Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Congressman Andre Carson Insults History, Makes Light of Lynchings and Jim Crow Experienced by African-Americans

I remember a Democratic friend of mine a few years ago who insisted George W. Bush was worse than Adolph Hitler, a man who imprisoned hundreds of millions of his fellow citizens in concentration camps and whose actions led to the deaths of tens of millions of Jews and others who he deemed undesirably.  I suggested to him he was exaggerating.  He wouldn't back off.  He continued to insist Bush was worse than Hitler.
Congressman Andre Carson

As a student of history, I don't take such comparisons lightly.  As much as people don't agree with what Bush did in office, to say he is worse than one of the worst mass murderers in history is to insult not only history, but the suffering of those who lived through the Holocaust.

Fast forward to Congressman Andre Carson's recent comments suggesting that tea party supporters, including some members of Congress, want to bring back a return to Jim Crow and would like to see blacks hanging from trees.   The comments made in front of a Black Caucus town hall meeting in Miami were met with cheering.

Carson's statements were pure nonsense.  No tea party leader has suggested a return to Jim Crow segregation laws which, ironically, were instituted and kept in place by Carson's own Democratic Party.  No tea party leader has suggested lynching of blacks.  In fact, one of the most popular presidential candidates in tea party circles is Herman Cain, an African-American businessman. 

I actually respect Andre Carson.  He is easily a better politician than his Democratic predecessors in that district, Julia Carson and Andy Jacobs.  Unlike Julia Carson and Jacobs, Andre Carson has run ahead of the Democratic base which means he is getting Republican-leaning votes. 

But even a good politician can do something stupid every now and then.  While hyperbole has its place even in politics, a politician should never go so far as to insult history and the memories of the people who lived through far more difficult times.   Yes, Carson should apologize to the tea partiers.   But  more importantly Carson should apologize to the those who were on the front line fighting for civil rights, some giving up their lives for the cause.  It is those people Carson insulted the most by his thoughtless comments.


Downtown Indy said...

I have to wonder if the infamous and unseen incident on Capitol hill last year might have involved similar baiting commentary from Carson?

If what he says happened even DID happen, how can we be sure he didn't simply 'speak the truth' that day also and induce someone in the crowd to respond in kind?

Cato said...

"hundreds of millions of his fellow citizens in concentration camps"


"and whose actions led to the deaths of tens of millions of Jews"


Paul K. Ogden said...

Cato, it probably should have been tens of millions (not hundreds) in concentration camps.

M Theory said...

Myself and a lot of the people from work called Carson's office yesterday. Evidently the phone lines were quite busy with complaints.

I believe it is possible that Carson, as a freshman Congressman who Barack Obama endorsed and who received tons of out-of-state lobbyist money, is probably doing as he is told to do.

Carson's rhetoric serves to divide Americans. And when we are divided, we can be conquered.

I believe Carson is being used toward the end of dividing Americans.

By the way, I am a national prize winning Tea Party activist, am on the board of Indianapolis Peace & Justice Center, write a monthly column for them, and am working to help lift inner city people up from where they are.

As a tea party person, I feel personally insulted and embarassed by the ignorance of my representative.

Nicolas Martin said...

The greatest harm done to Black Americans is by the War on Drugs and the public schools, both of which Carson supports.

Jedna Vira said...

Hoosier For Fair Tax, you really shouldn't feel insulted by Andre Carson's remarks. It is the equivalent of a mildly retarded child saying something mean about you. Consider the source. By the way, I am questioning the intelligence level of Andre Carson, and I have good reason to do so.

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

I seem to recall a conservative Republican -- Clarence Thomas by name -- who referred to some of his difficulties as "high tech lynching".

Methinks it's a familiar trope and certainly not unique to Andre Carson!

Nicolas Martin said...

Clarence Thomas was metaphorically lynched. He was sexually humiliated in front of America by liberals who offered not a shred of evidence that he was guilty of anything. The same people who stood by Bill Clinton despite actual transgressions.