Can someone explain to me why disagreeing with someone can now be considered a form of racism?

by Larre Green on September 25, 2009

I’m sure there are going to be people who read this and automatically say, “Well  that Larre must be a racist.” So let me start off by saying…I am not! I can honestly and whole heartedly say that I have the ability to disagree with someone based solely on their belief in something without allowing the color of their skin to influence my decision.  I am writing about this subject because of the multiple accusations of racism pointed at people who don’t agree with our country’s president. 

After U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson made his now famous “You Lie” remark during President Obama’s health care speech, there have been several statements referring to his outburst as a racial remark.  Personally, I was appalled by his remark because it was rude and uncalled for. However, I NEVER thought in any way that it was racially motivated. He was obviously passionately expressing his distrust of the president’s statement about illegal immigrants having access to health care.  His comment was not racist; it was just stupid and uncalled for.  I believe there is a certain decorum and respect that is given to someone speaking, especially when that person holds the office of President of the United States.  At the very least, the office of president deserves the respect of the congress and the attention of the people, whether or not we agree with what is being said.   I believe there is a time and place for everything and that during a presidential address; such an outburst was neither the time nor the place.   But again, although I believe Rep. Wilson’s remark may have been a very poor reflection on him, I still don’t believe it was racially motivated. 

In a Washington Post article U.S. Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.), is quoted as stating almost the same thing but clearly felt it was important to make sure he got a race remark in as well.

“I think he was caught up in a moment. The issue is: Would he have done that if the president were white?” Scott said, adding that few Republicans opposed the “level of rhetoric” against Obama in August. “We’ve got to realize racism is playing a role here. I’m hopeful that this will be a wake-up call for us to get it off the table.”

Sadly, this kind of short-sighted statement is what I am talking about.  I don’t believe it was necessary for Rep. Scott to add the racism remark after he previously stated he thought Rep. Wilson just got “caught up in the moment.”  To suggest that Rep. Wilson would have never interrupted a “white” president is simply irresponsible!

So let’s answer Rep. Scott’s question, “Would he have done that if the president were white?”   In my opinion, the answer is yes!  Given the same circumstances, the same statements by a sitting president during a hotly contested issues, I believe Rep. Wilson would have probably yelled out “you lie,” to any democratic president, white, black, Asian, Hispanic or American Indian! 

Our country’s history is flooded with situations where horrific and cruel statements were fired at past presidents during highly contentious times.  During the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, one of the common chants was “Hey, hey LBJ, how many kids have you killed today?”   Actually, this chant was later updated with President George W. Bush’s name and reused during the Iraq War.  Were either of these remarks raciest? No! And to set the record straight…almost all races used this chant against the president!

And….just this week, during the MTV Video Music Awards, rapper Kanye West caused a huge media frenzy when he jumped on stage during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for being honored with the Best Female Video Award to announce that he thought another artist, (Beyonce…an African American female) should have won the award.  Was that racially motivated?  Some could argue that it was! How could a young talented white woman win such an award when Beyonce is so talented and was obviously passed over?  Some could have turned the situation into a race issue.  Was this an issue of reverse discrimination? My thought….no…Kanye was just acting stupid! And let’s all remember, Kanye is the rapper that called President Bush a raciest after Hurricane Katrina! 

So let’s recap….

Was Rep. Wilson’s statement racially motivated? 

Was Kanye West’s statement at the VMA awards racially motivated?

The answer to both questions is….NO! They were just stupid statements made during passionate moments…and both should be ashamed by their actions.

Do I agree with all of our current presidents’ policies?  No-not even close…but that has nothing to do with his color. I just don’t like those policies.   I can also say, I didn’t agree with all of President George W. Bush’s policies either.  Does that make me a racist?  No, it just makes me an American exercising his freedom to disagree, as well as, one who knows not to do it during a televised presidential speech, or a televised awards ceremony!

Category: Larre Green's Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 8 comments »

8 Responses to “Can someone explain to me why disagreeing with someone can now be considered a form of racism?”

  1. Paul

    South Carolina has a long list of dignitaries that includes Lauren Caitlin Upton (Miss Teen USA 2007 pageant contestant), Board of Education Chair, Kristin Maguire, Governor (and avid Appalachian hiker), Mark Sanford and now Joe “the hater not a debater” Wilson or the “screamer not the dreamer” as others have dubbed him. I did enjoy him cut and running through his apology, which only goes to show that he stands for nothing. He is just another good old boy where in the morning these married men preach to you that there should be prayer in our schools and in the evening they are on their cell phones setting up a date with their other women on the side, hypocrisy has been bred in. I am not surprised that he felt compel to yell like he was at some Friday night game. So long Joey, you too will be seeing the unemployment lines.

  2. Anne Dyson

    I think it is clear that Joe Wilson shouting out was disrespectful, and possibly Kanye West felt he should do the same as payback. So let’s agree the behavior is stupid because it does not make our civil society more civil.
    I see the uncivil behavior ironique, French spelling :)
    They both used uncivil behavior to bring attention to themselves, so they could be heard.
    They wanted to make sure they were heard about an injustice they felt, happening or imagined.
    The reason Joe Wilson shouted out was based on some fear that American Citizens will be paying for health care for non-citizens. He used uncivil behavior which is the opposite of good citizenship ! He does not believe the President, even though it is in writing. Distrust in government should not be blamed on this President, as he has not been in office long enough. He inherited a mess. I suggest Joe Wilson go visit the Factory Pig farm in Tar Heel,North Carolina, That’s north of South Carolina Joe, and see what citizens are ruining their health while slaughtering your bacon. Sorry I know this sounded rude. Please forgive me. Maybe we can have tea?

  3. Jan

    I didn’t see an answer to the question about racisim. Were you trying to avoid the question? I also was not able to get into Joe Wilson’s head to determine his motives. Are you psychic? I don’t agree with President Obama, but respect his office. I think Joe Wilson’s outburst (which I this was uncalled for and inappropriate) was based on the fact that determining illegal status is oftentimes near impossible.

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