by Yvette Carnell
During an MSNBC discussion on the opposition of some conservatives to immigration reform on Thursday, anreporter claimed that Republican politicians’ attacks on President Obama were proxy attacks on all African-Americans.
The panel discussion, which was moderated by MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts, also included Vice President of, Heather McGhee, who said Republicans have a problem reaching out to minority voters.
reporter Trymaine Lee agreed, pointing to the Republican effort to suppress minority votes, which actually backfired and resulted in increased enthusiasm for Obama among minority voters.
Lee then went on to equate opposition to President Obama with attacks on black people.
“Going back to those fringe groups that control so much of the momentum behind the GOP, it’s quite frankly scary for folks,” Lee assessed. “You see effigies. You see some of the t-shirts. You see the attacks on President Obama, in proxy, an attack on African-Americans.”
Racial attacks, many originating from the far right, are attacks on Black Americans and our increased stature in this country. That shouldn’t be discounted. But there are other attacks coming from conservatives –on issues such as drones, civil liberties and accountability–that have nothing to do with race. Lee is walking up to the edge of saying that Obama represents all black people when in truth, he doesn’t.
Black people are not responsible for insulating Obama from all criticism, just unfair criticism that is racist and duplicitous. We should be sure to always adhere to that principle.