There's been a lot of hubbub made about Representative Joe Wilson's outburst the other day. The short version is, during a speech Obama was giving to the House about healthcare, the Republican representative from South Carolina shouted out "You lie!"
This has, of course, brought all kinds of reactions from all sides. The most moderate have been that it was simply disrespectful and uncalled for, and that it violated a rule about Congressional behavior meant to keep things civil.
Some (on the Right) excuse his behavior, saying he was just voicing what a lot of people were thinking, and wishing more people would speak out.
Some (on the Left) call his outburst completely disruptive, calling out the "sour faces" and "rolling eyes" of other Republicans in attendance for not agreeing 100% with the president (either forgetting, forgiving, or applauding the same lack of respect Congressional Dems gave our previous president, — a very famous eye-rolling from one Hillary Rodham Clinton "from" New York comes to mind).
But then there are those who have to add fuel to the fire. Apparently, they see a more sinister reason for Representative Wilson's outburst. It's not because he disagrees with the legislation, or that he is frustrated with the process. No, the only possible reason he would shout that to President Barack Hussein Obama is because of the color of the man's skin. Period.
I am completely baffled as to where the racism is in the words "You lie." Liberals are more than happy to add words to his outburst to make it racist. (Hey, that looks like fun; can I try? What Obama meant to say before he was interrupted was, "And you honkeys are going to pay for it and like it!" Wow, that was easy.)
Democratic Representative David Scott asks (according to The Washington Post), "Would he have done that if the president were white?" In my daily commute, I pass cars that still haven't removed their "BUSH LIES" bumper stickers. Are they racist? That same Washington Post article mentions concerns about the depictions of Obama as Hitler. Was it racist to see "BusHitler" in online forums for eight years?
I guess it wasn't altogether unexpected. I've seen warnings for a long time that any dissent against the president could be labeled as racism.
Seems to me, though, that the so-called "elephant in the room" isn't the unsaid racism that people are inserting into other people's speech and actions, but the fact that people actually disagree with what the president and his Democratic congress are trying to push through, and are frustrated and want to be heard.
But I suppose talking about that is much more difficult than just saying "racist" and dismissing dissent.