George Graham

With the Media Misleading America, it’s Time to Play the “Race Card”

tea party

As the chatter rains down upon us in the wake of Tuesday’s special election to fill the late Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, every conceivable reason has been suggested for Republican Scott Brown’s stunning upset of Democrat Martha Coakley. Every conceivable reason but the main one: racism.monkey

There’s the national debt, the deficit, “big government” and its stifling effect on private enterprise, and on and on and on.

But considering it’s the Tea Party movement that got Brown elected, and considering that the vast majority of tea baggers wouldn’t recognize a deficit if it bit them on the backside and probably think Private Enterprise is a soldier in Iraq, I have to conclude there’s something more visceral driving this movement.

Something as visceral as white resentment against the election of a black President.

Remember the racist speeches and signs so prevalent at tea party protests? How would you describe the sign immediately above, for example?

The “monkey” theme is a recurring one. During the presidential campaign, Obama-monkey dolls were offered for sale on the web, and some showed up at Sarah Palin rallies.

I haven’t heard anyone in the mainstream media bring up the topic of white resentment and I suppose they are all afraid of “playing the race card.”  But it seems clear to me that the race card is already on the table.

The media’s misrepresentation of the populist wave that swept Brown into power is unfortunate because it could mislead politicians and the public into thinking there’s a groundswell of popular opposition to social programs and stimulus spending. A little reflection would dispel this notion.

President Obama did not introduce deficit budgeting in America. That was popular long ago. It was especially popular under Republicans Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. And he did not introduce “big government” or bank bailouts, either. And as for government intervention in the lives of citizens, he is merely following in the footsteps of his predecessor, who brought Americans such programs as the Medicare Prescription Plan. The only difference is that Bush’s benevolence was directed at well-off white folks and Big Business, while Obama is trying to give downtrodden Americans (most of whom happen to be minorities) a hand up.

So obviously, the “populist outrage” will not be mollified by cutting back on necessary government spending or abandoning beneficial social programs. The only way to scratch that itch would be to get Obama out of the White House, deport as many non-white Americans as possible and keep the remaining minorities poor and subservient.

I am sure this sentiment is not shared by the majority of white Americans, but I think it is increasingly prevalent because a lot of very rich people are spending a lot of money to promote it.

Because of the hue and cry in the media, I worry about the Democratic politicians who might back away from their party’s traditional policies for fear of being defeated in November. I’m afraid that many of them will believe the party’s policies are unpopular and abandon them in a misguided effort to save their own political future. Unfortunately, that’s the way Democratic politicians often act.

Folk philosopher Will Rogers said it best when he proclaimed: “I don’t belong to an organized political party – I’m a Democrat.”

And that’s just too bad. An organized political party would close ranks and beat back this astroturf “revolution” – not by turning on the President or decrying his agenda but by pressing on with programs designed to restore health and prosperity to America while helping to level the social and economic playing field.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for