Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dr. Ron Walters on race and Obama healthcare

“I don't think it has much to do with the health debate,” Dr. Ronald Walters, professor of political science at the University of Maryland told The Final Call. “What we see in the health debate is these town hall meetings have opened up the first opportunity the radical right has had to come back and mobilize against Barack Obama. So, when you look at what people are saying, some of it has to do with the broad outlines of all of his public policy.

“What we have to look at is this: It really is political opposition to Barack Obama. To that extent, some of it is racial. Some people are using racial slogans, and some are using party slogans. The two are mixed. Some of it has to do with race, there's no question about that. But I put this in the general category of their opposition to the fact that he's in the White House. Period,” Dr. Walters continued.

White, working-class voters have been organized by the right wing, according to Dr. Walters, and have been “egged-on by their leadership, to oppose everything that he's done,” even when it's against their own interests.

“The thing that the Republicans have had a tradition of doing, is mobilizing poor people against their own interests,” Dr. Walters said. “That's one of the amazing things to me that they have been able to do it. What it appears they're able to sell them, is a subtle version of White supremacy, which allows them to privilege that over any policy gains they might make.”

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