If you’ve been anywhere near a TV or the Internet in the last few days, you have no doubt heard that Touré Neblett, co-host of MSNBC program “The Cycle,” fired off a shot at presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, essentially accusing him of using racially-charged language to attack President Barack Obama‘s campaign efforts.
After viewing a clip of Romney railing against the president’s campaign of “division and anger,” Touré took offense and reacted in his typical straight-ahead fashion.
“That really bothered me,” Touré said. “You notice he says anger twice. He’s really trying to use racial coding and access some really deep stereotypes about the “angry black man.” This is part of the playbook against Obama. The “otherization,” he’s not like us. I know it’s a heavy thing to say. I don’t say it lightly. But this is ni–erization. You are not one of us, and that you are like the scary black man who we’ve been trained to fear.”
Conservative co-host S.E. Cupp was incensed by Touré’s reaction, calling the author “irresponsible” for his claims – this after he and other liberal talking heads criticized Joe Biden for his “chains” comments earlier. The question that hangs in the air is this: was Touré truly off base or is there some sort of validity to the claim that Romney and the GOP are race-baiting?
Xenophobia was certainly in the air during Obama’s historic ascent to the White House, and we can’t pretend that conservatives and Republican officials alike didn’t try to paint the President as some kind of outsider. Criticism of his name, his place of birth, accusations of racial ambiguity were among the attacks in 2008.
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Conservative rags such as the Washington Times wasted no time in attacking Obama’s background and character, further fueled by critics on the Left who wasn’t sure if he was “Black enough” for the job. It was an interesting study in political interaction and ended up drawing deep lines in the sands between not only the differing parties, but also between White and Black voters.