In Britain to promote her film "The Butler,"
The BBC's Will Gompertz asked: "Has it ever crossed your mind that some of the treatment of Obama and the challenges he's faced and some of the reporting he's received is because he's an African American?"
Now there's a fresh take.
Either Gompertz has been handcuffed to a radiator in someone's windowless basement for the last five years or, more likely, he was riffing off the suggested questions Winfrey's PR team handed out to interviewers. Neither explanation would lift the stench of staleness from the question — or the answer.
Winfrey responded: "Has it ever crossed my mind? … Probably it's crossed my mind more times than it's crossed your mind. Just the level of disrespect. When the senator yelled out, 'You're a liar' — remember that? Yeah, I think that there is a level of disrespect for the office that occurs, and that occurs in some cases and maybe even many cases because he's African American."
Now it's true that Rep.
However, a lack of evidence hasn't stopped countless liberals, editorial boards, pundits and stand-up comics, not to mention administration officials, from propagating the idea that Obama's problems boil down to the irrational bigotry of his opponents.
Looking for examples of this relentless smear is like hunting for sand at the beach. In July, Health and Human Services Secretary
It's all very stupid and lazy. When President Clinton tried to transform healthcare in the 1990s, conservatives opposed the effort hammer and tongs. But when they mount the same battle with an even more liberal president who happens to be black, the only logical conclusion is that racism is afoot.
This is not to say there aren't racists — even in the GOP — who don't like the president and his agenda. It's just that you don't need to leap to racism to understand the criticisms of Obama and his agenda. If the man were white, the argument about Obamacare wouldn't change one iota, at least not for conservatives.
For liberals, it's not so clear. Since Democrats steamrolled the Affordable Care Act into law, its defenders have acted as if any opposition to the law is irrational, extremist, absurd and, of course, racist. They gave themselves license to dismiss all inconvenient facts simply by impugning the motives of those who point them out.
Just days before HealthCare.gov crashed on takeoff, Majority Leader
"We are going to accept nothing that relates to Obamacare," he added. "Let them find something else to be weird about."
In recent polls, 58% of Americans have a negative view of the healthcare law, 54% disapprove of Obama and 50% think he isn't honest or trustworthy. Are they all racists and weirdos?
Winfrey, a billionaire twice over thanks in no small part to her popularity among whites, told the BBC that the older generation of bigots may "just have to die" before America can get past racism. In 2012, 60% of voters under 30 voted for Obama. Now more than half view him negatively. I hope Winfrey doesn't think they need to die too now.