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Is This Really About Race?

Our Readers Who Comment are loudly debating whether race or President Obama's policies are the real issue behind the continuing and shrill conservative attacks on President Obama, particularly concerning health-care reform. Their comments come on an article that uses the word race only once while reporting that the White House is discussing how best to respond to the right-wing assault.

In the Post story, Anne E. Kornblut writes that "In private, Obama has developed what his advisers say is becoming a familiar response to new allegations, rolling his eyes in disbelief and asking how his staff plans to counter them." Health-care reform is the centerpiece, obviously, but there were also attacks on the president's speech on the first day of school urging students to work hard.

Racism, a highly visible subtext during Obama's election campaign, came front and center in his presidency after Rep. Joe Wilson's "You lie" moment during Obama's health-care speech to a joint session of Congress. That resulted in a mild but official party-line House reprimand and took on more life when former President Jimmy Carter told NBC news that "I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African American."

We'll start our review of comments with this exchange:

MET9 wrote, "I, for one, don't really see a need for the White House to counter the lies that are being put out by those who's only really agenda is to make President Obama fail..."

To which ualec1 replied, "The problem of doing nothing, is that a very loud minority is hijacking the health care debate and may influence the fence sitters, including those in Congress. At very least, WH should convey what those people really are: a small but vocal group of wing nuts who can't stand the idea of black president."

Viqueen2 agreed, saying "All these attacks are just a smokescreen; the far right cannot stand that there is a black President. And the MSM needs to call them out on it."

But 20yrskinfan advised, "Stay above the fray. Its not about racism because, as the article says, they did the same thing to the Clintons. Play politics like a game of football. Do your talking on the field. Slam down legislation and let these folks self destruct... As a lifelong democrat, I know there are enough decent Republicans to know when a strategy is bad for the country. Its a shame they are not the ones running their party right now."

rcupps observed that "Obama's camp is intentionally playing down the racism behind many of these attacks. But you know they aren't ignoring it."

cccarol asked, "DO any of you people realize that Obama is one half white? So if anyone disagrees with him, you are saying it's because they "hate" the one half of him that is black. Does that make sense? How about they just don't like his policies, and they don't like his dishonesty..."

gce1356 wrote, "I have to say I've noticed the same aggressive near-constant attacks from the political right, most recently regarding healthcare policy. I can't quite tell whether they have real substantive policy differences -- except the obvious free-market approach to everything and rabid fear of anything remotely socialistic -- or are just angry that someone, anyone, other than a conservative is now running things..."

kiler616 said, "these aren't real americans attacking, they are racist freaks who cling to the lynchmob mentality and just wish they could do what grandma and granspa would have done...which is lynch themselves a black man ......"

Kansas28 wrote, "An educated, brilliant black man was elected president with a large plurality... He had everything going for him but he couldn't sell it to the people. Mistrust began to creep in and then the realization that this man has no experience and doesn't have the foggiest idea of how to successfully run a country... This is not racial. People are disappointed and scared... The nation is broke. Let's fix that first."

2Funny said, "Racism is becoming the sole driving force behind attacks on our president. Unfortunately, there is no counterpunch that is effective against ignorant bigotry."

But TBsportsguy wrote, "Then again maybe obama's policies just suck."

wilsonj1 asked, "Why don't you write a feature on how the WP and other liberal medias constantly, and daily attacked the Bush administration???? Now you totally change, and spend all your time defending this inexperienced, special interests president."

charlie448 said, "... I have not yet seen any opposition by the conservatives that have not turned out to be correct or at the least eighty five percent correct. It's called balance of power. It was designed from our constitution to have checks and balances in our government. The liberals do not seem to like that."

But liberalview21, inaccurately quoting the article, wrote,. " 'critics who appear to be a vocal minority,' Anne, are you talking to American's? This is no MINORITY. The American people are deathly afraid of what the White House is doing. We just no longer believe in Obama's promises" What Kornblut wrote was "critics who appear to speak only for a vocal minority"

sumoldgai charged, "Unbelievable bias in this article. It continually attempts to minimize and marginalize what actually appears to be a majority of the population who oppose major elements of Obama's plans."

We'll close with FergusonFoont said, "...There was a time in our not too distant past when our media behaved more responsibly and refused to give these people a megaphone to amplify their anger and insanity. Unfortunately, now we have our Fox News and our Rush Limbaugh and their ilk (and I am increasingly including CNN and CBS in this "ilk") to elevate their worthless idiocy to an equal, and even a superior standing, to reason itself. It's a real problem."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  September 16, 2009; 7:37 AM ET
 | Tags: Health-Care Reform, Obama, Racism  
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Posted by: DOUGLASFIELD2 | September 18, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Jimmy Carter and other Dems insult our intelligence when they attribute opposition to Obama's left wing policies and radical appointments to racism. Would Republicans applaud a self-described Communist and Truther in the White House (Van Jones), a $900 billion pork-laden "stimulus" bill, cap-and-trade, and a government take-over of health care if only the president were not a "black man"? (He's actually bi-racial)

Trial lawyers say when you're losing on the law, argue the facts. Democrat politicians say when you're losing on policy, scream "Racist!" Being considered a racist is the moral equivalent in our culture of being considered a child molester, and most people will go to almost any length to avoid the charge. However, overuse by such as Sharpton and Jackson, and now the senescent Carter and ditzy Dowd, is reducing the charge to a meaningless cliche hurled by self-serving scoundrels and fools.

Posted by: emmet1 | September 16, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

A very instructive poll from Bloomberg released today. Obama and the Dems must produce but by in large it clearly shows that a significant majority of Americans are not buying Republican talking points or their tactics.

Posted by: Richard18 | September 16, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

As a white male I would have voted for Collin Powell for President. He is articulate, has an great deal of leadership and foreign policy experience. That was until he did his comrades in arms the disservice of endorsing a man with no leadership experience, no foreign policy experience with a questionable background.

