 am |
  10. John

    We forget that our President is half white, half black. He also acknowledge that his election was not the resolve to race relations. The racism problem is world wide, not just in the United States. Racist views are embedded in all cultures. Discrimination is the underlying problem that plagues a true democracy. We have the right not to like someone else in a free country. We don't have the right to treat them unfairly

    July 16, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  11. Bebbette

    Maybe that there were no signs at the NAACP conference, but at one meeting they did call a fellow black an "Uncle Tom" because he was selling buttons, bumper stickers & American flags outside of a town hall meeting & was assaulted by two SEIU members (1 black & 1 white) & called racial slurs simply for trying to make a living. You also ignored commenting on the fact that the NAACP has not condemned the video of the New Black Panthers inciting violence & voter intimidation charges. They even intimidated blacks that wanted to vote for Hillary Clinton. Where is the outrage of this? How about the depiction of Palin hung by a noose? There are always, always two sides of opinion. You

    July 16, 2010 at 9:48 am |
  12. John

    CNN needs to do a new study regarding Racism . Hire a diverse panel to develop a questionnaire of x questions. The answers will help determine the degree of bias. The piece on Black America was good

    July 16, 2010 at 9:40 am |
  13. Corey John

    Of couurse there is rascim still those who believed that obama being elected would help are blinded to the fact that there is still rascim before Obama was sworn into office their was a man with a swastika onhis shoulder a truck and a military grade snipper riffle prepared to kill the president elcet at the tme... funny how when radical ideas and Hate swirls together you get one sole white american prepaired to do something horedous for his beliefs isnt this the same idiology that caused the death of president abraham lincoln the same thought process that caused our country to be attacked 9/11/01 and thousands of americans to pass away funny how when times get hard those who are hateful seem to clot together like blood in a vain

    July 16, 2010 at 9:37 am |
  14. Michael McMillion

    Why do I keep getting the feeling that some folks really don't know what racism is??? Racism is the use of power to deny a person a right or benefit,such as a job because of that person's race. prejudice, on the other hand is simply disliking someone of another race because of their race.

    July 16, 2010 at 9:26 am |
  15. Raymond Glenn

    When you sleep with dogs you get fleas. The Tea Party movement is an extreme right-wing movement. It is very difficult to tell where their right-wing views start and there racism begins. Historically, we know that right-wing ideologies share common ground with racism.

    July 16, 2010 at 9:23 am |
  16. Wallace White

    30 per cent of NAACP membership is white. What per cent of tea party membership is Black?
    This is not about race, it is about the tea party being the new Nazi party–Jews better watch out!

    July 16, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  17. Ann Astin

    funny how cnn conveniently left out the remark Obama made to cause the beer conference. This remark was racists.

    We follow our leader, either in the work place,socially, or our president. Yes I think we are worse racially as a nation, but i think our president is a racialist, so we as a nation follow his lead and become racist.

    July 16, 2010 at 9:19 am |
  18. Ken Williams

    Two years ago, I stood in freezing cold weather, at President Obamas Inauguration, overcome with emotion as I choked back tears, I was engulfed in a sea of equally emotional, young white men and women, boys and girls, who all witnessed history, the first African-American president being sworn in as the 44th president of the United States.

    Words from the great Dr Martin Luther Kings, “I have a Dream” speech rang repeatedly in my ears, as I finally witnessed whites and blacks holding hands singing “free at last, free at last”!

    Without speaking, you could see the warmth and hope in everyone’s eye that perhaps finally there is hope for racial harmony and equality for us all in this country and the world. Maybe the deep wounds of slavery and racism are gradually disappearing I thought.

    But unfortunately, we still have those whites in America who do not want to see racial harmony and unity. The new racist of this country have just found more ways to be creative about how to espouse and promote their racist views and agenda. They use politics.

