For a moment during the 2008 presidential campaign, some thought that should Barack Obama be elected president it would be proof that the United States has moved beyond the racism of the past and society would be entering into a post-racial era. But that’s not how comedienne Janeane Garofalo sees it.
In an appearance on Current TV on Tuesday with “The View” co-host Joy Behar filling in during the time slot regularly occupied by Eliot Spitzer, Garofalo had some hard words for America, blaming “racists in the Republican Party and the conservative movement” for disrespecting President Obama.
BEHAR: I’ve have noticed there is a certain amount of disrespect for President Obama that I haven’t seen before.
GAROFALO: Well, he is black.
BEHAR: Is that the reason?
GAROFALO: For the racists in the Republican Party, the conservative movement and the racists in the country, yes.
Behar’s other guest Craig Crawford said there had been a certain disrespect for former President George W. Bush as well, but Garofalo immediately dismissed that comparison.
“Don’t even try to conflate this,” Garofalo said. “This is different and the denial of the racism is bizarre to me. You know, racism is part of the fabric of our country and many other countries since the beginning of time. It would be odd if there was no racism going on now. If you track the Southern Poverty Law Center and other — ACLU and other institutions who track hate crimes — racist, racists, hate mail all of this kind of stuff was it has spiked through the roof since he announced he was going to run.”
According to Garofalo, there seems to be a separate standard when it comes to comparing Obama and his predecessor.
“There is a big difference between criticizing George Bush and the things he did and criticizing Barack Obama,” Garofalo said. “George Bush was very criticism appropriate, worthy for a lot of things. Now, Barack Obama has done things I would criticize as well. This is different and I don’t understand why so many people are reticent to discuss race in this country. We are not a post-racial society and I’m sure we never will be. And we are not post-misogyny either. Until the human condition changes, we won’t be.”