I am opposed to this man not because of his color but because he not a competent person for the office he holds. He and the Democratic held congress are spending us into oblivion.

We hear from the liberal side of the aisle that if we disagree with our President we are racist. What about the 95% of the black population that voted for Obama, are not the 40% that don't normally vote Democratic voting for a man because of his color rather than his abilities or ideologies? What about the people in this country that voted for Obama because they wanted to be "part of history" by voting for the first black President are they not doing the same. What about the news media that had the same mentality they wanted to make history. Racism isn't a one way street. When members of the Black Caucus were in Cuba the said racism was still prevalent in the United States and my first thought was yes there are many blacks that don't like whites because they are white.

Posted by: RTW135 | September 16, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

As a white male I would have voted for Collin Powell for President. He is articulate, has an great deal of leadership and foreign policy experience. That was until he did his comrades in arms the disservice of endorsing a man with no leadership experience, no foreign policy experience with a questionable background.

I am opposed to this man not because of his color but because he not a competent person for the office he holds. He and the Democratic held congress are spending us into oblivion.

We hear from the liberal side of the aisle that if we disagree with our President we are racist. What about the 95% of the black population that voted for Obama, are not the 40% that don't normally vote Democratic voting for a man because of his color rather than his abilities or ideologies? What about the people in this country that voted for Obama because they wanted to be "part of history" by voting for the first black President are they not doing the same. What about the news media that had the same mentality they wanted to make history. Racism isn't a one way street. When members of the Black Caucus were in Cuba the said racism was still prevalent in the United States and my first thought was yes there are many blacks that don't like whites because they are white.

Posted by: RTW135 | September 16, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

First of all anybody who thinks that this is about race and because Obama is black that the country has a problem with him then u are yourself closed minded and trying to manipulate people and these circumstances.Doesn't Obama have a white mother does that make him black white. Who cares!!!! I am a recent Veteran and I am smart enough not to allow the Government to get into the health-care bossiness. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!

Posted by: hartmanb | September 16, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

The so called "lie". Joe Wilson had absolutely no reason on earth to shout at the President. If he felt that Pres. Obama was not giving full play to his desire that all of us show proof of citizenship in emergency rooms, so be it, point taken, but it is a single exception to a whole clause, hardly something to become so overwhelmed with emotion about that he could not contain himself from insulting the President of the US when he spoke before Congress.

For all of you who for some bizarre reason think this racist jerk has a point, just ask yourself what you would be saying now if a black, female, Democartic Representative shouted "YOU LIE!" at GW Bush when he spoke to Congress - if she said she was overcomme with emotion because of some loophole he did not speak about?

So get real folks, have some honest discussion with your better angels. This man, Wilson would never in a million years shout like that at a white southern male. He was fulfilling a deep need to cut that black Dem Pres. down to size.

Posted by: maddymappo | September 16, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

The fact is that many on both the left and right are in a state of denial when it comes to race. One would think that after 450 years of the most agregious constructs in the politic and institutions of this nation, promulgating and then exploiting the American cancer of racism and bigotry, that the fact of its continued existance and sway wouldn't be disputed. Perhaps if whites were subjected for generations to the overt subversion of their race and to recent more subtle and thus more acceptable obstacles to their existance, they themselves would develop these racial sensitivies currently present and essential in the Black community

Posted by: Slimdugger99 | September 16, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats had dealt 52 race cards from the bottom of the deck. The last remaining card remaining in the box of cards was The Joker.... who would have imagined it would be Jimmy Carter aka Mr. Irrelevant?

Posted by: rwalsh76 | September 16, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

"And Obama, the progressive Jewish-owned parts of the media, and the activists on the Left are making a profound mistake trying to label anyone objecting to anything The One wants as teabaggers, fascists, "haters", "racists". -- ChrisFord1

Well, um. OK. Obviously America has a profound shortage of self-awareness.

Posted by: blogwould | September 16, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Kathy26 says-
Obama does lie ... he knows no fiscal responsiblity. Look at the way he ran his presidential campaign. He raked in millions, in small denominations, from people who could ill afford it and he had no concern for that. He just kept asking and asking for money.
Thats an odd thing to say. Obama didn't force anyone to contribute. Would you rather he took large contributions from corporations/lobbyists the way the Republicans do? Your comment doesn't make sense.

Posted by: Richard18 | September 16, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Obama does lie ... he knows no fiscal responsiblity. Look at the way he ran his presidential campaign. He raked in millions, in small denominations, from people who could ill afford it and he had no concern for that. He just kept asking and asking for money.

Joe Wilson called it like it is ... he just did it in the wrong venue.

Posted by: kathy26 | September 16, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

A good percentage of the "protesters" at the so called "Town Mettings" were there because they are bigots who can't accept the fact that a black man is President.

This was obvious from the verbage on many of their signs and the fact that they weren't seeking information but were drowning out the speakers while purporting to be protesting the enactment of a law they knew nothing about.

Many of them who were over sixty-five years of age and on medicare, were loudly protesting the government being involved in health care insurannce

If Congress passed a law affording them the option to withdraw from medicare, and have all of the money paid into medicare over years on their behalf paid as premiums to the private insurer of their choice, none of them would chose to do so.

Posted by: WESHS49 | September 16, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I am scared to death because you can trust there will be health care rationing down the road, regardless of what health care bill is adopted. It only makes sense that you save money when you rule out certain medical options and seniors will bear the brunt of that.

I've worked all my life hard to get to this point in America and it's downright depressing.

I'm 60 with no medical problems but I worry what will happen when I do need health care. Will it be there for me like I've been here for America ... going to a job every day of my life, barely taking sick leave and vacation days so I can pay my bills responsibly while so many others get handouts.

It's disgusting.

Posted by: kathy26 | September 16, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm a proud 60-year-old white southern woman and I don't want the Democrats or the Republicans because they are all mostly rich and could care less about adopting legislation that never impacts their lifestyles because they have the means to avoid and get what they want.

