A common tactic among defenders of the Obama administration has been to label all criticism as evidence of some deep-seated racism toward blacks. Democrat U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson recently used this line in an attempt to discredit those who oppose the president’s recent executive action granting legal status to more than five million illegal immigrants.
The Mississippi legislator asserted in a recent interview with radio host Joe Madison that everyone “who has a real brain” agrees with his assertion.
Thompson went on to say “that presidents since George Washington have had executive authority privilege to do certain things,” alleging that Obama’s recent action is no different than those taken by previous presidents.
“He’s not doing anything that the Bushes, the Reagans, the Clintons, and other presidents all the way back to Eisenhower, as it addressed immigration,” he said.
Of course, the frequently parroted claim that Obama’s unilateral decision to change existing law is the same as previous administrations’ efforts to clarify the law has been debunked by numerous sources. In fact, the most common examples used – Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush – used executive action merely as a way to “address ambiguities in an immigration law that was passed by Congress,” FactCheck.org explained.
Nevertheless, Thompson concluded that the only reason anyone might have an issue with the action is directly related to the president’s skin color.
“So, but again, this is just a reaction in Bennie Thompson’s words to a person of color being in the White House.”
Thompson is no stranger to levying such blanket allegations of racism, previously using the incendiary tactic to address the policies of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant.
Photo Credit: Center for American Progress (Flickr)
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.