Over the past four-and-a-half years of Barack Obama’s post-racial presidency, the number of racist code words has shockingly grown at a dramatic pace.
Through the help of MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, America learned that words such as “Chicago” and “apartment” are actually code to demean the President because of the color of his skin. MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell also found a way to turn “golf” into a slight based on race.
Now, MSNBC’s Martin Bashir has another new tone for the mythical racist dog-whistle used by conservartives — “IRS.”
In his closing remarks on his June 5 show for MSNBC, Bashir claimed “[t]he IRS is being used in exactly the same way as they tried to use the President’s birth certificate.” It is, Bashir, contended, the “latest weapon in the war against the black man in the White House.”
Bashir pinpointed the beginning of this latest assault on Obama as 1981, when the 44th president was just 20 years old. It’s Bashir’s contention that “IRS” is being used by conservatives akin to the way the late political strategist Lee Atwater allegedly suggested using words such as “bussing” and “states rights” instead of dropping the n-bomb.
It’s so obvious that a suggestion to tone down racial rhetoric over 30 years ago laid the groundwork for this attack on Obama. After all, what other reason would people have to criticize an executive branch agency thought to have abused its power for political leverage against conservative organizations during a heated presidential campaign — especially after these organizations so effectively mobilized opposition to the Obama agenda? Why are we holding Obama to old-time, segregation presidential boasts such as “the buck stops here”?
Jerome Hudson, a member of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network, nonetheless thinks citizen outrage over the IRS scandal has nothing to do with race and everything to do with the right of the American people to challenge their elected leaders and the bureaucracy they oversee.
Rather than conservatives practicing dog-whistle racism in their criticism of the IRS, Jerome sees the race card being played decisively by the knee-jerk defenders of the Obama Administration:
When people declared that President Obama’s election would mark a new “post-racial era,” it was a mistake. What they meant was that it heralded a “most racial era.”
Martin Bashir’s comments on MSNBC are worse than despicable. If anyone is waging a war, it’s President Obama who is actively lighting the Constitution on fire.
Scrutinizing President for what has absolutely nothing to do with the color of his skin — in this case, the apparent abuse of power at the IRS — is our right as citizens.