CNN: Campbell Brown: Race-baiting wrong, but so is over-reaction

CNN: Campbell Brown

Race-baiting wrong, but so is over-reaction

Look everybody, we all know we are in uncharted territory here. Never before has there been an African-American presidential nominee. So without question, race is going to be a part of the conversation.

Race-baiting doesn’t have to be and yet it is happening in this campaign. Twice this week, surrogates for Republican candidate Sen. John McCain have made a point of calling Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama, Barack “Hussein” Obama.

The implication here is clear. It’s foreign sounding. It’s Muslim sounding. It’s un-American sounding. It’s dangerous-sounding. What it is, is race-baiting. And that is what is dangerous.

Inciting crowds, encouraging their angry outbursts, McCain supporters shouting “treason” and “terrorist” about Obama at these rallies — that’s dangerous. Earlier in the campaign, McCain denounced this stuff. He strongly denounced it. And today it requires a stronger response, a much stronger denunciation than a campaign-generated paper statement. 

But let’s also be careful here and use our heads. Some Obama supporters on the left are up in arms over something McCain said at the debate Tuesday night — when he referred to Obama as, “that one.”

McCain: It was an energy bill on the floor of the senate, loaded down with goodies. Billions for the oil companies. And it was sponsored by Bush and Cheney. You know who voted for it? Might never know. That one.

Some people have interpreted that comment as having racial undertones. Give me a break.

I can hear my grandfather talking about one of his kids or grandkids as “that one.” He used it a lot. Maybe it’s a generational thing. Maybe it wasn’t a term of endearment the way it was when my grandfather used it. Maybe McCain did mean to be disrespectful. But racist? I don’t think so.

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One Response

  1. I’m sorry but would McCain address one of his fellow White Senate colleagues as ‘that one?” No! What about a female colleague? Senator Barack Obama is his peer and deserves enough respect to not be addressed as “that one.” I personally think the lack of respect that Senator John McCain has for Obama definitely crosses over into being racist.

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