Back-to-School Speech Anger Rooted in Race

Right-wingers show 'irrational,' gut antipathy to Obama
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 4, 2009 10:47 AM CDT
President Barack Obama walks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington as he departs for the Camp David presidential retreat, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – If there’s one thing we should all be cool with, it’s the leader of the free world inspiring kids about education. But somehow the idea of President Obama giving a back-to-school speech has spawned an “outbreak of right-wing crazy,” writes Joan Walsh for Salon—“and this time it's hard not to see racism behind the hysteria.” Ever since the presidential campaign, Obama has been labeled “other” and subjected to “visceral, irrational hatred.”

“From the Birthers' obsession with the facts of his birth—which lets them obsess about his origins in miscegenation—to the paranoia that he's coming for the children, there's a deep strand of irrational paranoia that can't be anything other than racial,” Walsh notes. “It's past time for mainstream, responsible Republicans to stand up against this latest irrational attack on the president."