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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Will the Senate forget to discuss health care AND race?

Exciting news: just had my most recent article picked up by the Huffington Post (thanks to the crew at the Race-Talk blog)!

An excerpt of the article is below, but please visit the
HuffPost for the full piece. And please leave a comment; it will help me and other Race-Talk writers to get extra exposure.

As the battle over health care reform hits the Senate floor for debate, I’m wondering how long it’s going to take for the issue of race to pop up.

Oh, it won’t show itself as blatantly as it has at town hall meetings and conservative rallies. I hardly expect one of the Senators to set up an easel with one of those pictures of President Obama dressed as a witch doctor. No, it will be far more subtle than that. Instead of shouted, race is likely to be whispered and alluded to in the form of comments about “those people” who take advantage of big government and who make it harder for the good, tax paying Americans. You know “those people”—they’re the same ones who hang out with the welfare queens, standing on the corner eating candy bars that they purchased with their fraudulently obtained food stamps.

Possibly, race may show up in a slightly more direct way, perhaps in relationship to health coverage for immigrants. Remember, that’s the same issue that propelled Rep. Joe Wilson into stardom after he called the president a liar.

Honestly, I’m not exactly sure how race will show up, but I promise you, it will. The only question is whether or not we’ll have the courage to actually talk about it. Judging from the reaction to Jimmy Carter’s comments—comments that correctly pointed out the role of race in the vitriolic opposition to health care reform—my guess is we’ll be neither willing nor able to discuss the issue.

Of course, I’ve been saying Carter was correct ever since he made the comments, but until recently I haven’t had any actual data to support that belief, other than the common sense that God gave me. But thanks to professors Marc J. Hetherington and Jonathan D. Weiler, that’s no longer the case...

Click here for full article.


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