Non-Shocker: Obama Administration Sez It’s Not About Race

This is pretty much a non-shocker. White House Press Secy. Robert Gibbs downplayed President Jimmy Carter’s statements Wednesday about Joe Wilson’s outburst being about race and disrespect for the first African American president.

More after the jump.

From Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON — The White House says President Barack Obama doesn’t believe he’s being criticized because of his race.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs said Wednesday that Obama – the nation’s first black president – doesn’t think that criticism of his policies is “based on the color of his skin.”


Gibbs was asked about the topic following comments on Tuesday by former President Jimmy Carter.

Of course, did we expect the White House to say anything different? In an environment where Obama gets called the “Racist-in-Chief” on CNN by Tea Baggers and is disrespectfully treated on a fairly regular basis from citizens and now congressmen alike, what was the White House going to say? Ever since the campaign, Obama has downplayed the race factor. That’s what helped him win. He can’t go around decrying racism now either, as he’d be labeled as a race-baiting whiner (even if that’s what some of those opposed to him are doing). Look at the mess that was Henry Louis Gates’ arrest and what that turned into when Obama spoke his mind frankly, then had to Texas two-step his way back to something more malleable?

People often make the comparison (and in my opinion, wrong comparison) between Obama and slain civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. But the reality is, King behaved as a man with absolutely nothing to lose as many activists in his position did. Obama has a lot to lose and can’t act as freely as King did. In that sense, Obama was always more like Jackie Robinson to me. Robinson had something to lose (his baseball contract) and was bound to a certain degree. He had to take abuse, be exemplary and not complain, letting his performance on the field speak when he couldn’t. Obama can’t act like an activist because he’s not one, he’s a politician, and he is bound to his electorate. He has to let his response to Wilson come through in his actions, not co-signing with Carter on accusations of racism. Obama’s worth will be measured in whether he is successful in accomplishing his goals as president. Everything else has to unfortunately be taken in stride.

20 thoughts on “Non-Shocker: Obama Administration Sez It’s Not About Race

  1. I won’t believe for one moment that Carter mouthed off like that without at least tacit approval from the CIC. These former presidents have a clique type thing going on and they’re pretty protective of one another, sometimes even over party lines. I think they’re letting Carter be the stalking horse on this one.

  2. The Jackie Robinson analogy has always worked for me, but it also sort of freaks me out. Robinson died young—53—from heart disease/diabetes, but he had to have been weakened by the psychic abuse he took over the years.

  3. the sentiment might not have been race based, but i’m sure the level of respect wilson has for obama is. obama needs some balls. he’s soft like charmin.

  4. Huffington Post and the rest of media should not be asking the White House whether or not reactions from various groups/media/institutions are racist and not really criticisms of Obama’s policies. There are organizations media can go to who are known to be authorities on racial issues, like the Southern Poverty Law Center, that is if you really want an answer. Of course, you wouldn’t go there if you’re just hoping to create or continue a conflict to sell your newspaper/blog/tv show.

  5. Obama can’t act like a cowboy, and he is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. I hope his stats measure up to Robinsons…..

  6. I agree with your comparison between Obama and King. What annoys me from time to time is that people use King as this peace-loving tree-hugging people when in reality, he knew how people REALLY got down. If one looks at his other writings and not only "I Have A Dream", one would see that. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I’d NEVER want to be the president of this country. 😐

  7. Let Obama worry about folks doing actual damage instead of kindergarden sh!t. They got folks thinking half a trillion people showed up to that tea rally…LOL! I’m sure he’s aware of the issue and has more important things to deal with than issues a 4th grader could debunk. Where are the folks on the outside to counter that mess…and no I’m not talking about tree-huggin’, green liberals (read moderate-conservatives). I’m also not talking about something as trivial as slack-off workers from ACORN (wtf?!). I’m talking the left wing these folks here associate with Latin-America, BPs, and frickin’ hammer/sickle cats..Here’s another reason I wouldn’t bother responding: the freakin’ planet already put those fools on blast for that mockery of an economic collapse. Like what a lot of folks were screaming at those chicken-hawks during the start of the Iraq War, tell them so-called racists/tea-baggers to mount up and recoup those funds that somehow disappeared under their boy’s watch. "B-B-But is s-s-socialist!"

  8. I am sure President Obama had to have known being the President of the United States wouldn’t be easy. When you are the "first" in anything your way won’t be easy. I am sure Mrs. Obama has been a great source of support. He can be a great leader but it won’t come overnight.

  9. Ya’ll killing me with all this "taking the high rode crap". Like Eddie Murphy said, "Sometimes you just got to woup somebodies ass to let them know where you stand". I just watched the movie "Panthers", if they could send white people after innocent Black youth trying to "help" the community, I know you have the power and dirt on these people to destroy these weak as white people. The jews go "boo" and they run like bitches. Obama send your Israeli army after your opposition. No not the Black people like me and Kanye, your "white" opposition. Stop acting like a "Beotch".

