Sunday, August 03, 2008

McShame, Obama, and the Real Race Card

As the presidential race moves through its pre-debate, mudslinging comic opera phase, we see McShame, lacking any innovative ideas of his own and using fear and race as his only weapon, trades barbs with Obama only to further waste time by making an issue of who used the race card first. The answer is simple: Karl Rove. Nobody could have come up with such a seemingly clever, archly ironic TV commercial as the Britney-Paris fiasco. But Barack seems loathe to explain his reasoning in pointing out the true culprit in the who-hit-first debate, perhaps because getting hung up on the race issue is perceived as crippling to his campaign.

Don't believe it? Have you heard about the GOP cash bonanza this one TV commercial brought in? Obviously, McShame's base wants more dirt. Obama probably would have only exacerbated his problem by pointing out that the juxtaposition of himself with Britney Spears and Paris Hilton -- young, svelte, attractive blonde caucasians -- would revive a stereotype that should have gone out, even in the South, with the death of Martin Luther King, the Rodney King riots, and all of the talk show ironing out of age-old recriminations in their wake. I mean, after all, has anyone seen the Gregory Peck movie, To Kill a Mockingbird?

"N-----s rape white wimin!" There, I said it. In the vernacular of the ignorant, the superstitious, the intolerant, the frightened.

When Obama accused McShame of raising the race card, both men knew what he meant (or Rove and Obama knew): all of the old (conscious and unconscious) fears of white voters all over America would be aroused, brought to bear on the current situation, and used to bolster the argument Obama is "elitist." (I actually learned from a white woman that she wouldn't be voting for Obama because "that's all we'll see in the White House is blacks.") McShame's card: fear of the unknown. It's really Bush III just as MoveOn says, only this time, not having fear of Islamists as a viable strategy, McShame is using fear of African-Americans.

The pundits asked their guests whether the race issue should be debated head-on, and since it appears to be an inevitable component of the '08 elections, how fully should it be investigated and reported? CNN has started a "Black in America" series. A few pundits have expressed views. But the bottom line nitty gritty is not being discussed. The pundits and the pols seem to be saying, "Don't go there." But maybe it's time we should.

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