We need to stop electing rich legislators and get common folk in there who can relate to what the average American needs and wants.

I didn't grow up with a silver spoon, rather a plastic spoon, and I've worked to earn what I have in life. That's the American way ... not handouts to anyone, regardless of color, creed or religion.

Posted by: kathy26 | September 16, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Carter's Racism Charge Sparks War of Words
even the washed out democratic failures of the past are re-sorting to 'diverion' tactics...when you lie,fail and are the liberal thing and change subjects..divert..divert from the truth...don't let the people figure us liberal whacks out.

Posted by: JWx2 | September 16, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

It is incredible to me that I hear so many people accusing anybody who disagrees with the President, racist. We weren't called racist when we disagreed with Clinton, Reagan, Bush, etc. My disagreement solely due to my fears about what he and Congress have done in the first few months of his presidency.

My grandchildren will still be paying off our debt to China(!) long after I am gone. And if a health care bill passes, I will be dying much sooner than I would now. Because I am 66 years old, it doesn't matter that I am vibrant, active, playing tennis, or whatever. The fact that I am 66 will preclude me from receiving the care that I receive now through Medicare, and much of the cost of the nearly-one-trillion-dollar debt will come from seriously cutting Medicare.

Anyone who is over 60 (of any color)should be scared to death.

Posted by: Anne28 | September 16, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

How can anyone honestly say that racism isn't in play with regard to Obama? Only someone patently dishonest or in denial.

Get over it already, the racists have come out of the woodwork under the cover of the Tea Party, Fox and the Republicans. Its fact.

Does it negate every policy argument the conservatives offer? No. Is every criticism of Obama racist? No. But until the Right condemns and cuts the racists among them off at the knees, the entire Republican party and the conservatives will be justifiably delegitimized. Clean your own house before you start throwing stones.

Posted by: Richard18 | September 16, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Obama called West a "jackass." Why isn't he rebuked in the name of civility. Congress is doing what it does best ... arguring with the other side. I hope the entire Congress is voted out 2010.

Posted by: kathy26 | September 16, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I am so tired of the race card. If you object to what the Democrats want to do, you are racist. If you stand up for what you believe in, you are racist.
If you don't want socialism, you are racist.
If you are conservative, you are racist.
In other words, if you aren't a Democrat, you are racist.
Carter needs to go back to the peanut fields.

Posted by: kathy26 | September 16, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Carter is from the “South”. He knows how white southerners speak when they speak disdainfully of Blacks. The southern “Gentleman” from South Carolina was simply demonstrating his southern “Charm”.

There’s no question that, for many, a well educated, well spoken, successful Black man being duly elected as the POTUS in “their” country is incompatible with their beliefs. Call them racists or white supremacists, whatever, in their minds, their world view is challenged and discredited.

Their bigoted heads are exploding all over the South.

Posted by: thebobbob | September 16, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

President Carter has long been out of touch with this country and Americans. He is a legend in his own mind. Rep. Wilson's remark was not racial, nor was it intended to be racial. It was a spontaneous reaction to the statement regarding non coverage for aliens....pure and simple. It may have been out of order (was booing Pres. Bush from the same floor out of order?) but it was not racial.

The MSM continues to use the excuse of racial slur everytime someone voices opposition to Pres. Obama. Carter, of course, is a willing tool (we could change the t in tool to an f). That is pure non sense.

Why does the MSM continue to call opposition to Pres. Obama racial? Becuase they continue to protect the man they supported into office without ever vetting the man, his background, his experience. Now that his presidency is clearly in trouble, his leadership lacking, the MSM does not want to face the facts....and admit their failure. Meanwhile, Acorn is under their nose and they can not smell it.

Is there any wonder why the integrity of the MSM is at the lowest level it has ever been?

Posted by: theartbrifl785 | September 16, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: tom56 | September 16, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

These tea party people who are marching around blathering accusations about socialism, Nazis and death panels, and destroying their country, are not raising real concerns, they are not dissenting. They are ranting delusions grown in the Petri dish of racism. There is no reason, there are no ideas, just a frenzy of fear and anger which they cannot seem to even articulate in clear sentences.

Tea party problems with the policy are just not in the policy. But to say so is shouted down enthusiastically and vigorously with their beloved war cry “YOU LIE". Believing in the black boogey man is not dissent, it is racist.

So yeah, of course there is importance in honoring honest disagreement, but baseless and hysterical charges and name calling is not dissent. Propaganda undermines our nation and to praise and uplift ignorance as a wonder of our system of freedom of speech, is hypocrisy.

Let us remember that Hitler's buddy Goebles, who was the master of Nazi propaganda machine, said that if the lie is big enough people will believe there is some truth there. Hence we see a crowd of 75,000 being bloated into 2 million. If the lie is big enough people may believe that there were 1 million. (But, oops, that’s Nazism again how can good Republican Americans be Nazis? Only black people are Nazis).

This entire campaign is based on lies and what is even more disgusting is that it is especially targeting elderly people who are the most susceptible. Such irresponsible fear mongering is abusing the elderly and robbing our future generations of a health system that will not cost them 75% of their salaries.

We must speak out against it. We must recognize that scapegoating black people and a black president is a crucial part of the hysteria we are witnessing and it will poison our social relationships and the ultimate health of our nation.

Why? As I said, Pres Obama is the perfect scapegoat, he is black and eastern ivy educated (likely in their eyes he got his education as a result of reverse racial profiling) and therefore he must be the past, the present and future reason for the loss of the real white, pull up your boot straps, old and true values of the American people. This has reached a level of paranoia and psychosis I have never seen before in this country in all my 61 years of life.

We cannot keep silent. We must call this racist scapegoating for what it is. There is not dissent here; it is only denial, and despair being transformed in the minds of the angry victims of 8 years of Bush's bad policies, into the fault of a black man.

Posted by: maddymappo | September 16, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

donmarder wrote:

"Carter isn't the one stirring up racism and bigotry by making inflammatory remarks. If I recall, that's Joe Wilson."

