Melissa Harris-Lacewell, Nation contributor and Princeton professor, talks to MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann about the importance of former president Jimmy Carter’s remark that racism has played a role in inspiring opposition to healthcare reform and the rest of Obama’s agenda. Harris-Lacewell starts off by thanking Carter for shedding light on the need to make “anti-racist” the alternative stance to “not racist,” pointing out that “it’s not just a matter of being neutral; it’s a matter of pushing back the forces in our country which are old, which are ugly, and which require us to call them out…and root them out of the contemporary discourse.” Whether or not anti-healthcare reformers are racist, Harris-Lacewell argues, is not the point–it is the strategy surrounding policy reform that should be careful of not falling prey to the traditional tactics in our long history of racism, ones that target certain individuals or groups and lead to greater inequality.

Fernanda Diaz

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