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Say What: Maureen Dowd Gives a Shout Out to Congressman


"Wilson’s shocking disrespect for the office of the president — no Democrat ever shouted 'liar' at W. when he was hawking a fake case for war in Iraq — convinced me: Some people just can’t believe a black man is president and will never accept it."

New York Times op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd on Congressman from South Carolina Joe Wilson's shocking interjection of "You lie!" during President Obama's speech on health care. Dowd agrees with others who think that this breach in protocol and civility was an attempt to delegitimize him as the president — because he is black. Congressman Wilson, as it turns out, once spearheaded a campaign to keep the Confederate flag above South Carolina's state Capitol and denounced the black woman who stepped forward and said she was Strom Thurmond's daughter. (She was.) Wilson has since apologized and the President has accepted his apology, but he's now a sort of folk hero for those who don't like the president, and "You lie!" bumper stickers abound. What do you think of that outburst and its significance?

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Daisy-Duke Daisy-Duke 6 years
Indeed, Obama's mother was white. And indeed, "You cannot take a narrow sub-section of the population and damn the whole party by association."
Daisy-Duke Daisy-Duke 6 years
Indeed, Obama's mother was white. And indeed, "You cannot take a narrow sub-section of the population and damn the whole party by association."
PrincessLtrain PrincessLtrain 6 years
How about we start with replacing our HALF black President with someone who actually has a little experience under his belt?
sloane220 sloane220 6 years
republicans have to recognize the message they're putting out with this kind of behavior. white men aren't going to be the majority forever and everything in this country is based on votes. if you keep disrespecting people of color your party will become obsolete and relegated to a few southern states. maybe something less ridiculous would replace the republican party on the national stage.
sloane220 sloane220 6 years
i think maureen dowd is right. the republican party openly courts white supremacists, it still carries on it's version of the southern strategy with things like "barack the magic negro", the barack is an arab muslim who is not american born, and the barack food stamps for watermelon and chicken on them. now maybe the entire republican party isn't racist, but a good amount of them are and if there is ever to be any kind of resolution amongst the parties then the first thing they need to do is admit it. and i knew from his lack of decorum joe wilson had to be the type with racist sentiments. who in their right mind disrespects the president in such a way in the house chamber? and fighting to maintain the racist rebel flag and admonishing stom thurmonds daughter for telling the truth ( and i wish she had blown his racist duplicitious hypocritical ass out the water in the 1960's) just confirmed my sentiments. i just hope his democratic opponent blows HIM out of the water in 2010, so i guess i can thank his outburst for helping his rob miller raise an OBSCENE amount of money in a few days so hopefully he won't EVER get the opportunity to be that disrepectful again. i agree with honeybrown19 racism can't be ignored, not talking about it leaves it's status stagnant and we aren't progressing anywhere. and i also agree that when you are subjected to racism 24/7 you are more likely to be aware of it even in it's most insidious forms.
mermei mermei 6 years
Spacekatgal, the biggest problem with the Republican party right now is that it doesn't have a spokesman. Rush Limbaugh does not speak for us. Nor does Sarah Palin. And for that matter, both the Republicans and the Democrats have a lot of diversity within the party. Are there some racists in the Republican party? yup. I hate that. Are there some in the Democratic party? You betcha. I hate that too. But you cannot take a narrow sub-section of the population and damn the whole party by association. And for that matter, whatever you might suspect of Joe Wilson based on the two feeble examples Tres gives above, you can't know that Wilson's statement was made out of racism. There's a lot of frustration on the right these days, because President Obama keeps publicly denouncing everyone talking about health care from the right as a liar, when what they are doing is pointing out his own half truths. The President has said that no one would lose their private health insurance, but in another forum he said that eventually the public option would drive the private ones out, leaving everyone on something more like a single payer plan. For many people here, that's a feature, not a bug, but for people who want to keep private insurance, that's our president not being honest with us. I don't find it difficult to believe that Wilson got fed up and yelled out of something other than just race.
mermei mermei 6 years
