Friday, August 17, 2012

Another Kind of Whistle Stop Campaign

I feel vindicated. For four years, I've been saying that everything hurled at this Administration from the Right was all about race. Nicer media pundits who dared tread those waters - and even some who aren't so nice (and, yes, I'm looking at you, Chris Matthews) - sorta kinda attempted to address the elephant flung into the room by the party whose symbol is an elephant.

As much as they would venture to say was that the Right was trying to delegitimise the Obama Presidency, in subtle reference to the not-so-subtle racist remarks emanating from the Tea Party right up to the hallowed established section of the mainstream GOP. They stopped short of calling overt racism.

Sorry, not good enough. Unreconstructed Clintonistas like Joan Walsh to claim that Barack Obama is certainly not the first Democratic President to be so actively delegitimised by the opposition. That reverse accolade goes to none other than poor Bill Clinton, whose poor white antecedents were used as a means of suggesting that he was unfit or unqualified for the Office. (Make no mistake, Clinton's "delegitimisation" was down to Slick Willie's hyperactive slick willie and had nothing to do with the colour of his skin, which was proven when Republican and fellow Deep (pun intended) Southerner, Newt Gingrich - then Speaker of the House - was found to suffer from the same slick willie malaise.)

Lord knows, there were an abundance of dog whistles four years ago, but now it seems they've been doubled down and enhanced. Language evolves, and the past four years has seen a super-abundance of evolutionary race-baiting terms that now all fall in line under the category headed "Other Ways of Saying 'Black.'"

Now that's an theory of evolution even the staunchest Teabagger could buy.

But this makes me happy, because now responsible pundits are broadening their shoulders and calling out the dog whistling exactly for what it is: racism - or as Toure' brilliantly and brutally expressed it: The Niggerization of the President.

I am glad he said it - n-word and all - because it needed to be said, even if it offended the blatant racism masked as delicate sensibilities of any and all Republicans. Because it's the truth: a vast number of the indignant-looking white people surrounding a Romney podium aren't really stupid. They remember when Romney was the moderate Republican who fronted one of the bluest states on the East Coast. Many of the older ones remember Mitt's daddy, and he'd be in the Progressive camp today. Some of them may even abhor some of the extremest pro-religious anti-women policies pushed through by the most virulent of the Teabagging crew. Maybe some are even worried about the fate of Social Security and Medicare in the hands of Paul Ryan.

But the single thing which unifies them is that they don't like the idea of a black man sitting in the Oval Office. More than anything, this signifies the changing of America from the homogenous white to multi-racial and multi-cultural, which is what they fear.

When someone says the President is unAmerican, that's just another word for "black." When they say he doesn't understand "our" (meaning the demographic there and then at whatever speech-giving), they mean "white" values, whatever they are.

Toure' spoke the bitter and hard truth that has to be hammered home this election cycle, and that ball was passed to him by none other than a Southerner, Krystal Ball, who successfully - along with Toure' - countered the inane false equivalency witterings of the dilettante S E Cupp.

When Cupp promoted the latest Republican guilt-tripping meme of falsely identifying Joe Biden's chains remark as overtly racist as a counter to Romney's blatant dog-whistling, she was way off the mark, and she knew it. 

Joe Biden was right. He was speaking to a typically Democratic audience, one that actually looked like - dare I say it? - real America. And he didn't direct the remark about the Republicans having people back in chains to the African Americans in the audience, but to everyone present and listening - white, black and brown, middle and working-class - because these two classes, the bedrock of American society, will be worked to the bone to benefit those whom Romney-Ryan really want to help - the infamous one percent.

I'm sorry if it hurts people to be called out on their racism, but the fact remains that it's there, it's prevalent on the Right, and it's time we stopped pussyfooting around and recognised that this is what's galvanised and motivated a lot of people on the Right for the past four years.

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