It is common for conservatives to reject a liberal’s use of the race card when the card is played in an attempt to defend/support President Obama. What is not so common is for liberals to reject the same thing. That is what happened after The Nation magazine published a commentary titled “Black President, Double Standard: Why White Liberals Are Abandoning Obama” written by Tulane University professor Melissa Harris-Perry.
Here is an excerpt from the commentary:
The 2012 election may be a test of another form of electoral racism: the tendency of white liberals to hold African-American leaders to a higher standard than their white counterparts. If old-fashioned electoral racism is the absolute unwillingness to vote for a black candidate, then liberal electoral racism is the willingness to abandon a black candidate when he is just as competent as his white predecessors.
In short, Melissa Harris-Perry is claiming that President Obama is just as competent as previous Presidents. Thus, according to her, a white person who voted for Obama in 2008 would be guilty of racism if that same white person doesn’t vote for Obama in 2012.
Well, some of the liberals who read Harris-Perry’s commentary believe that her race card has expired. Here are some of their comments:
As a self-identified African-American caller to a radio station once said: “Barack Obama proved that he can can be as good as any white president because he showed he can sell out the black folk down the river as any white president has ever done!” Sell out all his constituency as well. That is why he lost the support of those who voted for him. And with Rick Perry we will at least know who the enemy is. Obama keeps stabbing us in the back. [Posted by dragan]
Ms. Harris-Perry, I can not believe you went down this ridiculous road. Really? I am white, liberal and know I am not the least bit racist. I have criticized Obama like many of my friends – all race of friends. I like the man. I think he is basically a good president. I think he is better so far than Clinton. I criticized Clinton as well. His mean-spirited sell-out “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” was abhorrent. He failed with health care reform. NAFTA . . . ugh. I can not imagine voting for anyone else come 2012 but Obama. But it is the duty of a good citizen to let all elected officials know how you feel, good and bad. You paint a wild and ridiculous scene when you wander in to such poorly thought out suggestions. I believe most Dem/Progressive individuals feel similar to the way I feel. What we are doing when criticizing Obama, even severely, is because we expect more out of the President of the United States. Especially when the president is such a smart individual.[Posted by JohnLorenzo]
Yeah I’m not buying this one. Of course the true test will be to see what happens now that Obama seems to be reclaiming his progressive roots and fighting back. You need to read Confidence Men. It explains a lot. Obama is who we thought he was, only just recently did he feel that he could be who he really is. This is not a racial issue, it’s a matter of spine. [Posted by laudbuck]
I suspect that white liberals can’t abide this feckless, spineless little empty suit any more than I can — and I am a 60 year old black male — for pretty much the same reason that I can’t. [Posted by Keyboard_Kowboy]
I’m black and definitely NOT voting for Obama! Let’s talk about policy and what he’s done and hasn’t done instead of hiding behind race!!!! Iraq and Afghanistan are still going on, health care is WORSE than it ever was, Wallstreet and the banks are still having a field day. Obama couldn’t even find it in his heart to comment on the injustice committed against TROY DAVIS. I’m not voting for him!!!! And did I mention that I’m BLACK and DISGUSTED?? [Posted by snegash]
I’m probably not going to vote for Obama in 2012 and instead cast a protest vote for a third party candidate. I’m doing so because I’m utterly disappointed with Obama’s tenure as president, his being overly willing to seek compromise with those who he should’ve known would afford him none, and basically reversing almost all of the promises he made to his voters during his campaign. I also happen to be black. Guess I’m a racist. [Posted by UNGA-DANCE-PARTY]
Other liberals made comments in which they say that they will vote for Obama in 2012, but that they will hold their noses while doing.
On a related note, in its 24 September 2011 edition the Washington Post has a story about President Obama’s speech to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Here is an excerpt from the story:
The speech, which the White House says will focus in part on the American Jobs Act, comes as Obama has faced a softening of support among African American voters and a chorus of criticism from black politicians who now feel free to break what had become the eleventh commandment among black elected officials: Thou shall not speak ill of the first black president.
Considering the fact that more and more African-Americans and liberals are criticizing President Obama, just when does criticism of President Obama become an act of racism? If African-Americans and liberals refrain from supporting President Obama’s re-election bid, then are they engaging in racism?
This “race” issue pertaining to President Obama died and was buried a long time ago. Sadly, the issue is still being dug up by Obama stooges who are so enamored by Obama’s presidency that they can’t see anthing wrong with his presidency.
Even Igor knew that what he dug up was defective.
By the way, if President Obama is losing the support of African-Americans and liberals, then apparently they no longer believe that it’s all Bush’s fault.
The upcoming presidential campaign is going to be fun to watch. So, get out the popcorn.
P.S. : It should be noted that President Obama himself is not playing the race card.