Actually Don, you are mistaken. Carter just called Wilson a bigot and racist. Wilson merely yelled out (possibly inappropriately) "you lie." And in fact, some (many in fact) believe Obama was lying.

Where is the evidence (any?) supporting a baseless allegation of racism on the part of Congressman Wilson? Is it too much to ask that someone leveling such a charge have some sort of evidence?

Posted by: WmJLePetomane | September 16, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I don't often agree with Carter, in light of his own longstanding bigotries against Jews, however in this instance, I do agree with his statements. Carter said out loud what others have likely said privately: the utter public disrespect and contempt for our Nation's president likely does have roots in the contempt many still feel towards blacks. Many of the radical right and the Congressman likely harbor feelings that a black man is inherently inferior and illigitimate sitting as President. Would the Congressman have dared to scream out to a white judge in court "You lie!"? How about to a white president? A white, Southern president? Why would he now dare to do it to a negro president from the North?

Well, because the good Congressman has no respect for Obama. Because deep down, the Congressman still harbors base, racist sentiments, and is an ignorant hillbilly to boot. It's not all that complicated. It is what it is. His constituants should be ashamed. Sadly, they probably all think the same as does he....

Posted by: hyperlexis | September 16, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Why is the race card pulled?

I haven't heard race discussed by any officials including Rep. Joe Wilson. The only people who I have seen on television and of other media sources are the few extremists attending rallies, otherwise, I have not heard any racial comments.

Rep. Joe Wilson did not say "you lie b/c you're black" people, are you deaf???

This is another example of the left trying to smear the moderates and the right base b/c they are sour that many decent citizens disagree with the President's take on health-care. They will pull this card every chance they can no matter how far out the claim may be.

I voted for Obama and disagree with his healthcare agenda. According to the left, I should have the nazi sign tattooed to my forehead...ridiculous! This makes me very sad for the disillusioned.

Posted by: virginia maiden | September 16, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I was surprised at Jimmy Carter for going so far as to say that the reason for the Wilson outbreak was racial prejudice. That was certainly not the initial impression that I got when I was watching Obama's address to Congress on the subject of health care. The comment was not audible at that time because the perpetuator did not have a mike. Only the disturbance was noticable.
When I heard what had been said or shouted by Wilson, it didn't seem much worse than what had been shouted out at Obama in his town hall meetings. It was only surmised by Carter because Wilson is from the deep South and Obama is black or at least half black.
Obama talked of an America undivided. Since he has become President it is more divided than ever.

Posted by: allset707 | September 16, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Jimmy Carter needs President Obama to be successful in his agenda so that Jimmy carter won't go down in history as our worst president. How can President Obama tell the citizens of this country that they won't be paying for the health care of illegal aliens? They already pay for illegal aliens health care at emergency rooms across the country. The President may care which of my pockets he pulls money out to pay for it but to me, my pockets are my pockets. Joe Wilson was the only one in the room that was willing to tell the citizens the truth. Yes citizens, if you look at the President's speechs you'll notice he hasn't addressed the "citizens" since he was sworn in.

Posted by: AForgottenMan | September 16, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

So, is Wilson's comment racist because there's some stereotype that says "all black men are liars"? I don't get it.

Posted by: hambungler | September 16, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Pres Obama is not black. That was a media creation to get blacks to vote for him as blacks were voting for Hillary. Obama is just as much white as black. As Obama said, "I am a mutt". Carter is an example of a high IQ person who knows nothing sometimes.

Posted by: mascmen7 | September 16, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I resent like hell being called a racist by Jimmy Carter and the liberal elite. They can try and play their race card but it won't work. I didn't vote for President Obama, but it wasn't because of his skin color. I opposed his liberal policies, and I should be free to criticize those policies without being unjustly called names. The President has three more years, and many more items of his liberal agenda are going to get fire. He'd better get used to it, because he can't hide behind racism as an excuse forever.

Posted by: jameswcarter | September 16, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Who is going to give us permission on what we are allowed to say when criticizing the President?

Are we ever allowed?

Will we be permitted to vote against him in 2012?

It appears we are being told if we vote for a republican in 2010, we are racists.


Posted by: Cornell1984 | September 16, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Jimmy Carter is correct in his observation as a southerner who knows the the role racism plays in the mind of a rural southern white .

Joe Wilson may not be a racist, however many voters in his district are racist and Wilson is fueling the flames of racism to please his voters.

Just as these folks cannot believe we have a black President they still do not believe the south actually lost the civil war.

Posted by: BlufftonMan | September 16, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

These "you can't say we're all racists" posts are like a convention of strawmen. I haven't heard anyone, including Jimmy Carter (for whom I never voted and didn't like), assert that. What is being asserted is that there is a fair amount of racism involved in the virulent attacks on Obama, and if you were to read comment strings like this one regularly, you'd see the evidence clearly. The racial hostility in comments that apparently come from "some" of my fellow white Americans is really nauseating. If those of you who oppose Obama on policy grounds would calm down, discuss actual policy issues and stop screaming that the sky is falling, it would be easier to accept your protestations of racial goodwill.

Posted by: jdnathan | September 16, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I am a white, southern, 79 year old female and I see and hear enough (some from family members) to know that a lot of this is pure and simply racism.

We have an intelligent black/white man who has been duly elected by a majority of the people of this country and he should have the right to push the agenda he ran on without having to kiss the butts of a bunch of right-wing nuts. I hope he will realize this and do anything necessary to get reasonable healthcare in this country because I can tell you right now if it is left up to the lobby kissing politicians (both Republican and Democrat) in the Congress we will have exactly what we deserve....a continuation of the crap we have been experiencing since the right decided they have a handle on all things christian. I am a christian, too, just not a nut and I am tired of these people running this country.

