Of course I realize that the headline of this piece is not a stop-the-presses moment because some on MSNBC’s evening shows seem to thrive on pulling the race card as often as they can. In my opinion, more times than not they do so without any legitimate reason. The following is yet another example.


Last Friday on MSNBC’s “The Last Word,” host Lawrence O’Donnell did a segment about an ad produced by the Republican National Committee (RNC) which urges voters to help them “stop Obama and his union bosses.” He invited a guest — former Michigan Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm — on the show to help him analyze the ad shown below.




Immediately after introducing the former governor, O’Donnell asks her to focus on the last line of the RNC ad where it mentions Obama and his “union bosses.” After the last part of the ad is shown again, O’Donnell then asks this question:


“The Republican Party is saying that the president of the United States has bosses… that the unions boss him around. Does that sound to you like they are trying to consciously or subconsciously deliver the racist message that of course, of course, a black man can’t be the real boss?”


When I first saw this ad I didn’t get that message at all. Apparently neither did Gov. Granholm. Her response began with:


“Wow! I hadn’t thought about the racial overtones, but honestly, Lawrence, that ad is a bad ad!”


Granholm goes on to explain that she believes this ad would be seen by union members — who are both Democrats and Republicans — as an attack on the working class. She also suggests that the ad could backfire on the RNC in the upcoming elections. She never came back to the racial overtones question O’Donnell attempted to draw her into. I saw that was a wise move on her part.


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But why would O’Donnell ask such a ridiculous question to begin with? I believe it was nothing more than a politically correct red herring devised to dismiss the RNC as racists to his viewers. The same RNC that until recently had a black man as its chairman.


Earlier in the segment O’Donnell uses a not-so-subconscious accusation to set up this farce when he claimed that the RNC released the ad “attacking the man [Obama] they refuse to refer to as president.” A quick web search revealed this claim to be false as well. While it is true that the ad in question never used the word “president,” I found two previous RNC ads on the very first page of the query that did. The first one refers to “President Obama” and the second asks a question of “Mr. President” at the end. I am quite sure that if I were to continue searching I would find more examples of the RNC using the respectful titles in reference to the president in spite of the fact that they adamantly oppose his policies.


The entire segment can be seen here.


Most of my life I have heard people — including some in the black community — accusing white Democratic pubic officials of being in bed with or controlled by union bosses. Why should President Obama be treated any differently simply because he is black?


Because of years of political correctness, it has become taboo to publicly mention even the possibility of problems caused by members of a minority group. Anyone who does is automatically called a racist. Are we to believe that members of minority groups are not human too and therefore not just as fallible as everyone else? I don’t buy that and I am sure no one else seriously does either. I have a news flash for those who are so willing to falsely use the race card against people who disagree with the president. It is possible to disagree with a black man without his race being an issue.


Unfortunately, there are still plenty of times when the race card can and should be legitimately used. To use it when the situation doesn’t warrant it only causes rational people to question its legitimacy when it does.


Had I perceived any intent on the part of the RNC to relay a racist message against the president as O’Donnell suggested, I would be the first to agree with him and this post would focused on that. But seeing how neither Governor Granholm nor I caught that message, I would hope that O’Donnell’s red herring will be seen by most as the one that got away.

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