Racists Let Loose After Obama's Reelection
6 months ago
Computer screens are the new white hoods as folks take to the web to trash the president
Remember after President Barack Obama was elected the first time, and the media was pushing the idea of a “Post-Racial America”? One where no white person could possibly be racist, because, look, 43 percent of white folks were suddenly colorblind and gracious enough to vote for the junior Senator from Illinois? One where black folks could no longer complain that they were being held back because of their race, because, hey, there’s one of them leading the nation? One where reverse racism was the new thing holding folks back, as white people were increasingly discriminated against in favor of black folks?
What a difference four years makes. This time around, when the election was called for President Obama, there was no pretense of civility, or of a connectedness that extends beyond the very real barriers of race in this country. In fact, the race-baiting was in place long before the president’s acceptance speech. This time around, it seemed as if “Be as racist as you can” was point three of the Republican strategy, right behind “Be as vague as possible” and “Have no regard for people who have less money than you.” From “Invisible Obama” chairs hanging from trees in Virginia, to the Birthers, who continue to demand proof that Obama is American, the racist language took on both overt and coded forms.
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It’s the coded stuff that aggravates me the most, the (not at all) sly suggestions from some Conservative whites that he is not “one of us,” that he can’t possibly be that intelligent, that well-educated, that well-spoken, that there must be some type of fraud going on for him to be in the position he’s in. Donald Trump is the bad-haired, big-mouthed personification of this attitude: “I have a deal for the president… If Barack Obama opens up and gives his college records and applications, and if he gives his passport applications and records I will give to a charity of his choice—inner-city children in Chicago, American Cancer Society, AIDS research, anything he wants—a check immediately for $5 million.”
Jason Thompson, son of Tommy Thompson, who lost his race for Senator of Wisconsin to Tammy Baldwin, stomped all over the line at a campaign event when he said, “We have the opportunity to send President Obama back to Chicago—or Kenya.” And former presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich didn’t even bother to veil his intention when he said, “President Obama is the best food-stamp president in American history.”