    Like Malcolm X said “they don’t have to call you a nigger any more… they just treat you like one”. And “some” of the people who back the Tea Party’s position which racist is made very clear by the signs and symbols they bare. When you see posters of President Obama with a bone through his nose looking like a tribal native from a 3rd world country, and him being portrayed him as “the joker” who looks more like the “black-faced” caricatures sends a clear message and sign of hate that we thought we had seen the last of in the 60’s. One mayor had drawn a caricature of the President eating bananas and swinging from a tree. How else can these racist symbols be interpreted? Oh, Im sorry…I must be pulling the race card! (sic)

    The new Racist in this country have learned to latch onto a political group where they push their agenda in the name of “saving the constitution”! They latch onto to any group who best serves their racist interest and the Tea Party has become that group who best serves that interest for those who do not want to see racial equality.

    These fear mongers hide behind hate and fear rhetoric, of the 60s like calling the president communist, socialist, Marxist, and even Hitler to
    scare good, but some un informed American people that the President is leading the country down the drain.

    These names have always been associated with enemies of the American way of life and our enemies….period. Names like socialist and communist were once associated and attached to the great Dr King and the later the Kennedys…. and look what happened to them.

    In this day and era of political correctness, the new racist have become clever and have learned to use politics to reinvent themselves and to push their agendas. Like the The Stewardess, is no longer called a stewardess…she is now called a Flight Attendant.

    The maintenance man or janitor, is no longer called a maintenance man or janitor…he is now called an “Engineer”. And now the Klansman, White Supremacist Racist Militia groups, of today now call themselves “Patriots” or “Great Americans” and Tea Party “activist”.

    Two years ago, I stood with tears in my eyes because I thought we were moving towards improved race relations. Now as I see the flames of hatred being stoked again, by those who do not want to see that change, I have less hope.

    Guess I got comfortable and forgot about those haters in this country who are constantly working to move us, and keep us, in the back of the bus.

    Ken Williams

    July 16, 2010 at 9:12 am |
  19. roger

    Ive known a lot of afro and hispanic americans as friends and know they have different belief systems and am told that we are to celebrate and enjoy diversity. But really the ones that are crying foul are the ones that are breakin the law and getting caught at it . Others try to be smart by setting up groups to fight the law. Which they have a right to. But I know I fear the day when black or hispanic militant groups are unchecked. Im not saying whites, asians, indians etc arent up to no good, but usually the complaints come most often from blacks and hispanics. Tell me Im wrong and Ill disagree to the death. Thats just because they are different. But what we need to address is agendas of all races.

    July 16, 2010 at 9:09 am |
  20. MrJohnSpeaks

    The problem with race is OLD WHITE PEOPLE that have gotten used to WHITE PRIVILEGE and are usually dissatisfied with the idea that they are challenged because their opinions are no longer readily accepted so the loss of power is devastating.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:54 am |
  21. NBF

    The leftist media believes that blacks, hispanics & jews banding together in groups to openly advance their racial interests is perfectly natural & right. At the same time, they think that any whites who try to do the same (which the Tea Partiers are definitely not) are thugs who need to be shouted down the second they appear.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:53 am |
  22. Scott

    Well done as usual Carol. There is an anger epidemic in our nation, nurtured by an us against them mentality. Whether it is liberals vs. Conservatives, "patriots" vs. "illegals," black vs. White; it's all just a way of intellectualizing our anger and frustration into something it is not – an objective debate.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:53 am |
  23. MeLoN

    NBF.. nice point about the word "colored".

    Fine for the NAACP to use it referring to themselves – wrong for a "white" person to use it referring to the NAACP.

    Go figure.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  24. MeLoN

    The US isriddled with "socially acceptable racism". Always will be.

    There are all "black" colleges but an all "white" college is illegal.

    Affirmative action.

    Government welfare.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:48 am |
  25. MeLoN

    As with all things in the US there are two sets standards. The same with "racism". The NAACP is as "racist" as the Tea Party but it is socially acceptable for for "non-whites" to be "racist" against whites. It is socially WRONG for whites to be "racist" against "non-whites".

    Simple as.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  26. Velma

    The NAACP did not have people at their conference carrying hate filled and degrading signs that were undeniable racist. The NAACP asked that racism be denounced as intolerable, as it has for over 100 years, by Tea Party Leaders. A simple request to repudiate racism is now being reported as more intolerable than people carrying hate filled signage that was continously broadcasted across America for months.