Posted by: bettyb2 | September 16, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Obama's has been in office for eight months. Bush was in office for eight years. Bush lied us into the war in Iraq. He didn't include the cost of the war in any of the budgets he presented. The Dixie Chicks were hammered when they raised questions about the war in Iraq.

Now the same people who cast anyone as unpatriotic for objecting to the unfunded war in Iraq are now saying Obama's is fascist, running up the debt and stealing the country. They defend a congressman who called the president a liar who attacked the daughter of his mentor Strom Thurmond for having the audacity to sit for an interview. Oh yes, he does have a racist bone in his body.

As for Forest Gump would say Racist is as Racist does. Racisim is alive and well in the USA.
You have the Profiteers of racism; the Limbaugh's, Hannity's and Beck's.

You have the Enablers of racism the Republican Party and the Media for not calling out those spewing hatred.

You have the Hate Mongers; the Klan, Neo-Nazi's etc. who are only too happy to do the work of the Profiteers.

Sadly you have the ignorant that are falling prey to Hate Mongers.

Posted by: alliepeek | September 16, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Soon the only racism that will matter is Chinese and non-Chinese.

Posted by: MaryAnne29 | September 16, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

The accusation of "Racism" reflects nothing more than the hearts of those who level the charge. With no substantiation, no evidence to back up the ugly smear, the msm slavishly repeating the slander as though the mere weight of the charge gives it merit. Jimmy Carter is a pedophile. See how it works? I don't have to substantiate my ugly accusation, no evidence necessary and if Jimmy were a Republican, no doubt the msm would repeat my words without question.

Those who would smear a fellow American with such slander should be immediately called out by their own, the fact that the Democrat party doesn't gives proof to their own lack of integrity. Apparently those who run that party have neither shame nor integrity.

Posted by: AmericanSharecropper | September 16, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Jimmy Carter has been in the news twice this week. Osama Bin Laden released a tape praising Jimmy Carter's anti-semitism and anti-Americanism.

The biggest terrorist in the world loves Jimmy Carter's way of thinking.

Jimmy Carter thinks like an anti-American terrorist. His embracing of Hugo Chavez and Hezbollah are typical of his violently anti-semitic and anti-Americanism.

It is no surprise he wants to shut down dissent by Americans. He hates us.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | September 16, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

These people should be called out as racists, ignoramuses calling Obama communist, marxist, socialist - they have no clue what they are talking about. How does obama tyrannize them? What is marxist about his policies? Bush was the one who gave the billions to bail out Wall St, Bush approved illegal wiretapping and monitoring of Americans, Bush used torture which is against the American principles, Bush overreached his authority and none of these idiotic conservatives complained. They are racists - these people griping and shouting. Racists.

Posted by: mstratas | September 16, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

While I don't think that every person protesting is a racist, the underlying agenda of the extreme right is definitely racists, and this is being spread by Limbaugh, Beck and others. The slogans such as "this is not the country that I am used to" and people showing up with guns to health-care rallies show that these are not ordinary expressions of discontent. When you add that almost every person protesting is white, it kind of goes to show what this is about. What will it be - a tolerant, caring and diverse America, or a non-diverse America where:
- a witch-hunt will take place after every person trying to run for the high office who looks different than what folks are used to (middle-aged white males)
- people with pre-existing medical conditions will be unable to get health insurance provided by private entities who are in it to make money and not help people - people's health is not to be treated like a business!

Also, I've lived in a socialist country. I personally wish that Obama were a socialist, but he is not. He is simply someone who is less conservative than the majority of Republicans.

Posted by: sharedgum | September 16, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

The real issue at hand here is how conservatives can decree health care reform as socialism while ignoring the fact that our military that they so proudly and often refer to, is also based on socialism. Are you all really opposed to socialism or do you only SELECTIVELY oppose it?

Also, for those that are worried that Obama is spending us into oblivion where was that same concern when Bush was doing it? Maybe if both sides tried to be honest about all of this we could start to have a civil and rational discussion, but I seriously doubt that will ever happen. What a pathetic, hateful, and sniping lot we have all become.

Posted by: JKJ88 | September 16, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse


Nice that you try to excuse Wilson's behavior by pointing out that this was common in early American political settings. You are correct that such outbursts back then were not racially motivated, but only because it would have been ILLEGAL for a black man to be President of the United States!

Posted by: dcdude1 | September 16, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Bigots come in all forms...they hide everywhere and usually in plain site. It may be good to use this exercise to flush them and to figure out as a nation how to rid ourselves of these folks once and for all. Until we as a nation decide to DO that (rid ourselves of bigots) they will continue un-abated.

I grew up in the south at the same time Jimmy Carter did. What he speaks is truth...We better listen to at least some of what he says because going back to those days with today's technology would be a disaster....

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | September 16, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

As God is my witness folks get this through your heads, the Elitists are working hard to play this as the race card!

No this thing with President Barack Obama has nothing to do with race, many of us have grown up with all kinds of races outside our back doors - that is America and we have for quite some time beenable to see the quality in all! We have been best friends with people of other races and cultures in our day to day lives!

The thing that causes Americans to dislike and not trust or respect President Obama is his Fascist, Marxist style of politics along with his habitual habit of lieing! From the day Americans are born we were taught to dislike any form of communism or oppression of society! Now we have it practicing it's politics in our own back yard!
Not something that will fly in the "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave!"

Posted by: PaulRevere4 | September 16, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

And what do you think got us out of the Great Depression, RobMc1? Precisely the government spending that you're railing against. Guess what kept us from sinking into a depression this time around, genious. But no one is quarreling with those who have concerns (even uninformed ones) against our rate of spending. Racism comes into play when nutjobs like Mark Williams, a leader of the Tea Party movement, refer to Obama as a "Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug." And idiotic outbursts like Wilson's only fuel this type of hatred.