Spacekatgal, the biggest problem with the Republican party right now is that it doesn't have a spokesman. Rush Limbaugh does not speak for us. Nor does Sarah Palin. And for that matter, both the Republicans and the Democrats have a lot of diversity within the party. Are there some racists in the Republican party? yup. I hate that. Are there some in the Democratic party? You betcha. I hate that too. But you cannot take a narrow sub-section of the population and damn the whole party by association.And for that matter, whatever you might suspect of Joe Wilson based on the two feeble examples Tres gives above, you can't know that Wilson's statement was made out of racism. There's a lot of frustration on the right these days, because President Obama keeps publicly denouncing everyone talking about health care from the right as a liar, when what they are doing is pointing out his own half truths. The President has said that no one would lose their private health insurance, but in another forum he said that eventually the public option would drive the private ones out, leaving everyone on something more like a single payer plan. For many people here, that's a feature, not a bug, but for people who want to keep private insurance, that's our president not being honest with us. I don't find it difficult to believe that Wilson got fed up and yelled out of something other than just race.
Molambert Molambert 6 years
I think it's pretty convenient for people to say that anytime anyone disagrees with Obama it's merely because of political reasons based on the issues. While that may be true in most cases it does not dismiss the fact that some reactions to him or any other minority may come from racist sentiments. Just because Wilson may disagree with Obama's proposed policies for legitimate reasons, does not mean that his outburst did not come from a racist. I do not believe Wilson would have acted the same way with a white man he disagreed with. This is all to say racism did not disappear just because we elected black president and no not everyone who disagrees with Obama is racist, but its ridiculous to look at a man with Wilson's history and speculate that racism could have partly motivated his actions. No everything can't be blamed on racism, but in a country where its has been the status quo for oh say the last 400yrs, it's still very relevant despite who the president is. And as for racists in the republican party, not to say there aren't any racist democrats, but if we're looking at statistics and the history of inclusiveness the Republican party has not been welcoming of others (until it needed the votes) and their party's platform has consistently shunned those who do not fit into that waspy hegemonic group and yeah I'd definitely say racism was a factor.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 6 years
"We are more keen to things than you are. Or, we don't live in self-inflicted boxes of reality" that statement alone proves you are wrong.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 6 years
"We are more keen to things than you are. Or, we don't live in self-inflicted boxes of reality"that statement alone proves you are wrong.
mermei mermei 6 years
"we don't live in self-inflicted boxes of reality. " So HoneyBrown, does this mean that I live in reality, and you live in a fantasy land where anyone who doesn't automatically agree with everything you think is racist? And I agree with anon - there was a fair criticism behind the ill-conceived shout, which is why the House is now trying to close the loophole. I still think he apologized and we should move on to focus on making the legislation better.
mermei mermei 6 years
"we don't live in self-inflicted boxes of reality. "So HoneyBrown, does this mean that I live in reality, and you live in a fantasy land where anyone who doesn't automatically agree with everything you think is racist? And I agree with anon - there was a fair criticism behind the ill-conceived shout, which is why the House is now trying to close the loophole. I still think he apologized and we should move on to focus on making the legislation better.
cirrus1701 cirrus1701 6 years
How is Mark Levin racist? I have him on right now. I have never heard anything like that from him.
janneth janneth 6 years
Racism? or Stupidity? It's a tie!
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 6 years
We are more keen to things than you are. Or, we don't live in self-inflicted boxes of reality.Vanilla, so if we stop talking about racism, it will magically disappear? That's pure crap and you know it.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 6 years
We are more keen to things than you are. Or, we don't live in self-inflicted boxes of reality. Vanilla, so if we stop talking about racism, it will magically disappear? That's pure crap and you know it.
vanilla19 vanilla19 6 years
That was not racism, it was disagreement. The fact that America focuses so much on racism is racist in itself; maybe if we stopped throwing around the word everyone time a black person and a white person talk to each other there would not be as much.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 6 years
The naysayers have to deal with the truth and she's speaking it (although she's not the first). While there are new conservatives, the heart of the party has to wipe out this strategy of spreading fear about anyone "not like them". It regresses them as well as the country. Imagine what this country would be if we actually lived our freedom for all rhetoric.
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