Tuesday, January 17, 2012
The most important player in last night's GOP debate was the crowd
You can get a taste of it here, as they boo black Fox moderator Juan Williams when he challenged Newt Gingrich for calling President Obama the "Food Stamp President," then loudly cheer Gingrich when he doubles down on it. It was obviously racist up and down the line, and the crowd was with Gingrich 100%, giving him a standing ovation after booing the black journalist.
This happened on Martin Luther King Day...
White Southerners have perfected the art of being racist without every saying one word they can't rationalize.and explain away to the credulous.
One small example: Juan Williams addressed Gingrich as "Speaker Gingrich." Gingrich then address Willams as "Juan."
So what you say? In the Old South it was SOP to undercut the dignity of blacks by always addressing them by their first name. Same as when in Romance languages you use the familiar tense with someone you aren't friends with. Conversely, if a black were to address a white by their first name...well, the black had better have his will prepared. That's the Southern context of this simple, easy to overlook thing.
I've heard Gingrich described as an idiot's idea of what a smart guy is like. Seemed that that in this instance.
His doubling down on his "Food stamp president" solecism was to state that Obama had put more Americans on food stamps than any other president.
As if the nation was in great shape the day he took the oath of office. As if the Presidency of the United States of America is a 13th century monarch with a term limit. As if the Republican House majority and Senate minority haven't labored ceaselessly to make government fail, regardless of the cost to America, in hopes that doing so would get them back the White House.
As if a lot of white southerners don't still using a certain word in their heads when they think about a black guy.
Such as the black guy who, intolerably, inexplicably, sits in the White House, as if he doesn't realize it's the White's House...
And BTW Republican smart guys like ex-Bush speechwriter David Frum are worried that these debate audiences' hooliganism will fire up Democrats and depress intelligent Republicans (they do exist--I'm married to one).
Posted by Ehkzu at 8:47 PM