  10. In 2009 we don’t need a Jackie Robinson, we need a Jessie Owens – the brother who can run like he belonged all the while, not a Jackie just trying to show that we can play with whites (mayors and representatives do this every year) and he’s not even the "best" of our Black race.

  11. This is a continual act of stunning cowardice. There are plenty of ways to attack the racists, the Republican racists and their Republican enablers.Let’s start w/ Wilson of SC. You need to remind him of the Tuskegee Airman whom took their final flight training in SC where they were spit upon by the citizens yet soldiered on. You might suggest SC was past that. You might remind him that the comparasions to Nazi’s reflect upon the time in SC and the USA when Nazi war prisoners could use the officers club but African American soldiers couldn’t. You might remind them of their racism by pointing out their ignorance because Hitler consider us untermensch so how could an AA possibly be a Nazi. You might remind them of how pointedly Jesse Owens and Joe Louis destroyed their supermensch in the name of America when AA could not particpate in the body politic. You might tell Rep Cantor how his silence reinforces those whom think JewishAmericans are cowards. You might want to remind him and all the JewishAmericans Rep and Senator of how many Holocaust surviors are in their district whom suffered from the industrial application of a death panel finalized at the Wannsee Conference.The more I write about his cowardice the closer I come to calling him out.Remember Fort Pillow

  12. Carter has always been a "loose cannon". I do agree with him though. While I know the President wants to bar any distractions from the healthcare reform; these racists that show up at these marches and town hall meetings need to be stopped and told they have gone over the lines. The Republicans have now decided to join the wing-nuts and it needs to be stopped before one of them takes matters into their own hands. The president can take his message and do a quick response to this. I’m glad someone has taken a stand againt what is going on in this country.

  13. Obama is President of the United States now. If he played the race card on these people, he could divide this country in two for a very long time. Like it or not, he is still their President too. I am a white female and I can promise you millions of white voters have his back and will speak out for him. Have faith in them because we put Obama where he is- not the people holding the signs. Peace

  14. I wish the he’d speak up sometimes instead of backtracking. Sometimes things need to be called out, and the fact of the matter is that Carter is correct. (But like I said before, "Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.")

  15. SM, the "race card’ is a term made up by who to protect who?The "race card" was invented the day they changed the Bible and tried to bury all of the accomplishments of the "original" people of Kemet, Nubia and Timbucktoo (middle east). The "race card" began when people changed history and religion just so that they could appear "superior". The "race card" is actually something invented by people using the Bible and hiding history to make it appear that they are the "chosen people’ or "master race’ when all the while they have the whole universe living in a lie. The people who started civilization didn’t look like those you’ve read about in those history books and bibles, that’s for sure. Once again, the "race card" is a term invented by those who have been doing it since they changed the Bible and tried to erase history. Obama speaking out is not playing the "race card", white people are loving this "reverse racism" cry they are getting to play, but God is going to use this a teachable moment for America – watch. He’s going to reveal to the world full circle how it was in the beginning and "who" changed history as well as the Bible. Watch!

  16. What racism? Geez Louis, why we don’t like Obama has nothing to do with race and everything to do with leftist policies we abhore. If he was conservative, we’d like him, (still struggle with the lack of experience and naivete, sure, but it’s the man, not the skin)."Tea baggers" (what a horrible term) are CONSERVATIVE. They won’t like anyone who’s LIBERAL. There are thousands of reasons to dislike him before ever getting anywhere near race.Put Colin Powell into the presidency and I’ll dance for joy and he isn’t all that conservative, just darn smart.

  17. Personally I think the Prez knows full well that these bigots hate him because he’s black, but he keeps watching Dave Chappelle’s "when keeping it real goes wrong" and remembers why he can’t take the bait and fight on their level. Some shit is a "no-win" and pride probably causes black men more trouble then it helps. There is a difference between being a proud man and being a prideful man. Some want to call Prez Obama a punk because he won’t let the racists bait him into being their next Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. I kinda get that sentiment, but I also think there are a lot of black men dead or sitting in jail because of "I ain’t no punk" syndrome. If you know what your enemy wants from you, why give it to them? If your enemy is baiting you to react in a way that will be beneficial to them, why take the bait? The truth is "middle of the road" white folks don’t want to hear a black man who was just elected President of the US of A complain about racism directed at him. And if the racists couldn’t stop him from being president, maybe they have a point. At some point black people are going to have to decided, do we want love from white people or for them to just get out of our way and not stop is from doing the things we want to do? Personally, I am only interested in the latter and don’t care much about the former. Let the haters hate. He’s in the White House and the racist crackers are in the shithouse. For me that’s enough.

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