Former President Jimmy Carter suggested that Joe Wilson's comment during Obama's speech, "You lie!" was related to racism. Some who know Wilson, including Democrats, have suggested that it was more idiotic than racist. I mulled this over this morning in my own mind.
My first thought was that the anger of individuals like Wilson and others toward the health care reforms in the works right now is probably not generated by racism. Hilary Clinton would no doubt receive the same ire if she were the one standing there.
But then I asked myself the next question. Would Wilson have yelled out "You lie!" if it had been Clinton giving the speech... or Ted Kennedy? Here my thoughts took a different course. I don't think Wilson would have yelled it if it were Ted Kennedy as President giving the speech. In fact, I wonder seriously if anyone would have yelled such a thing if it were Hilary Clinton.
So I have concluded in my own mind not that the comment or anger itself was racially based but that it was likely a certain latent disrespect related to race that probably made the difference between thinking "You lie" and shouting it out. I think if Obama were not black, the comment would have stopped before getting to Wilson's mouth. So the comment was not racist, but the dynamic that allowed for the unprecedented disrespect probably was.
What do you think?