Representative Andre Carson (D-IN), a top lawmaker in the Congressional Black Caucus, said tea partiers on Capitol Hill would like to see African-Americans hanging from trees and accuses the movement of wishing for a return to the Jim Crow era. Just days before, Al Gore said that someday climate change doubters will be akin to racists from the 1960s. The battle for homosexual marriage has been dubbed “Gay Rights” and related to the 1960’s battle for equality by supporters whenever possible.
The point of this is not to comment on the validity of the Tea Party, climate change, or gay marriage, rather it’s to point out the ridiculousness of the racial commentary.
For a public representative to throw out a generalization as hateful as Andre Carson’s, falls somewhere between laughable and hurtful. To essentially say that some of his fellow congressman want to literally kill African Americans is so sick and absurd it destroys any credibility this man may have held! Unfortanetely he got some cheers.
Al Gore frames the debate over climate change as one that is similar to the much much more important debate over racial equality that took place in the 1960’s. Here we have a topic (climate change) that nobody in their right mind would argue is the moral equivalent to civil rights, but Al Gore literally said, “it’s the same where the moral compenent is concerned.” Comments like these totally belittle the civil rights battle led by Martin Luther King Jr.
Finally, advocates of gay marriage both subtly and explicitly relate their current political battle to civil rights. Right or wrong, the debate over gay marriage is really not similar to the debate over civil rights that occurred in MLK’s day. In the former, nobody in the country is allowed to marry someone of the same sex. That’s it. That’s the extent of the inequality, and while you could argue that’s wrong, the racial discrimination prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, without question, goes beyond comparison to gay marriage. People couldn’t eat in certain restaurants. People couldn’t get certain jobs or live in certain neigborhoods or drink out of the wrong water fountain.
I certainly won’t say Obama is obligated to do anything, but given how often as he has said the language in Washington needs to be toned down, it would be great to hear him say something about the inappropriate racial commentary and frankly the belittling of equality that is going on in politics today.