Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Is it all about race?
It's not racism pure and simple. It's racism impure and complex. If it were, say, Al Gore pushing the same agenda, there would be protests and anger, just as there are now. And if it were General Powell in the Oval Office pushing, say, the same agenda as John McCain, there would be left wing protests and anger, but only racial to the degree of calling Powell an Uncle Tom, which is different than racism, though it still reflects a kind of bias.
However, all that said, there is obviously a racial component in the protests today. Not in all, not in everyone. I know many conservatives personally, and few if any of them are racists. But I don't live in the South or in a culturally backwards area. People who do live in such places report a strong racist component in the opposition to Obama, augmented by his perceived foreignness--last name, father being a foreigner, Islamic middle name, time spent abroad, long attendance in a racialist church, and politics considered by far right wingers to be unAmerican.
So when lefties claim it's pure racism, they're wrong, and in saying so they legitimize conservatives' desire to dismiss complaints about the protests.
And when righties claim there's no race involved whatsoever, it's purely about Obama's policies, and Pelosi and Reid are white anyway...they're also wrong.
I think this Obama-as-snob poster epitomizes what I call the New Racism. To someone who isn't a racist himself, this is just criticizing Obama for being smart--a crime to millions of Americans; hence Bush's Jim-Bob act on the campaign trail. But to a fellow racist, this poster says that Obama is worst kind of knee-grow: an uppity one. And that's probably the most intolerable way to be black for these people.