Posted by: dcdude1 | September 16, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Carter is the last person who should be talking about race - he has used race from both sides

"During his 1970 campaign, he ran an uphill populist campaign in the Democratic primary against former Governor Carl Sanders, labeling his opponent "Cufflinks Carl". Carter was never a segregationist, and refused to join the segregationist White Citizens' Council, prompting a boycott of his peanut warehouse. He also had been one of only two families which voted to admit blacks to the Plains Baptist Church.[18] However, he "said things the segregationists wanted to hear", according to historian E. Stanly Godbold.[19] Also, Carter's campaign aides handed out a photograph of his opponent celebrating with black basketball players"
From a bio of Carter

He used race in campaign against Reagan - Carter will do anything to make himself look good - he is not a good man or the Christian he portrays himself to be -

Posted by: fliberals | September 16, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Carter was marched in as a diversionary tactic .....the MSM must do SOMETHING to detract from the relentless hits from the para-media. They realize that further ignoring the issues with Acorn will serve to pinpoint the conservative constitutionalist "bloom" in this country.

Posted by: accurate1 | September 16, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

So, Wilson believes something is wrong with what Obama is saying about the health care bill. Wilson blurts out (which by the way happened all the time in early American political settings) and is labeled racist by the "non-biased" media and an old Jimmy Carter. Obama believes that something is wrong with Kanye stealing Taylor Swift's moment. Obama blurts out about Kanye and it circulates around the globe. Maybe Obama is racist!

Posted by: CanWeGetSomeCommonSense | September 16, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Since the election of President Barack Obama, there tends to be a subtle undercurrent on the part of several members of Congress to sabatoge his efforts on health care reform, overhaul of the financial houses, etc. I sense that some of these opposing forces are due to an African-American being the President of the United States.

Posted by: theevanshouse | September 16, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Gotta be honest -- I could care less if Jimmy Carter calls it racism, alzheimers, or too much coffee. The President just doesn't need stupid distractions right now. Whether you agree with the Administration's philosophy or not, you do not need a bunch of nut jobs with an agenda taking away from discussions for or against our very important topics.

And Carter? The last time we listened to that peanut farmer, my mortage cost me 17%. Thank goodness an ex-actor grew into the job, stimulated business to create jobs, and saved the economy -- one term was two terms too many for that guy.

I don't think racisim was behind Joe Wilson's stupid outburst, but that is impossible for me (or an ex-President) to tell what what was in Rep. Wilsons head. And in any case, stop changing the subject.

Posted by: tommariner | September 16, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the childish outburst was racially motivated. Wilson is just one of those annoying individuals that not progressed beyond the temper tantrum stage of development. If he doesn't get his own way or doesn't agree with someone he lacks the skills to intelligently argue his point. Instead he lashes out like a toddler.

Posted by: inverse137 | September 16, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Jimmy Carter is the ultimate in race-baiting opportunists. Hey, go crawl back in your hole James Earl Carter! You were another mistake in American history. You'll always live in the shadow of better men like Ronald Reagan, you “piddling little reptile.”

Posted by: OIFVet06 | September 16, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Carter is a joke. Obama lost much of America's support with the massive give away that he blames completely on Bush. (Bush was a huge spender too) Now America is nervous about Obama's every next move. Goverment debt as a pct of GDP is as high as it was in the Great Depression! American's are not ammused! Socialize the medical system next? Get real!!! There is nothing racist about this position. What a bunch of flakes!

Posted by: RobMc1 | September 16, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

There is more going on here than old fashioned racism! Obama has displeased Israel and now he is paying the price!

The vitriol displayed at the demonstrations against healthcare is not natural nor as sponteineous as it appears, there is an ongoing, organised manipulation here!

Since Obama made it obvious that he seems to want to even handedly resolve the festering issues surrounding the Palestine issue his popularity seems to have plunged!

I am sure the anti-Obama brigade has had no small assistance from AIPAC to stoke the "resistance"!
Racism Ido not think so!

There is something more subversive afoot!

Posted by: tuatha-de-dannan | September 16, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I recall raising this issue during the heat of the primaries and my q's and comments were deleted by the Blog owner - not once but many times! So, I decided to stop my commentary (it's a well known economic blog).

I also raised this issue with senior advisor to Obama and reminded him that it will inevitably blow up...and it has now with Carter making it explicit.

The Harvard Prof Gate affair was also a racist (Irish) policeman's reaction - but if Gate was a whiteman no headline likely.

However in the current healthcare debate the issue of 47M uninsured is also directed at Afro-Americans who can't afford insurance premiums and whatnot....

So, for a Dixicrat Joe Wilson, racism is not only popular but for most of them it's a socio-politial weapon to castigate the first black POTUS - white American males, in particular, and Southner's generally cannot accept Obama in their colonial WH, methinks.

Posted by: hariknaidu | September 16, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I recall raising this issue during the heat of the primaries and my q's and comments were deleted by the Blog owner - not once but many times! So, I decided to stop my commentary (it's a well known economic blog).

I also raised this issue with senior advisor to Obama and reminded him that it will inevitably blow up...and it has now with Carter making it explicit.

The Harvard Prof Gate affair was also a racist (Irish) policeman's reaction - but if Gate was a whiteman no headline likely.

However in the current healthcare debate the issue of 47M uninsured is also directed at Afro-Americans who can't afford insurance premiums and whatnot....

So, for a Dixicrat Joe Wilson, racism is not only popular but for most of them it's a socio-politial weapon to castigate the first black POTUS - white American males, in particular, and Southner's generally cannot accept Obama in their colonial WH, methinks.

Posted by: hariknaidu | September 16, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Thanbk you, ravitchn, for showing everyone that racism has nothing to do with the criticism of Obama. Ha! All the others out there who are deluded enough to think that racism plays no part in the vitriol leveled against this President, I refer you to this post. Thank you.

