Wednesday, August 29, 2012

If It Walks Like a Duck…

Via karoli at C&L, go read in its entirety a thing of beauty by Tim Wise on the deeply ingrained racism being preached in this country by the right wingers and many, many members of the Republican Party.

Although conservatives accuse those of us on the left of thinking that all critiques of President Obama are rooted in racism, this has certainly never been my argument. Indeed, I’ve written two books highly critical of Obama’s positions on a number of issues (from a place well to his left), and am fully aware that decent, honest people can disagree with Barack Obama from the right, too, without their disagreements serving as proof of some latent, let alone blatant, bigotry or anti-black bias.

That said, what I have also long maintained — and what seems increasingly evident as we move into the heart of the 2012 campaign — is that the style of opposition, its specific form, and its particular content are too often embedded in a narrative of white racial resentment, white racial anxiety, and a desire to “other” the president in ways that go well beyond the politically partisan. It is not that criticisms of Obama are quantitatively racist, per se, but rather that they are qualitatively so in too many instances; a distinction, yes, but one that does not alter the underlying reality.

In other words, it is one thing to disagree, even mightily, with a president’s policies.

However…

How many times, one is left to wonder, must a person be called un-American before it’s accurate to claim that he’s being accused of being foreign, and a danger to the nation? A cancer to be excised from the body politic?

How many times can a man be the butt of racist humor, or likened to black dictators, or accused of seeking racial revenge upon white people, before it is no longer outrageous or the playing of some mystical, magical race card to assert that, indeed, the people doing these things are really just race-baiting white nationalists in conservative garb?

How long, in short, before we call that which walks and talks like a duck, a fucking duck?

Read the whole thing. I insist.