Special Correspondent Earnest Harris writes this occasional "Code Words" column for OffTheBus.
John McCain is a coward AND a racist.
There is no other way to put this, nor do I care to. Most people, including many of the mainstream media talking heads, are bending over backwards to find every excuse and rationalization in the world to find a polite way to explain McCain's (and Palin's) latest round of attacks. But I am not buying any of it. I fully expect McCain to come out with the "N-word" sometime between now and election day. And you know what? I would respect him a lot more if he came right out and said it directly, rather than all this silly code word stuff that he and his campaign are engaged in.
In the last few days Obama has been called "that one," "a terrorist's best friend," someone who we should be suspicious of, "a terrorist" by a crowd/mob member, was inferred to be a Muslim again by TWO different surrogates who made issue of his middle name, and most recently "a guy of the street" as McCain co-chair, Frank Keating, referred to him.
What more does McCain have to say or do for people of good conscious to see what he is doing and call him and it by their obvious names, racism and racist. And who cares what all the apologists will say, implying that those of us who see this for what it is are crying racism where there is none, that we are over-sensitive on this issue.
Here is CNN's Glenn Beck in a column he wrote making just that point today:
I'm not sure if this is the new kind of politics we were promised by Barack Obama, but I don't think it's the change most people have in mind. This random name-calling just winds up hurting legitimate claims of racism, which do exist. But they risk being taken far less seriously, if the constant crying of wolf continues.
The truth is, voting against Barack Obama doesn't make you a racist, just like voting against Sarah Palin doesn't make you a sexist. The vast majority of regular Americans understand that. If politicians could catch up and restrain themselves from trying to exploit our differences for their own gain -- we'd all be better off.
BS. It's always interesting to me how white guys can tell those of us who have to bear the brunt of this kind of racism, when it is legitimate for us to call it out. I guess we're supposed to wait until people like Beck tell us when it is o.k. to see racism, and that of course will only be when people like him decide something rises to that standard.
Not gonna happen.
I, and most people of color, know racism when we see it. And while I agree that we have to be careful of misusing the allegation, this is not one of those instances of misuse. This is award-winning racism, mainly because they think by cleverly using code words, they are insulated from charges of being racists and can try to boomerang the charge on anyone who dare see what they are doing.
Good try McCain.
And just like Obama and Biden were right to call McCain out as a coward for being so free to call him names and try to link him to Ayers when they are on the stump, McCain, the war hero, didn't have the guts to bring any of it up when Obama was right there in front of him at the debate the other night. Where I come from that's called cowardice. And I'm sick of hearing everyone, including Biden, refer to McCain with glowing terms, as being an honorable man. He is not. Honorable men do not behave this way. McCain may have been honorable at one time, and he may have been a hero at one time, but he is not now. So let's stop calling him a hero. He is a coward and a racist. And notice I don't even get into talking about Sarah Palin. What's the point? She's just his attack dog, with absolutely no credibility. She's almost pitiful to watch. But don't get me wrong, by going along with McCain on this tack, she is making it clear that she is as much a coward and racist as he is.
Why don't we and the MSM stop avoiding the truth of what we are seeing and hearing? Waiting for more blatant words? Well, just wait, it's coming. McCain's desperation is so out of control, his behavior so erratic, he won't be able to help himself.