Posted by: dcdude1 | September 16, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

The Republican Party seems to invite whites who feel as if blacks have been given too much through affirmative action programs. In many instances, there has been at least the appearance that whites were being discriminated upon. Republicans capitalized on that perception and have filled their party with those who have harbored these sentiments. Unfortunately, a racist base has fueled these fires and appears to have taken on a significant voice among the base of republicans. Though it is far from universal, I do believe that moderates within the Republican Party must be more assertive in changing what has taken place in their party. Otherwise, it will continue to become more and more irrelevant within our nation. To be fair, I do believe that there is also a strong strain of black racism within America. Black leaders tend to either excuse this or to remain silent on the issue. Until they start addressing this problem, the divide between black and white will continue. As an older white male, I often hear racist comments made in relation to President Obama. I find such comments abhorrent and disingenuous. I think he has inherited some of the worst problems of any president in modern history. It appears to me he is intelligent and thoughtful, and I intend to give him a chance to pull this country out of its current predicament. The problems are much too serious to be solved in months. If we are to be really honest with ourselves, it is obvious that it will take several years to achieve that goal. I'm willing to give him that time.

Posted by: jimmcq | September 16, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

If you disagree with King Obama you are now branded a racist.

Ahhh..the new McCarthy-ism.

Posted by: Revcain777 | September 16, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

OH NO! Not him should pay as much attention to, and worry about, what Carter says, as you would about a goose going barefoot.

Posted by: ltk01 | September 16, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

When you can't explain a position you revert to name calling

Check the comments and note the position of those using name calling

Posted by: boudoures | September 16, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

My neighbor, a retired white Vietnam War pilot, said "it turned his stomach to see Obama and his family board Air Force One! If that's not a racist remark, I don't know what is! Sorry, but racism is alive and well throughout this country!
Arizona resident.

Posted by: twistbar67 | September 16, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

There is a racial component here, but it is not as Pres. Carter thinks it is. Joe Wilson has been made a victim of the Negro Interest; he is a hero to the rest of us. The people are beginning, as the fog dissipates, to realize we have a black president and that means a lot of power for the Negro Interest we didn't want. We are now certain to reject any more black presidents in the foreseeable future.

Posted by: ravitchn | September 16, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Those that can not explain a position always use the "racism" copout

Some times we just have to do things and say things for our own beliefs folk

Stop the weakneed "racism" call

Posted by: boudoures | September 16, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

It would be absurd to suggest that all the opposition to Obama is driven by racism.
It's equally absurd to suggest that none of it is.

It's a fact that Southern Republicans tend to be racist. How do we know that?

It's very simple. Republicans love to point out that the old-time segregationists of the South were mostly Democrats, and this is true. Until 1964 the South was a Democratic stronghold ... and an openly racist society.

But why did the South turn Republican? Because a Democratic president gave voting rights to blacks. Johnson famously said as he put down the pen after signing Civil Rights: "We have lost the South for a generation."

The large number of Southerners who couldn't forgive LBJ's decision turned Republican. Those who could accept black rights stayed Democrat. This is basic US history.
Therefore, modern southern Republicans are those (or the heirs of those) who couldn't live with the Civil Rights Act.
That's how we know that Southern Republicans tend to be racist. If they weren't racist, they never would have fled to the GOP over Civil Rights.

Any holes in my logic? No, as I said, it's simple, obvious and inescapable, a matter of public record.

Posted by: JenDray | September 16, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

It is always reasonable to assume that feelings about sexual identity, ethnic identity, religion, race, age, and class play a part it attitudes towards people. Certainly the President's race is a factor in people attitudes towards him. But the surprise has been that it has only been a relatively modest factor. All major recent politicians have inspired intense emotions in some. That inlcudes Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, George Bush, and Dick Cheney. Its nonsense to say that feeling towards the President are primarily inspired by race. In any case, there is no affirmative action program for Presidents. Those who have concerns about the issues would do better to focus their comments on those issues and not waste time on useless pronouncement about their attitudes towards race.

Posted by: dnjake | September 16, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

If you disagree with O you are a racist....but when you disagreed with Bush, it's okay because Bush was a Chimp?????

Let's call Obama half-white so that we can call him a Chimp Also!

Posted by: doggit1 | September 16, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Jimmy Carter was a fool when he was (a disasterous)president, and he is a fool today. The only problem is that some people (mostly outside the US) think his words have meaning, so that he does great harm to our Country.

Posted by: mcurry1 | September 16, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Carter was asked a question and gave his honest opinion. When the first congressman in history to shout an insult to a president is a white guy from SC shouting at a black president, the racial component is too overt to dismiss.

Posted by: skrut003 | September 16, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

The other day, George Will noted that Obama has given 265 public speeches in 234 days in office.

What has happened is a man with no executive experience or clue how to get things done has deferred to Pelosi's cabal to come up with solutions...while he has dived back into the well of doing the one thing he knows he is good at..reading scripted speeches off a TelePrompter which are typically soaring, most complimentary of The One himself, and full of warm fuzzies...but always short of the facts and what needs to happen to get something done.

The more he talks, the more he reminds people of certain liars they have met in their lives. The preening narcissist so full of him or herself and so in love with the sound of their voice and confidence in their brilliance and ability to work a con they honestly believe they can shovel BS and the people will continue to gobble it up.

The people who are having profound doubts about Obama's honesty, ability to lead are not just "right-wingers" they now include Democrat seniors who wave their union card at protests, Independents who voted for Obama because they believed that he honestly believed in a restrained, centrist government and policies. You know, about 5 trillion ago...

And Obama, the progressive Jewish-owned parts of the media, and the activists on the Left are making a profound mistake trying to label anyone objecting to anything The One wants as teabaggers, fascists, "haters", "racists".

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | September 16, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Jimmy Carter sees that this President has the same feathers as he: that of a turkey of a Presidency.

Posted by: sperrico | September 16, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

During the primaries the Clintons were racists, during the general election McCain and Palin were racists and now virtually every republican who opposes Obama or exposes an Obama lie is a racist.

Was it Axelrod who said: The most effective weapon we have in our toolbox is playing the race card and we intend to use it.

It's incredible that they can't understand that by playing the race card they are only exposing themselves as the true racists.

