After the November, 2008 general election, former House Majority leader Tom Delay commented that rather than hold a formal inauguration, Barack Obama should have "a nice little chicken dinner, and then we'll save the $125 million." Then rumors emerged that Obama wasn't born in the U.S. and was ineligible to be president. A Newsweek poll found that almost a quarter of Americans think Obama is a Muslim. A CNN poll revealed that one quarter of Americans think Obama was "probably or definitely" born in another country. A Harris poll found 14 percent of Americans -- nearly a quarter of them Republicans -- believe Obama is the antichrist. Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart selectively edited a video of African-American Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod to completely distort the meaning of her speech and smear her. Glenn Beck stated on TV that Obama has "a deep-seated hatred of white people or the white culture." New York's Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino circulated overtly racist, pornographic emails derogatory towards the Obamas, and he's still running for office. That kind of behavior used to be enough to disqualify someone from running for office. Republicans in Washington have refused to help to fix America's broken financial system, health care system, unemployment and the economy. So what is going on? Steven Thrasher of the Village Voice argues that after decades of dominating virtually every field in the U.S. -- politics, business, education, the arts, etc. -- older, white Americans are exhibiting deep fear of the increasing racial diversity in the country, and that these fears are at the heart of the upwelling of racially-tinged incidents happening across the U.S., and Americans acceptance of them.
By Anne Landman on October 10, 2010