When Barack Obama warned that Bush Administration insensitivies to the needs of poor Blacks could foment “quiet riots”, MSNBC host Tucker Carlson accused Obama of advocating violence. Carlson clearly understands what Obama meant by these words:
(AP) Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Tuesday that the Bush administration has done nothing to defuse a “quiet riot” among blacks that threatens to erupt just as riots in Los Angeles did 15 years ago.
The first-term Illinois senator said that with black people from New Orleans and the Gulf Coast still displaced 20 months after Hurricane Katrina, frustration and resentments are building explosively as they did before the 1992 riots.
“This administration was colorblind in its incompetence,” Obama said at a conference of black clergy, “but the poverty and the hopelessness was there long before the hurricane.
“All the hurricane did was to pull the curtain back for all the world to see,” he said.
Obama’s criticism of Bush prompted ovation after ovation from the nearly 8,000 people gathered in Hampton University’s Convocation Center…
…and that the candidate is not encouraging people, specifically Blacks, to physically riot. Yet when the cameras are on, Tucker chooses to twist the senator’s words as a means of stirring debate. The expression “quiet riot” has been part of the lexicon since drug abuse, apathy, family decay and despair replaced the physical urban unrest of the mid-to-late 1960’s. For a bright commentator to turn the phrase upside down and accuse a statewide officeholder of incitement is a low blow- and especially foul in its spirit of a white journalist ordering a Black “leader” to control the darkies. (the most recent similar instance was all the neocons who wanted Revs. Sharpton and Jackson to condemn hip-hop, not Imus).
Obama is not advocating violence, but even without the old bow tie, Carlson often reminds me of why I sometimes wish he were making these statements in my presence. Think “private riot”.