Yesterday former President Jimmy Carter noted that much of the opposition to Obama’s health care plan was “based on racism” and that there was “an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American should not be president.” Carter was only saying what everyone knows. Any journalist who covered the Democratic presidential primary between Obama and Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania could not possibly have missed the naked hatred of the man among some voters, based on the fact Obama is black. Similar sentiments were in the air in western Maryland during a recent town meeting on health care—Western Maryland has a history of being not just right-wing territory, but Klan territory.
Let’s stop kidding ourselves. America has not crossed any divide. And the racist attacks on Obama won’t end with health care. They’ll just roll on into other issues on his agenda.