Black congress members see racism rising

Sept. 23, 2009 at 12:46 PM
| License Photo

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Some black U.S. lawmakers say the proliferation of right-wing protest groups who vilify President Barack Obama is signaling a resurgence in racism.

Some of the 42 African-American members of Congress attending this week's four-day Congressional Black Caucus conference in Washington contend that this year's anti-tax "tea parties" and vociferous opposition to Obama's healthcare reform measures by protesters carrying signs depicting the president as Adolf Hitler or a witch doctor show racism is on the rise, the Washington publication Politico reported Wednesday.

The outburst by Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., during Obama's recent address to a joint session of Congress in which Wilson shouted out "You lie!" could signal the return of "folks putting on white hoods and white uniforms again, riding through the countryside," said Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., referring to the Ku Klux Klan.

CBC member Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., told Politico that the economic downturn is enabling those who oppose Obama politically to exploit racial tensions for their own goals, suggesting that some of the opposition to healthcare reform is racism "hiding behind something else."

"One thing it shows us is that we don't live in a post-racial society," added Elsie Scott, president and CEO of the CBC Foundation.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Maine man dead after shooting firework off head, police say
Greeks vote overwhelmingly to reject creditors' bailout
Russian resupply spacecraft docks onto ISS to deliver needed provisions
Third disturbance in four days erupts at Arizona prison
Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa targeted heavily in airstrikes