EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

February 2, 2014

Column: Complaints about code words a diversion to silence Obama's critics

(Continued)

This undermines what everyone claims they want – a real discussion of “issues.”

Racism still exists, of course, but it is not a factor here. Playing the race card over policy differences is not an argument; it is a transparent, sophomoric attempt to shut down an argument. And that reflects poorly on the president and his defenders.

Yes, there will always be a few on the fringe who view the president through a racist lens. They are marginalized by both conservatives and liberals, as they ought to be. The reality is that virtually all of the criticism of the president has nothing to do with race. It has been said many times but apparently needs repeating: The president is just as white as he is black.

Finally, the saddest element of this attempt at diversion is that it undermines what all the race hustlers claim is their goal – equality.

What does it do for equality to contend that calling a white person a thug is not racist, but using it to criticize a black person is? How is it equal to have a double standard for a word like that, especially in the “it-ain’t-beanbag” world of politics?

To suggest that word cannot be used about black politicians is to suggest that they are more fragile than their white counterparts. It is that kind of “soft bigotry” that is the real racism.

President Obama – and Richard Sherman, for that matter – are more than capable of making their case for their views, words and actions. They don’t need any “help” from those demanding a ban on words that have nothing to do with racism.

Taylor Armerding is an independent columnist. Contact him at t.armerding@verizon.net.

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