The man known as Joe the Plumber is pushing the assertion that the answer is no, and that critics of the president are unfairly categorized as racists, but as Rev. Sharpton pointed out on Monday's show, the right often critiques Obama as "the other."
If you wish the man living in the White House were a white Republican, you’re still not racist. That’s the claim being pushed by Joe Wurzelbacher, better known to many as Joe the Plumber after he rose to fame during the 2008 .
Since that moment in the political spotlight, Wurzelbacher has made a failed run for Congress and generally affiliated himself as a Republican, despite having claimed back in 2008 that he wasn’t. And now, in a piece posted to his website, he’s supporting the idea that wanting a “white Republican” back in the White House doesn’t make you racist.
“Admit it. You want a white Republican president again,” the post began. “Now before you start feeling like you’re a racist, understand you are not.”
Wurzelbacher didn’t pen those words himself, cross posting it under his name from the Black Sphere. The argument originally made by the author, Kevin Johnson, is that a white Republican president would be better in part because of policy, but also because “nobody is ever accused of being racist for disagreeing with white presidents.”
The post from Wurzelbacher came on a weekend when we saw yet another example of how President Obama is so often turned into “the other.”
This past weekend a group of veterans protesting the closure of the World War II Memorial made their way to the White House. With Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Sarah Palin in attendance, right wing activist Larry Klayman told Obama to “put the Quran down,” and accused the president of “bow[ing] down to Allah.”
Nearby, one protester in the crowd waved a confederate flag outside the gates. Others, captured in video by Mediaite, complained that police who arrived at the protest “look[ed] like something out of Kenya.”
These are simply the latest ramifications of rhetoric of Obama’s “other-ness” that we’ve been hearing for years, including the very month he took office, when we heard pundits at Fox News complain about his “deep deeded hatred for white people,” and wonder whether or not he was really president. He accused of being, a Muslim, a racist, a socialist or a fascist, and a foreigner. He’s been subject to traditionally black stereotypes when he’s called lazy, and accused of being the “food stamp president.”
The original author may be right when he points out that past critics of our white presidents are rarely accused of racism. But it’s not the criticism of Obama that strikes so many as racist, it is the obsession with couching so many of his actions, decisions, and even his way of life in ways that paint him as un-American and even anti-American.