Is This a Racist Comment?

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Scroll to the bottom of this Chicago Sun-Times piece on the Alan Keyes acceptance of the Republican nomination for Peter Fitzgerald's seat. They asked Barack Obama's campaign spokesman what he thought of this whole business. He said, "Are they busing people in from Maryland?"

Hmm. Now it's time for audience participation. Is this a racist comment? If it's not, does it give in to racial narratives that are sufficiently harmful that it counts as being part of a racist system even if the person uttering it isn't to count as being a racist? Consider the arguments I gave about that awful Condi Rice poster as you formulate your response. I don't want votes for whether it's racist or not. I'm looking for arguments, i.e. reasons backing up what you think.

Update: Here's an additional question. Consider the following quote from a black comedian, retreived from the memory vaults of The Gnu. Is it racist? If so, why? If not, why not? Here's the joke: "I like sports but not hockey, because the only black thing gets hit with sticks. However, I do like golf."

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