    Denouncing racism, if it is intolerable, seems reasonable to people who are not racist and find it intolerable. Responding to a request to denounce racism with a satrical letter to President Lincoln suggesting that the decendants of America's slaves are not contributors to this country, do not work or think for themselves is ridiculous and racist.

    There are reasons for the NAACP and this is an example of why it was started and still needed.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:33 am |
  27. Bob H

    The Media and the Democratic Party do themselves and fellow Americans a huge disservice by constantly trying to demonize the Tea Party. The Tea Party is made up of mostly good hardworking normal Americans. By picking out the small fringe elements of the Tea Party who go to far and highlight them while conveniently ignoring fringe elements who go to far in the Democratic Party is just not fair..and viewers are smart enough to see this agenda...and it angers them and helps the Tea Party.

    To go on-and on about racism in the Tea Party, which only exists on the grossly unfair. Which is really the most evil and racist: a white Tea Party Marcher with a sign that says, "Go back to Kenya Obama" or a black Democrat holding a club blocking voting booths while saying, "We're going to kill Cracker babies"? Tell me...which? And tell me which one gets constant coverage by the Mainstream Media...not fair is it!

    July 16, 2010 at 8:24 am |
  28. MissyC

    I do not recall a Bush poster depicting him as Hitler, however, it is wrong to do that to anyone, much less a president, regardless of his ancestry. So far, no reports of violence at Tea Party events have been made, but that does NOT mean they are playing nice. The rallies, marches, and events that have participants carrying guns or signs that say "THIS TIME I came unarmed" are threats – pure and simple. The NAACP offices in California have received death threats (according to Mr. Jealous on TRMS) – is that not racist? it is evil & hateful, whatever you call it. I am white and I am offended that white people would carry signs of President Obama in white-face, a witchdoctor, and as Hitler. (Wasn't Hitler white?) My heart sinks thinking how poorly and disrespectfully other whites and blacks are acting. Stop making him what he is not – and what you fear. FEAR IS THE PROBLEM. Like FDR said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself". In a democracy – VOTE to make change. Last time I heard, over 63.7 MILLION people voted for him. Whatcha going to do – kill us all or whine about it? Grow up and start voting.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:21 am |
  29. Colin

    New rule: if you scream "racist" and you're wrong - there was no actual racism - then YOU are a racist.

    Put differently: it's a racist act to automatically charge racism when its not actually the cause of a disagreement.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:16 am |
  30. gloria lewis

    I am black and i will say i am not racist ,i have white friends spanish friends ,and my husband is hispanic .I am sick of this racisium but unfortunately it does exist .Some people are racist and dont even know it .I am from the islands and i never knew about racisium until i set foot in the usa ,we have all kind of people on my island there is a large indian cummunity ,we have lots of white ,indian yet race was neven been an issue when i was there .its more of a dicription to say the white person or the indian person but i never saw what i saw in the usa .
    I came to the usa in 1987 ,my exhusband was a jockey ,this was my first taste of racisium ,he would get up exercise the horses in the morning come race day at the lat minute they give the ride to a white boy or girl ,he would win on the horse the next time it ran they hige it to a white person .It would loose they would give it back to my husband and back and fourth .I got a taste of this racisium when i got my first job at united airlines flight kitchen in V A .i swear to you i almost had a nervous breakdown ,i did not understand how the black people were only good enough to work certain positions when no one ekse was avalible ,i watch a man that was there over 25 years he was allowed to be a fill as a supervisor he was allowed to train people to be supervisor but he was not good enough to be a supervisor .I watch all races get promotions ,work better positions and the blacks get to do the dirty work .I was so angry an upset my nerves wwas shot my whole body broke out in hives .I always had to give 120 % to secure my job and everyone else did the bare minimum .To this day i get a taste of this everyway i go i am the best employee but i am black and out spoken so guess what my job is always on the line .I feel like a slave he is fight to keep my daily bread everyday .
    By the way i had tried to get a promotion at the airlines in the interview i told the person doing the interview i did not think it was right the way black employees were treated in this company ,i guess she did not like it ,She also told my supervisor what i said ,he told me you really showed your stuff in the interview .United sold out and everone was offered a job with new company to this day i believe because i spoke out they black ball me all though no one worked harder that me i worked as much as 80 hrs straight time 80 hrs time and a half and 98 hrs double time in 2 weeks .I was not hired by this new company . The way blacks are treated in this country is one of my greatest fears in life i am not scared of death but i am so scared of my son to have to feel what i felt at the hands of employers in this country .If you have not been in this position you will not understand racisium is one of the biggest ills in this country ,that and poverty .yOU GUYS HAVE NO IDEA ITS THE WORST FEELING ,I DONT WISH IT ON MY WORST ENEMY ,I WAS IN AN ABUSIVE MARRIAGE AN IT IS NOTHING COMPARED TO RACISIUM ON A JOB . I WILL DO EVERYTHING IN MY POWER TO NEVER HAVE THIS LOADED GUN AT MY SONS HEAD EVERDAY BECAUSE THATS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE .

    July 16, 2010 at 8:16 am |
  31. Denise Baraka Lawrence

    Doesn't anyone get it? Race Relations is a misnomer– of sorts because it really is not as much about race as it is about people who haven't learned how to be people. BOTH SIDES! It's simply a "yo momma" school yard fight, played out by adults and egged on by media and audience attention.

    When there are two people in disagreement, in anger, one may call the other one fat, ugly, bald or stupid. It's called "name calling" not Race Relations. This is not done as a result of one being consciously bigoted against people that are fat , ugly, bald or stupid – necessarily. is done for the same reason that parents lash out at their kids and spank them and yell and rant and rave like lunatics – a lack of control and an inability to control oneself when presented with disagreeable situations. They simply don't know any better as a result of never learning about themselves and being "sheeple". Combine that with the "school yard audience" on the sidelines – the media and those who have "sided" with either participant and are in the so called "camps" of the ones with the largest mouths and it turns into something called "race relations." We've named it, claimed it and now we've got to "play" in it.

    The youngest children in our societies who have not been exposed to such inane behaviors do not behave this way– in fits of anger and successfully socialized adults do not use a war of words when they are truly trying to"solve" issues. Forget race relations – This is simply people who haven't learned how to be people and have become masters of stating the obvious.

    The issues that are discussed and the insults that are hurled fit people on either side – except color – of course. Period. It is no more race relations than it is bald relations or fat relations or stupid relations. People need to learn how to "be" humans, grow up and get off the school yard stage. Understand that everything stems from two emotions Love and Fear..these are just people that are afraid – just like BOTH of those kids on the school yard stage.

    Hmmmm... I'm a small publisher, perhaps I should start something called "stupid relations", see how many people I can get to be on my "side". Second thought I maybe I won't and say that I did or just go lie down until that feeling goes away; for then I'd become just like the people who think "race relations" is something that truly exists.

    In the Highest Vibration of Love

    July 16, 2010 at 8:16 am |
  32. Leslie

    After reading Mark Williams' letter, I tears started to form. My husband and father served in the military we were surround by other races. My parents always taught me to have tolerance of people. Just because you don't know or understand someones' culture doesn't mean you have to be afraid of them. This is what I teach my children. How can we as a nation, call ourselves Christians if we don't have tolerance? We have moved away from 'trying' to understand another persons' view to listening the hate that is coming from people who could careless about humanity. Unfortunately, we all knew that there would be people who would be against the idea of having a black president altogether. No matter what his political views were. Some Americans may believe that black people only voted for him because he is black. Which is wrong. Did we turn out for Jesse Jackson? No. Why not? Because we did not agree with his agenda. President Obama represented hope and change on how our government was running. We did not like the way the republicans were doing business. I even voted for Ronald Reagan. So, please do not assume that you know why someone voted one way or another. Assumptions are not very accurate and every person has their own thoughts.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:05 am |
  33. NBF

    "Nothing short of incendiary there!", pules the "shocked" male talking head about the Tea Partier's blog comment, just because he used the word "colored" in his satirical post – even though the very name of the NAACP includes it.

