Monday, April 19, 2010

The Teabaggers' Race Conundrum

----Pete Souza

Reprinted with permission of zizi2

I have been mulling the stark difference between Wingnuts attitude towards Obama the Presidential candidate, versus Obama the duly elected President who has to govern. What sharply turned on their hate switch? Why was he tolerable enough to be elected but needs to be delegitimized when he starts to govern?

The racial conundrum lies in the fact that wingnuts actually thought that the be all and end all of President Obama's run was to fulfill the symbolic racial goal of "being the first African American President." They thought that candidate Obama's ultimate goal was realized on election night.

In fact during that much ballyhooed dinner at George Will's house just before the inauguration, Krauthammer, Kristol, Peggy Noonan all came away claiming to have been impressed by Obama's "deep thought and eloquence." See, they were still thinking of him as an anthropological specimen/curiosity that had exhibited signs of intelligence. They believed he would be content to maintain the token favored negro status.

But if they had listened to him during the campaign they would have realized he had no such intention. When Steve Kroft asked candidate Obama about the racial significance of his nomination the day after the Denver DNC convention, Obama quipped that he was sure African Americans "understood" the significance, but he himself did not see a need to fixate on it, and neither was that his mission. He intended to do things. These folks should have listened then, and there is nothing that he has been doing since he entered the White House that he did not spelled out clearly before hand.

So now from neo-cons down to teabaggers are "shocked! shocked!" that Pres. Obama intends to enact his agenda that he shouted out to us over and over during a two-year campaign? What is he saying and doing now that he did not say back in January 2009 to garner 83% national approval ratings? What did he do on the day he signed the Health Insurance Law on March 23, 2010 to bring him down into the mid-forties approval that he did not say he intended in May 2009 to garner 65% approval for healthcare reform?

Certainly the vitriol we see now began with Palin's rallies, and increasingly the corporate media by not pushing back, enabled the public to become numb to the hate. When I compare today's "meh" shrug of the media to the pundits amplifying the public outcry over Palin's statements that candidate Obama was "someone who sees America not as you and I do" and who "pals around with terrorists," a great deal has changed in the public square.

So ironically, the wingnut apoplexy is precisely over the fact that Pres. Obama refuses to be tragically bound by "race." He is usurping the default normative sense of legitimacy of a "white" president. How dare he? As someone simply put it Obama is guilty of thinking he is President or something. Strange indeed!

aleth then asks the following:

EDIT: QUESTION: Do you think it goes back to the very nature or racist mindset that we are not smart? That is, they have internalized all of their racial bias and superiority to the point they cannot delineate between the real world and the imagined fantasy in their head of who the other is?



Yep on all the points you raise. They have internalized black leadership inferiority. And it hits them real hard when black smarts is in ACTION rather than dormant. So long as the "order of the world" is not ruffled, they are OK. It is the reason they can handle a Clarence Thomas (aside from the fact of conservative credentials), Condoleeza Rice, Michael Steele or Alan Keyes (infact they love his antics as it proves their sense of superiority over a black steppin-fetchit), and even JC Watts.

Colin Powell was fine so long as he re-enforced the militarist worldview they hold dear. He is a soldier. But I can assure you Powell would have run into a similar buzzsaw as Pres. Obama is encountering now, had he decided to run for president and actually won. They would have been forced to see him in a governing role, where he gives orders, makes decisions that affect us all, commands the army, and has subordinates who are whites who are visually seen everyday obeying his orders. His conflict with Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld revolves around the same threat he posed to over the "natural" order of leadership and decision-making. In their eyes his decisions and opinions could never be considered legitimate.

That causes cognitive dissonance for wingnuts who were assured way back two centuries ago that their admission into the category "exceptional whiteness" would remain unchallenged at the the pinnacle of the power totem. Now add to that racial anxiety, other rank cutthroat political considerations, such as, the greed of vested corporate interests, in addition to foreign interests mischievously undercutting American strength through powerful American surrogates, and you have a potent hate machine.

Tell the truth and shame the devil.

Thank you, zizi2.

You want to know what else bothers them?


--Pete Souza


--Pete Souza


--Pete Souza


--Pete Souza


--REUTERS/Yuri Gripas



--Pete Souza

-Pete Souza

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