The delicious Carlos Watson is under fire from all sides for his “is socialist becoming the new N-word” comments from earlier this week. (We need to come up with a nickname for this man, Snob-friends. Reeses Peanut Butter Cup of the TV News is taken.) He tried to clarify his statements (and back them up) Thursday on his site, The Stimulist.
In the increasingly ugly health care debate, “socialist” has come to have a few different meanings. There is the actual style of governing—and critiques of Obama’s health care effort on those grounds are certainly legit. The word has also been stripped of that clinical definition and used merely as a conservative bludgeoning tool—no different than when those on the left say “right-wing nut.” That’s okay, too. To be clear: I think those two uses of “socialist” are the vast majority and are fine. But after listening to many of the birthers, as well as ugly voices at some of the GOP town halls (where the idea of lynching recently seemed to be applauded), I wondered—let me repeat that: wondered—whether “socialist” was being used as a code word for the N-word, an outlet for racist anxiety and anger.
Over the last 24 hours, I’ve been accused both of trying to silence dissent and race bait. I am interested in neither. Various e-mailers have said they don’t think anyone has literally meant the N-word. Maybe they’re right. But maybe not; just take a look at the hundreds of comments on YouTube. Either way, responsible people need to not kid themselves: there is clearly some meaningful racial animus behind some of the opposition to President Obama. (Again, I said some—not all or a majority.) Pretending otherwise is hypocritical, negligent, and dangerous.
Read the rest here.