    It's called "left-wing bias".

    July 16, 2010 at 8:05 am |
  34. JNM

    Unfortunately, racism has only gotten politer, quieter, more humorous, and friendlier than it was in the past. That said, there are always going to be people who, on various levels, are simply afraid of social change.

    Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

    Seems we haven't quite fulfilled Dr. King's vision?

    July 16, 2010 at 8:02 am |
  35. MickAZ

    It amazes me that the U.S. as one the world's leaders is still stuck on race. Why can't we get past it and truly be one nation indivisible under God? Whoops, just answered my owm question. Furthermore, Obama is not a "Black President", he's biracial! Each of us need to do some serious self-introspection, and then be honest about who we really are in regard to accepting our feelings about racial diversity.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:00 am |
  36. Raymond Glenn

    Criticism of the Tea Party is not based on whether
    one is left or right, it is about racism.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:52 am |
  37. Blair

    This is not at all surprising.Mark Williams believes slavery was a "great gig." This man is simply delusional. It really sad because we will never get passed this superficial issue if we do not take into account who racism affects, not my denying it and wishing it away!

    July 16, 2010 at 7:51 am |
  38. joe bob

    I think Jerry has the Tea Party pegged quite well.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:51 am |
  39. Cheryl

    The hate that is coming to boil in this county can be laid at the feet of the Republican party. Teabaggers ARE mostly Republicans who are trying to once again create a division in America.

    They will stop at nothing to slow down Obama's agenda. Now that Gay and Abortion issues no longer pull the same punch, they are moving on to the poor and non-whites as their bogeymen.

    They would love nothing more than to pull Obama into a race war or words. I believe the racial bigotry that we currently see is exactly what the GOP has been working for. It is their MO, how they govern.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:50 am |
  40. Bebbette

    If you want people to make a fair assumption of racism – why are you not showing the video of the New Black Panthers calling for the killing of "Crackers" & their babies? Why isn't the NAACP calling on them to denounce the HATE Speech & inciting violence against a specific race. Just because the Tea Party does not agree with Obama's agenda they are racists? The name calling began in Washington witht the slurs on American citizens ie: Astroturf, Swastika carrying angry mobs. Take an honest look at the crowds & tell me what you really see. There has NEVER been an instance of violence at one Tea Party rally. Plus not all republicans & independents are white. But, unfortunately those who are of color have bee demonized & seen a traitors to their race. Seems people have a short memory of how past presidents were portrayed. Remember the Bush poster depicting hims as HItler with the mustache? How about the truly vile way that Sarah Palin was & still is being portrayed? How about her children? What if someone said the same of the Presidents children? Racism is a two way street, but the public cannot have a truly unbiased opionion w/o the reporting of both sides.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:47 am |
  41. Jessica

    I have a hard time believing there were millions of people that believed Obama's candidacy would solve our racial issues. I think that race is going to continue to be a problem as long as we keep this "us" and "them" mentality. A couple of the posts above this are disturbing because it still points the finger at one group of people, when it is all of us. Yes, black people, white people, asian people, latino people all have racist members of the group. So? If those of us that choose to think could embrace that we are all American and just take pride in that we could begin to move past the underlying problem here. Each group feels like they are somehow more fundamentally American than the other...therefore, they believe that they have more rights and control. I don't think I'll see this in my lifetime (and I'm 24), but I have to hope we'll get there someday....

    July 16, 2010 at 7:47 am |
  42. Lem

    Racism has been part of American culture and always will be. With the down fall of the economy and the lost of jobs, it is easy to point and blame when times are tuff.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:41 am |
  43. Tanja Fussell

    We can't respond to the Tea Party Movement as if they are mainstream America. They are dangerous extremists that are capitalizing on White Americans' discomfort with having the Obamas in the White House. They need to be exposed for what they are.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:41 am |

    The NAACP is replete with racists. Most are kept quiet as to their race attitudes for the NAACP, no matter how it has aged, is still an organization.

    America, white and black, have more than fair share of racists.

    The Tea Party is so disorganized into sub-groups and individuals that it must only be said that they have their fair share of those who either show racism or harbor it.

