Regarding Jimmy Carter: Was This Even Up For Discussion?:
Listen: when former President Jimmy Carter, from rural Georgia in the goddamned 1920s, says something is racist, he knows what the fuck he's talking about. Can you imagine the number of toothless crackers he grew up around? No, you can't. Don't even try. Because if you didn't grow up during a time when racism was seen as the way things were, where a white person who was polite to a black person was seen as a traitor to their race, where being a dirt poor white man meant that you had to find someone to beat up on and you sure as hell weren't gonna go after the rich white people actually keeping you down, where there were more lynchings of blacks than in any other state but Mississippi, you shut the fuck up and listen to the man. Because he knows from racist.
The people attacking Carter in their usual ginned-up, politically-motivated way know that the organized fanning of the flames of extremist positions within the Republican party stinks of anti-black and anti-Hispanic rhetoric and action. These days, white people, not just from the South, but often so, are so good at using code words to hide their racism that the ones who have deluded themselves into thinking that they're not racist all of a sudden act shocked when someone trots out the Obama monkey sock puppet.
This ain't new. The Rude Pundit knew people who worked for Jesse Helms, and they all said that, in private, Helms was one of the most despicable racists they ever heard. As much of a motherfucker as he was in public, that probably means that "nigger" was a noun, verb, and adjective to him. As mentioned here before, years ago, the Rude Pundit was at a David Duke rally when he was running for Senate in Louisiana, where Duke told a group of white people that "I'm just saying in public what we've been saying in the back rooms for years." The white people agreed. And wouldn't it be nice if they could say it in public.
Some coded racist terms have been adopted into the mainstream, like "inner-city." Others are being racialized because of the presence of Barack Obama. Barbara Ehrenreich and Dedrick Muhammad wrote in the New York Times this past week about how "public option" has been turned into code for "giving shit to black people." Like "welfare" before it, helping the poor is so odious to conservative whites in this country because it helps non-whites, even if not helping the poor harms poor white people.
Now we've got the uproar over ACORN, another code word for "blacks." There's the strange outrage that the mainstream media (beyond Fox "news") isn't "covering" the "scandal" that a few stupid employees said something stupid on tape. This would be the same media that didn't do any actual investigation of the assertions that led the nation into a war. In what must be a harmonic convergence of viscous evil and vile circumstance, Greta Van Susteren had Karl Rove on her Fox "news" show last night to comment on the ACORN thing...deal...whatever the fuck it is. This would be the same Karl Rove who, while in the White House (in an appointed position that was way more powerful than any kind of czar), ordered the firing of David Iglesias as U.S. Attorney in New Mexico because Iglesias wouldn't go after ACORN for "voter fraud." Because, see, ACORN registered poor black people to vote. And they generally don't vote for Republicans. Last night, with the kind of mad hubris one usually sees only in tyrannical dictators having giant statues to themselves constructed by serfs and slaves, Rove used New Mexico as an example of the corruption of ACORN.
But let's go further here, maybe a little too far, but what the fuck? Let's go beyond "socialism," beyond "ACORN," to one of the roots of secret racialized language in America. One reason the right has been so successful in getting large segments of white people to dismiss progressive ideas that would benefit those very white people is because "liberal" was made by the right into a word that meant, among other things, "non-white." See, blacks are liberal, don't you know? And that naturally means "anti-white." And that means that those who support liberal ideas support ideas that prop up non-white people, which means that white people would have to suffer, in the deluded minds of racist white people.
The election of a black president, who embraced the word "liberal," both confirms their suspicions and undermines them in a way that they can't deal with. Indeed, right now they can't even allow Obama to accomplish what he wants to do because, if he's right and he succeeds, their entire worldview crumbles. Conservatives in power, who watched George W. Bush get nearly everything he wanted and it turned to shit, have staked their last chance at regaining power on making Obama into that nigger who wants to hurt the white people. Fuck him and his nigger-loving accomplices.
What Carter was reacting to, among other things, was the yell of "You lie" from Representative Joe Wilson at President Obama. That yell was the barbaric scream of impotence from an exiled warrior; implicit with it was that no black man was going to tell him how the world runs, especially when it comes to Hispanics. Jimmy Carter knows what he's seeing. He listened to it for most of his life. He knows stupid fucking rednecks wearing their suit jacket collars high when he sees 'em.
(And, hey, don't spout the same old horseshit about Jesse Helms or Joe Wilson being a nice guy. Bull Connor might've been a hell of a guy to have a beer with. But that didn't make him turn off the hoses or call off the dogs.)
Update: JR at Kos is on the same wavelength.