Racism is alive and well in today's America and the Republican Party is feeding off it, Bob Herbert writes in the New York Times. Nobody should need Jimmy Carter—who wasn't above pandering to racists himself in his 1976 presidential campaign—to point out the racist undertones behind many of the attacks on Obama, Herbert writes, or that many Americans see the president only as "that black guy in the White House, and they want him out of there."
Hatemongers on talk radio are whipping up racial hatred towards the president and Republican leaders have done little to discourage them, Herbert writes. The GOP's leaders won't confront racism themselves because they're "trying to ride that dependable steed of bigotry back to power," Herbert argues, "but it’s time for other Americans—of whatever persuasion—to take a stand, to say we’re better than this. They should do it because it’s right. But also because we’ve seen so many times what can happen when this garbage gets out of control."