    The NAACP threw the first official stone and it was a big one.

    The final outcome of this hullaballoo is in doubt but it is not a wise move on either side to be screaming SHUT UP on CNN or SHUT YOUR MOUTH as it shows the weakness of the strong position each organization could have.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:36 am |
  45. Ken (Missouri)

    This country is not divided by race, this country is divided by class. I'm sick of the so called "race card" that is absolutely nothing more than a political wedge no matter who's playing it.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:33 am |
  46. Rochelle

    I was brought up to respect the President of the United States, no matter what political party he belonged to. In our home, we honored the man elected to lead our nation. We respected the office. The way the Tea Party has reviled and defamed our president is a horrible example to their own children. And by depiciting the president as a witch doctor or a follower of Hitler and Lenin, the Tea Party sends a horrible message and sets a terrible example to all our children. Their signs and speech have been racist. That's undeniable. The Tea Party is against the values, fairness and common decency we Americans value. In my opinion, the Tea Party is anti-American.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:25 am |
  47. Heidi

    There is still racism in the US, you will always have racism as long as people are around, you will never really get rid of it. But I believe in the US that just as many black people as white people are racist. White people are becoming a minority in the US, but some of the other races use their color as an excuse. I can't tell you how many times I have heard the comment that "that is just how they are, that is just how they were raised, they don't have a choice but to grow up to be in a gang, or to go to jail," but I believe that everyone has a choice, deep down inside, God has given everyone a conscience that tells them what is right and what is wrong, even in this messed up world that we live in. The main thing that bothers me is that other races can say whatever they want about white, or caucasian people and nothing can be done about it, and if we get upset then we are overreacting, but if anything is said by a white person about any other race, we are racist and it turns into a big national problem, so white people have to watch what they say, but anyone of a different color can say pretty much whatever they want. You tell me what is wrong with that picture!

    July 16, 2010 at 7:23 am |
  48. CLL

    It would be far easier to repudiate the excoriating racist diatribe; however, wanting to be "right" has taken center stage. Still, we have actually overcome all of this in a way. Fear among people of color has retreated and an internal, gut-checking sense of the sheer irrelevance of name calling is emerging. Perhaps when we stop giving ignorant people a podium from which to rant, then we can move on.

    To the billions of people of color in this world, realize the truth. This kind of talk is irrelevant and ignorant. The next time you hear a rant, instead of giving it power by responding to it with anger, recognize it for what it is. Pure nothingness that has no power to control your life.

    To the haters, go for it. Nobody cares.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:22 am |
  49. Mercedes in Houston

    As a moderate white American who is 48 and grew up in the South I can spot racism quickly. From the very beginning it has been OBVIOUS that the Tea Party not only tolerates racism but that it is also deeply rooted in racism, homophobia and xenophobia. Where were they when a white conservative was President and driving our nation off of the cliff fiscally? For them to throw the racism claim back at the NAACP is laughable at best. Their own words and actions betray them and the Tea Party stands for what is wrong with our nation socially.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:20 am |
  50. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Having been raised in the south back in the fifties, racism was alive and well, it appears some of us grew out of it an are ashamed of the we treated black back then. No along comes the Tea Party and believe me they are a bunch of fat, old retired white republicans who can't stand the thought that we have a half white and half African american as President of the United States. All you have to do is scratch the surface and the racism comes to the top and that is pitiful.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:16 am |
  51. Kat

    Seriously? People who thought that Obamas election would bring racial harmony are absolute FOOLS. Racism will NEVER die especially in America. This is the most racist country in the world. The only reason many blacks voted for Obama is because he is black. Which is VOTER IGNORANCE. The NAACP needs to stop playing the victim. Im sick of black people playing the victim role. GET OVER IT. Blacks can be just as racist or even more racist and need to stop pretending like they are never racist towards anybody. YES, I happen to be black. Besides this is a FREE country and if the Tea Party wants to be against Obama and his administration so be it!!! Not everyone in this country shares the same political views OBVIOUSLY. Also another thing, Obama is MIXED. That one drop rule is so stupid.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:16 am |