Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I Wish There Was Another Explanation

When I was in graduate school, one professor told me two rules that are essential to a genuine critique of how literary art works on an audience.

1. Repetition is always meaningful. The first time an image appears in a novel, it might be random. But when it appears again, it begs to be examined as a metaphor.

2. When an author chooses a particular detail, it's always valid to ask "why this, and not that?" In other words, every choice is made for some reason.

I find some of this valid to the current political atmosphere, and the conclusions I come to aren't happy ones. 

Barrack Obama elicits a fearfulness that has never before been seen in politics, despite all the evidence that the man's nature is as genuinely hopeful as anyone ever seen in the office. When looking at the paranoid shrillness of the far right reaction to Obama's first year in office, the following questions come to mind.

1. Would anybody be worried about political indoctrination of children if John McCain had won the election and wanted to address school children on the first day of class?  Did anyone worry about this when George Bush I or George Bush 2 did it? Why Barrack Obama and no one else?

2. Had Hillary Clinton won the democratic nomination, would anyone have worried about her native born status?  Would any other candidate in the entire election have elicited this question? Why was this question asked of Obama only?

3. Would any other candidate winning the presidency have cause people to vehemently scream about "wanting their country back."? Why did the conservatives not holler this when Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter were elected?

Alas, there is really only one conclusion to draw, and it's not one I really want to accept, even of right wing nuts. 

It's the fact that Obama has African ancestors that is behind every bit of this nonsense.  Why does this fellow, and this fellow only,  draw this kind of response? you must ask. And, why do these ridiculous concerns keep being repeated, again and again, even in the face of all evidence to the contrary?

What these folks really want——no mistake about it——is to have their white domination back.  It's Obama's skin color that seems foreign to them——not his birth certificate.

Obama's birth certificate is indisputable, yet we keep hearing that he is alien. The President's  speech to school children has nothing whatsoever political in it, yet even after it aired, the conservative blogs were filled with venom about his attempt to steal their children.

I'd love to hear a genuine argument that all this is based on politics rather than racism.  I don't see how it can be done.  When I hear Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Bachmann make their arguments, I'm genuinely embarrassed for their lack of self-awareness.  

The KKK, at least, is honest about the nature of their hatred. 


Anonymous said...

It's rings pretty hollow hearing a white man screaming racism. Especially a man who pukes out buddist philosphy on a blog while in real life treats most people like shit. Must be a lession mommy taught you.

1. Did you know that after George Bush's (1991) speech the demoratically controlled congress had the General accounting office investigate and called administration officals to capital hill to anwser questions about the speech.

2. We want his birth certificate because if he is not a natural born citizen it is the easiet and quickest way to get rid of this anti-capitalist administration. Obama travels outside the country and must have had a birth certificate to get a passport why doesn't he just show it to the people?

3. The right want their country back because we are capitalists and President Obama's policies so far have been anti-capitalist.

To me it is very clear that you set out to draw this conclusion and there is nothing that would stop you because repetition is always meaningful and you are just another lefty who resorts to calling people mean names when you have nothing else.

So you should just crawl back into your buddist mind fuck world and keep patting your self on the back and telling yourself how much of a great human being you are because I can tell your this forsure no one else will be doing that.

Mercurious said...

Anonymous is certainly right in pointing out that I'm a badly flawed human being. No argument there. I am even more imperfect than he imagines.

I also would like to believe that the extreme right's hatred of Obama arises out of love for capitalism, as he argues. I'm well aware that there are legitimate ideological points for discussion, as espoused by a number of conservative critics whom I respect. George Will comes to mind as one such reasonable voice. And I have a good deal of respect for John McCain and other reasonable conservatives, none of whom scream nonsense.

The veiled racism I'm speaking of exists in that netherworld of Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, who don't argue logically but simply play off fear.

Which is why the genuine conservatives are beginning to disavow this extreme group, much to their credit. I've yet to hear any call for Omaba's birth certificate from anyone worthy of respect.

Molly said...

As children we were told that ugly letters with no signature were written by cowards. Looks like you just got one. It doesn't matter how sane and rational Mr.O sounds, the bigots and racists are alive and well. Would that they could be half as rational.....