February 6, 2012

Obama and race--the Jan Brewer edition

This is old news now, but Jan Brewer's finger wag still bugs me. As does Newt Gingrich's "food stamp President" line. In fact, I think Republicans have returned to racism to attempt to win this year. Good god, they have a horrible record on this going back to Nixon, but it is still sad to see. I don't know if Gingrich is actually a racist, but his willingness to use racial code words makes him, in many ways, worse.

As for Brewer, she reminds me of the aphorism that we have no racists in America any longer. I have friends like her. Their racism is there, but they don't even know, or acknowledge it. After all, no one wants to call themselves a racist, so it is easier to convince yourself that your stereotypical view of people of color has nothing to do with race. And if you know little of history, perhaps you really don't know that the "angry black" man or woman is deeply encoded in our history, or that the "lazy black" person goes back to Reconstruction and the South's open rejection of black equality.

I would find this sad, but the consequences are so severe. Republicans seem hell bent on making racism acceptable again--all to win elections.


Smitty said...

Tongue-in-cheek: there's that statistic floating around that says caucasians will be in minority status by 2050, when compared to all other ethnicities combined. We would do well to play fair in the sandbox.

Real answer: An entire major political party sees that racism in all its forms - latent and blatant - is a part of a good portion of its 'membership.' I hesitate to say "a majority" only in that a statistic like that is impossible to measure. But instead of taking the more moral high ground of using the party leadership to educate their own members away from it, they embrace it. "Dog whistle" phrasiology, blatant race bating...even down to ads like that asshole Pete Hoekstra (running against Debbie Stabenow in MI for Senate) where he uses an Asian woman on a bike speaking stereotyped broken English!! "Your economy get very weak. Ours get very good..." all while playing stereotyped Chinese cultural music. For fuck's sake, people.


leighton said...

I don't get the sense that Gingrich is personally racist. He would first have to identify himself with white people -- specifically, people other than himself -- in order to be a racist. Clinical megalomaniac? Probably. Liar? Definitely. Racist? Eh, probably not. Actual racists seem to take the "We need to cut the social safety net because some people might exploit it" approach, not the "Hey I know let's put a base on the moon" tactic.

Streak said...

In some ways I think a person who isn't actually racist, but is willing to use racism to win--that might be worse.

leighton said...

It's almost certainly worse. Who wants to vote for someone who believes you're too stupid to notice fairly obvious falsehoods? Really wish that were a rhetorical question.