McLaughlin: Playing Race Card And Giving McCain The Pass

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[Election 2008]

America's biggest disgrace is it's hypocrisy regarding race. And men like talk show host John McLaughlin are examples of that reality.

These days the phrase "playing the race card" has become fashionable for use by whites who refuse to accept and admit the skin color bigotry built into the foundation of this nation. Although we are told that racism is “dead,” we have people like John McLaughlin, of The McLaughlin Group, to disavow us of that delusion.

On his show, this past Sunday, McLaughlin insinuated that Obama had "played the race card" when he stated that the Republicans were trying to scare voters away because he doesn't "look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills." McLaughlin's asinine assertion is instructive since it relates to other whites who suffer from the same inability, or refusal, to face America's ugly, bigoted history.

Do you remember Jack Nicholson's famous line of "you can't handle the truth," from the movie "A Few Good Men?" Honestly, isn't this really white America's problem in regard to the topic of racism? For, why is it that it’s now trendy that whenever some whites are confronted with color prejudice that they deny that reality, or, proclaim they are the victims of "reverse discrimination?"

Now, there are a couple of things that are interesting with this mendacious claim made by McLaughlin, and others in the so-called "liberal media." First of all, haven't the crooked corporate media and right-wing nuts already "played the race card" on Obama?

For months now, there have been a plethora of stories, including tales about Obama's former pastor Rev. Wright, and Chicago developer Tony Rezko.

Ask yourself: what is the intent of these stories? Rev Wright has been vilified as an enemy of America-largely, for a speech in which he paraphrased comments made by Ambassador Edward Peck-often by those who never fought for this country as Rev. Wright did. The objective was obviously to smear Obama for being associated with this “Black ingrate.”

Yet, no one in commercial media has chastised Republicans for their incestuous associations with racist, bigoted preachers like Pat Robertson, or, Jerry Falwell who stated that god allowed 9-11 to occur because of the "alternative lifestyles" of gays, feminists, abortionists.

Moreover, Falwell was a known supporter of racial segregation having attacked Martin Luther King, among others.  Falwell even referred to the Civil Rights Movement as the "Civil Wrongs Movement." But nobody in media has derided those in the Republican Party who broke bread with these false prophets.

And there are those, including McLaughlin, still trying to smear Obama because of his ties to developer Rezko, who was convicted.  But why isn't McLaughlin or those in "mainstream media," talking about John McCain's corruption involving his nose-deep relationships with lobbyists and his participation in the Keating Five Scandal?

The Keating Five Scandal, named after Charles Keating, was a catastrophic consequence of the late 80's early 90's Savings and Loan Scandals. The Lincoln Savings and Loan Association which was at the heart of the scandals was run by Keating.  Keating, aware of the deregulation of savings and loan companies under Ronald Reagan’s Administration actions, decided to engage in high risk investments.

At a time when others were pushing for more oversight Congress rejected it. But Congress's refusal seems to have been, in part, because of the opposition of the Keating Five senators: Alan Cranston, Don Riegle, John Glenn, Dennis DeConcini and John McCain. All of these paragons of American politics received political favors and contributions from Keating. Because of their actions many elderly investors saw their entire life savings wiped out.

Ironically, although Senator McCain claims to be the presidential candidate of exceptional "judgment" the Senate Ethics Committee chastised him for exhibiting "poor judgment," in this nefarious affair that cost America nearly $200 billion.  So, ask yourself this: why isn't McLaughlin, or, any of those so-called "liberal" media outlets or pundits revisiting this shameful legacy of Senator McCain?

Then again they avoid mentioning that Senator McCain, along with racists like Jesse Helms, fought against a holiday for Dr. King in the early 80's. And another thing; during McCain's recent speaking engagement, at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis South Dakota, he said this "It will be a good day on election day if there are a lot of bikes parked outside polling places." Given the types of bikers at that rally, why didn't anyone accuse McCain of "playing the race card?"

The hypocrisy of people like John McLaughlin is beyond belief. Here is a man who implies Obama is a racist but had the audacity to call Obama an "Oreo" during his show last July 13. For those who don't know "Oreo" is a derogatory term, McLaughlin's was unmistakably disparaging Obama's bi-racial background. But McLaughlin is typical of whites who make baseless accusations bellowing about Black racism while trying to conceal their bigotry. "On a scale of 0 to 10--with 0 representing zero possibility and 10 representing metaphysical certitude," I give McLaughlin a 10 and say it's a "metaphysical certitude" that McLaughlin is a semi-closeted racist. Its time we tell bigots like John McLaughlin "bye bye."


Did you hear about MSNBC's decision to remove Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews as election coverage anchors because of their supposedly "partisan attitude"? It's not hard to see what's happening here. This is a pre-emptive strike similar to MSNBC's firing of Phil Donahue before the commencement of the Iraq War, because of his anti-war stance. Is this behavior indicative of the "liberal media?"

Benjamin is a member of The Black Star News's Editorial Board

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