16 Sep 2009 Statement of Project 21 Fellow Deneen Borelli on Allegations of Racism Against Critics of Obama Policies
Washington, DC – This statement was issued today by Deneen Borelli of the national black leadership network Project 21:
“There they go again. Now Jimmy Carter has joined House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel, Texas Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, New York Governor David Paterson, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd and others on the left in claiming racism is behind criticism of President Obama’s big-spending policies.
The public is outraged about the president’s policies — the spending, the budget, the deficit — not his skin color.
President Obama was not elected only with black votes. Are those who cry ‘racism’ saying the American people suddenly woke up and said, ‘oh, he’s black so I don’t like him anymore’? That makes no sense. The criticism of Obama’s policies is about the policies — the stimulus, the growth of government, cap-and-trade, the health care bills, the overspending.
It’s easier for the left to play the race card than address the public’s legitimate concerns, but what the left and the media are doing is damaging and dangerous.
It’s damaging because when everything is racist, then nothing is. Those who cry racism without evidence will cause people to tune out in cases in which there is evidence.
It’s dangerous also to send a message that racism is behind everything. What does that tell young black men and women? It tells them they will never get a fair shake and that white people who have never met them dislike them. With a message like that, its no surprise we’re seeing apparently racial incidents like the widely-circulated video of a young white student being beaten up on a school bus by black students while other black students cheer. What message have those black students internalized from liberal leaders like Rangel, Johnson, Paterson, Matthews and Dowd and now former President Carter? That white people are their enemy.
If this continues — if not already — the left will literally have blood on its hands, and all because it was too dishonest and too cowardly to have a fair debate with the American people on policy.”
Project 21, established in 1992, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).