His popularity could not be expected to stay sky- high for ever. But is the rising tide of criticism aimed at President Obama largely fuelled by racism?That is what former President Jimmy Carter believes, suggesting that many Americans are simply not ready to see a black man in the White House. “There is an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American ought not to be president and ought not to be given the same respect as if he were white,” Carter told a town-hall-style meeting in Atlanta. Obama has faced increasing anger over his healthcare reform plans, including the now notorious “You lie!” comment during a speech to Congress. Republican Joe Wilson has been reprimanded for his outburst. And the Congressman who, according to his son Alan, does not have a racist bone in his body, has said sorry to Obama. The organisers of last weekend’s rally in Washington protesting Obama’s policies also deny any claims of racism. But that is unlikely to silence those who believe the president is being judged on the colour of his skin.