Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Another anti-Obama ad thinly-disguised racial paranoia

There is a political ad presently running on the History Channel portraying a Chinese Communist Party big-wig telling his audience that China “owns” America, supposedly because of Barack Obama’s “tax and spend” policies; the portrait of Mao gazing down on the proceedings also makes note of the usual “socialist” and “communist” idiocies applied to Obama, apparently because right-wing whites equate equal justice, equal opportunity and fair wages with socialism. Of course, we were talking about the issue of who controls our debt years before Obama was even elected senator, but that’s just another annoying detail. Interestingly, there was no gloating in the ad about China’s massive trade surplus with the U.S.; the monetary value of Chinese exports to this country outdistance our cross trade by 5-1. The country would be better off if all these so-called “patriots” and “concerned citizens” bought American; not only would we have more jobs in the country but lower deficits. But that, of course, is just another annoying detail that the right doesn’t have time to explain. Perhaps if the wealth was spread just a micro-fraction more equitably, maybe people would spend more time buying what they want instead of what is the cheapest, which is usually Chinese-made. But it is much easier to blame the black man for our own foolishness.

Naturally, the ad is provided courtesy of yet another out-of-the-woodwork right-wing PAC called Citizens Against Government Waste—which like Citizens United, the “citizens” most concerned are the upper-income tier trying to head-off class warfare and increased taxes, using language easily digested by the gullible ill-informed and the yellow media trying to conjure-up ratings. But even more so, the CAGW is just a corporate-paid front group of right-wing extremists trying to take advantage of racial paranoia—not just against a black president, but one who is apparently “selling out” the country to a foreign, non-Caucasian communist power. Also going unsaid is the fact that the wealthy backers of these ads and their message, unlike the good intentions of the Obama administration to help the working people, are not thinking about the “good of the people,” but maximizing their own pocket-lining agenda while misdirecting attention elsewhere. It is remarkably easy to find evidence of the impact racial coding has while surfing the Internet; I “stumbled” across a website called; the persons who maintain this site apparently have nothing better to do with their pathetic lives but scour the web for every real or imagined crime ever committed by a non-white person against a white person they can find, assisted with a sloppy serving of racist fantasy. A linked website called N* claims to be “the best site for n*gger jokes, ranting, and racist humor since 2003.” Also “Please join our n*gger-bashing forum too.” It sounds like a “joke,” but it isn’t. There is also a link that gives you access to the “ring of conservative sites” as if they feel no need to hide the philosophical bonding between the two, in order to give it a “mainstream” flavor. One may recall that after a story a few years ago about a Georgia high school that had a segregated prom, Bill O’Reilly posted an online poll to discover how many people supported segregated proms. He never released the results of the poll, claiming that they were “tainted” by a run of white supremacist votes; however, given the amount of race-baiting that permeates Fox News, one suspects that votes by its viewers would still have been sufficiently embarrassing to those who claim the network is “fair and balanced.”

The fact is that the often crude and usually coded language against Obama and his policies by such political ads is easily and best understood by the racial paranoids in this country. If an organization has enough money to throw around, they can convince the management of any television station to run the most revoltingly outlandish and distorted message, almost always the creation of the right and always found defensible when used without the hindrance of context. Ads with even mild criticisms from the left, on the other hand, tend to be subject to “factcheck.”

An AP story last year noted the increase of racist “commentary” on the Internet, especially accompanying newspaper stories that are “inflammatory,” such as immigration, affirmative action or crimes where the perpetrator was a minority. "We've seen comments that people would not make in the public square or any type of civic discussion, maybe even within their own families," said Dennis Ryerson, editor of the Indianapolis Star. "There is no question in my mind that the process, because it's largely anonymous, enables people who would never speak up on Main Street to communicate their thoughts." Most of these people are, of course, white. Yet the story also employed what in the minority mind is the mendacity of excusing white racism by quoting white supremacist complaints of “coddling” and excuse-making” for blacks and Latinos (most of latter who strangely claim to be “white” according the Census) and trying to pass-off white racism as something else: “Black racism was evident, too…On a story about two Black sisters jailed 20 years for an $11 robbery, someone used several crude epithets to suggest that the judge was a White racist.” Besides the slur on the website, which in no way compares to the aforementioned white hate websites, “crude” epithets or not the evidence supports the conclusion that the judge probably did take into account his own racial beliefs. Philosopher David Ingram has shot-down the commonly-believed fallacy that “black pride” (Latino pride for that matter) movements are as “racist” as “white pride” movements, since the former “is a defensive strategy aimed at rectifying a negative stereotype,” while “white pride” movements are “thinly cloaked as affirmations of ethnic pride—(but) serve to mask and perpetuate white privilege."

“Better for Obama to win, “white pride” leaders announced in 2008, because his presidency “could fuel a recruitment drive big enough to launch events that the white power movement has spent decades anticipating” according to a Washington Post story about the rising popularity of white supremacist websites like Stormfront. And this is exactly has happened. The race-coding rhetoric by the right has made it safe for people to “jump on the bandwagon,” so to speak. The country’s current problems did not originate with Obama; their gestation can be traced at least to Ronald Reagan and exacerbated by Bush administration policies (or non-policies) backed by a Republican-controlled Congress that thought nothing of using “nuclear options” to pass their corporate-controlled agenda. That is the reality; the fantasy is the one believed by the likes of Benjamin Nathaniel Smith who in 1999—fueled by the “philosophy” of Mathew Hale that urged hatred of “mud races,” and killing them if necessary—went on a “road trip” to find as many of these “mud people” to kill, which would eventually include former Northwestern basketball coach Ricky Byrdsong right in front of his two children, as well as a Korean student walking to church. The recent Tucson massacre was just a “message” for anyone who was evenly mildly connected with Obama’s “anti-white” agenda.

In this “enlightened” age, minorities can be accused of racism by merely accusing whites of racism, while it is more difficult to “prove” racism by whites because we have to take into account their “sensitivities.” At the sports apparel warehouse I used to work, a business next door closed and another moved in; all the employees were white, tough-guy and gal types. I could tell they hated us because we had a diverse workforce (at least in the warehouse); I recall one occasion I was walking into the parking lot and I noticed a couple of them gesturing toward me and making contemptuous; I called out to them that they were just a bunch of Nazis. One of them advanced toward me, demanding that I repeat what I said and acting as if he wanted to slug me if I did; however, a couple of my colleagues who were sitting in their cars got out and made certain the tough guy-bigot was aware he was being observed. Suddenly self-conscious, the tough decided that there was too much reality being exposed, so he beat a hasty retreat. It isn’t minorities who “can’t handle the truth.”

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