Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Obama. Civil Rights Lightning Rod

Get ready to set your faces on stunned and offended:

Could some of the extreme reaction to Obama's rather conservative policies be based in racism?

Surely you jest! Mais non!

Former President Carter seems to think so.

And the tea-baggers, deathers, tenthers, and the Fox News Network bloviators are going ape over this article by Maureen Dowd.

Her article reads in part:

Barry Obama of the post-’60s Hawaiian ’hood did not live through the major racial struggles in American history. Maybe he had a problem relating to his white basketball coach or catching a cab in New York, but he never got beaten up for being black.

Now he’s at the center of a period of racial turbulence sparked by his ascension. Even if he and the coterie of white male advisers around him don’t choose to openly acknowledge it, this president is the ultimate civil rights figure — a black man whose legitimacy is constantly challenged by a loco fringe.

For two centuries, the South has feared a takeover by blacks or the feds. In Obama, they have both.

The state that fired the first shot of the Civil War has now given us this: Senator Jim DeMint exhorted conservatives to “break” the president by upending his health care plan. Rusty DePass, a G.O.P. activist, said that a gorilla that escaped from a zoo was “just one of Michelle’s ancestors.” Lovelorn Mark Sanford tried to refuse the president’s stimulus money. And now Joe Wilson.

And why is it that I had so little trouble finding racist Obama images on Google Image Search?

Digby believes that racism may well be the soft white underbelly of the far right fringe so dominating the teevee over the past couple of months.

The late Molly Ivins once wrote about having lunch in a diner in Weatherford, Texas during the Clinton years and overhearing this comment:

"Rush is right. Racism is over in this country. The n*****s are gonna have to find something else to complain about!"

There are plenty of sound conservative arguments (for and against) to be made about all of Obama's policy proposals. It's just that the conservatives are drowned out by the right wing loonies, and teevee loves a freak show.

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