The late Andrew Breitbart offered a $100,000 reward to anyone who could provide video evidence that a “chorus” of Tea Party supporters who rallied on Capitol Hill in 2010 to protest Obamacare shouted the “N-word” and other obscenities at African-American Congressmen John Lewis (D-GA) and Emmanuel Cleaver (D-MO). To date, nobody has claimed this reward, as there is no evidence that such obscenities were in fact shouted. If they had been, it would surely have been recorded by one or more of the many cameras and smartphones that captured nearly every moment of the Obamacare protest.
If the Supreme Court next week throws out Obamacare or finds parts of it, including the individual mandate, unconstitutional, the fact that Breitbart’s $100,000 reward has gone unclaimed should be remembered. If the past becomes prologue, liberals will seek to inject a racial component into the raging health care debate that will ensue, much like what they did during the Obamacare debates.
When Obamacare was being debated, Democrats exploited the color of President Barack Obama’s skin by overtly and implicitly casting opponents of the unprecedented government overreach as racist. Opponents of Obamacare -- many of whom were so-called white independents who were instrumental in electing the nation’s first African-American president -- were adamantly opposed to it because, among many things, the bill would crush small businesses with regulations and fees. Also, the provision that would mandate citizens to purchase a product would be a slippery slope to allowing the government to force people to buy any product it deems necessary.
Democrats knew Obamacare, like Obama today, polled badly because the bill -- not the color of Obama’s skin -- had these terrible provisions. And that is why they doubled down by casting Obamacare’s opponents as racists.
Rep. Jim Clyburn (R-SC) said Obamacare’s opponents were like terrorists, and those who opposed it were on par with those who opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said those who opposed Obamacare were akin to “birthers” and “Aryan supporters,” and one powerful reason Americans did not like Obamacare was because the nation’s first black president was “unbearable” to them. And Jesse Jackson would not tolerate any African-American who was against Obamcare, which included the former Democrat Artur Davis, who has since become a Republican.
“We even have blacks voting against the healthcare bill from Alabama,” Jackson once said of Davis. “You can’t vote against healthcare and call yourself a black man.”
If Obamacare -- or parts of it -- is struck down, Democrats may again try again to play the race card, and such as Clyburn have already suggested Obama should blatantly campaign against the Supreme Court if they rule unfavorably on Obamacare.
But in the debate that will ensue, how the mainstream media such as McClatchy newspapers, whose account is below, first reported Lewis’s and Cleaver’s accusations should be seared into people’s memories:
A colleague who was accompanying Lewis said people in the crowd responded by saying "Kill the bill, then the n-word."
"It surprised me that people are so mean and we can't engage in a civil dialogue and debate," Lewis said.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said he was a few yards behind Lewis and distinctly heard "nigger."
"It was a chorus," Cleaver said. "In a way, I feel sorry for those people who are doing this nasty stuff - they're being whipped up. I decided I wouldn't be angry with any of them."
No mainstream reporter heard these epithets. But they took the words of Cleaver and Lewis as fact without verifying them, because they fit in with the mainstream media’s bias against conservatives and their obsessiveness with wanting to see and interject a racial component in every story that deals with something unfavorable to Obama.
But we are not in 2006 -- or 2008 -- anymore. And with new media and invaluable outlets like Twitter acting as sunlight, those who spew vile racism will be easily exposed and shamed. But, conversely, so will those who shamelessly cry wolf to wield race as a political weapon, and that is something the left should keep in mind in the aftermath of the Obamacare ruling.