Posted by: bingham60 | September 16, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Seriously Common_Cents1. Take your sense of white victimization elsewhere. It's not convincing. If the fact that minorities identify with other minorities threatens you, then I think that says more about you than about minorities.

Posted by: dcdude1 | September 16, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse


Carter isn't the one stirring up racism and bigotry by making inflammatory remarks. If I recall, that's Joe Wilson.

Posted by: dcdude1 | September 16, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Racial bonding using 'secret' handshakes simply increases the racial divide; and when there is a power relationship or one of business, there is a distinct feeling that you are or will be discriminated against.

It has no place in a progressive society; and certainly not in the White House by an African-American President with his Black staff and associates.

This is also male bonding that may have originated in Black Fraternities, so women are also excluded.

Remember we have a President who uttered a racially discriminatory remark about Gates; but no apology.

Why can't Whites, Asians and Hispanics be treated equally?

I think Jimmy Carter still believes he is president and has all the power of the office behind him. His contacts with African Americans who worked his peanut farms were hardly one of equals.

p.s. note the hate roiling out of the far left wingnutz against anyone who disagree's with Obama. There is an equally vicious reaction...thus widening the racial and political divide!

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | September 16, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Racism is a word that has always been used to describe acts of terrible people against others. But now, it is getting nothing more than a catch phrase, easily tossed out at anyone who doesn't support Obama and offers anything other than blind obedience to the democratic policies. Are some of the criticisms coming from racists - sure. But that doesn't mean that you can be general and label everyone racist. What do we label half the democratic party who used Obama's race as a club against all those who supported Hillary, and even Jesse Jackson Jr. himself who asked why he hadn't seen Hillary cry for the black victims of Katrina and they should remember that when they go to the polls. Or other elected black caucus members trying to imply Bill Clinton was a racist. People were told to ignore Obama's skin color, we did, he was elected, and now we are told if we are not in 100% agreement it is because of the color of his skin. I am getting totally turned off big time. And why is Obama allowing all his supporters to toss out "racist" for any dissent with no comments from him? I am beginning to wonder what he is willing to tolerate to garner support?

Posted by: justmyvoice | September 16, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

There are signs that the "Southern strategy" used by Republicans and based on racial fear is producing results, albeit extremely negative ones! I find it particularly odd that religious "leaders" from the afflicted states, SC, Texas, etc., do not speak up. Obviously, they are part of the problem. As President Roosevelt once observed a long time ago, "11 AM Sunday is the most segregated hour in America". Judging from the deafening silence from the area, I guess it still is. How sad!

Posted by: sablerm25 | September 16, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Former President Carter seems to characterize all opposition to Obama's agenda as racist. He has adopted the liberals' technique of attacking the messenger instead of honestly debating the issues. This is another page from Alinsky's playbook, Rules for Radicals. Mr. Carter should spend more time with the Palestinians, perhaps growing peanuts, and less time stirring up racism and bigotry at home by making such inflammatory, disingenuous comments. Mr. President: did you fail to notice that the country elected an African American President by a near landslide in 2008? Was that racism by the 97% of the blacks who supported Obama? Not everyone sees a racist behind every bush (Bush), as perhaps some do in Plains, Georgia.

Posted by: donmarder | September 16, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Jimmy Carter is an apologist for the white, rural Georgia of his youth. His comments are out of date as is he.

Posted by: dougmcdougal | September 16, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Portland1, you miss the point entirely, as did Serena, who is paying her own price. Wilson violated House rules - period - that is the offense. There are consequences for that and sticking his nose up in the air only makes him look like the boorish child he is emulating.

Posted by: newporter | September 16, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

gosforth1 makes my case as he and others commenting similarly have added absolutely nothing useful to this debate other than to personally attack and obviously, without doing the homework. All too typical in this environment. Is the commenter being racist? No, just stupid. At the core, I think that GCE1356 has it right.

Posted by: newporter | September 16, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

It was bound to happen. Now every time someone disagrees with anything the admin does they are a racist.

I think Joe just blurted out an inappropriate comment in the heat of an emotional moment - like Serena did. How quickly all of the vicious and incorrect (or truthful) things said about the past admin are forgotten. Jimmie Carter, who long ago should have had the grace and good sense to SU, now adds another voice to extremists on all sides of the race issue who use it to leverage their careers, pocketbooks and agendas.

Oh, and the present wailing over how to apologize misses the mark completely. If we do not commit the offense, there is no need for an apology - whether heartfelt or not.

America needs to stop accepting and excusing unreasonable behavior from the right, the left, black, white, pink, green, male, female, rich, poor, celeb, unknown...get the picture?

Acts of civility and compassion need no apology.

Posted by: Portland1 | September 16, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I am a proud supporter of President Obama but all of this racism crap makes me crazy. There are legitimate reasons for discourse on both sides of the aisle about an initiative that even the President has not yet formulated all of the details. It is a sensitive topic no matter where you stand on the issue. What this is about, in my view, is an overall loss of civility in this country. We have no respect for anyone, let alone how we communicate to anyone or about anyone. The name-calling that is so prevalent today ramped up during the Bush administration and there was/is no lack of incivility with our friends at FOX. I used to watch their shows religiously because I enjoyed the political discourse. Not anymore as there is no discourse; just the same, boring, pompous, fear mongering pontificating that has dominated this debate locally and to the highest levels. Rude and crude yes. Racisim? We just don't need to add that to the pile.

Posted by: newporter | September 16, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Educated absolutely, brilliant at what? Community organizing, most of his efforts came to nought. Law Professor, no substantial articles published in law journals, lawyer, almost never appeared in court and argued civil rights cases. So what is he exactly brilliant at, I know, it's reading carefully prepared speeches from a teleprompter. Horowitz has it right, he is the manchurian candidate, demonize the opposition, attack the messenger and above all smile while promoting left wing socialistic policies.

Posted by: gosforth1 | September 16, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

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