Welcome to a special Hatin’ on Obama edition of This Week in Racism. I’ll be ranking news stories on a scale of 1 to RACIST, with “1” being the least racist and “RACIST” being the most racist.
- I get that a significant portion of the American public hates Barack Obama. Politicians can’t please everyone, and this country is in a particularly sticky rut. Unemployment is still hovering around seven percent, the Middle East is consumed with turmoil (again), and I still don’t have a jetpack. All of this is solely Obama’s fault.
Rather than proposing actual solutions to these intractable problems, a select few heroes have taken it upon themselves to incite the kind of racially incendiary hysteria that many thought had gone out of fashion around the same time whittlin' ceased to be a socially acceptable pastime.
One of these heroes is science fiction writer Orson Scott Card (best known for Ender's Game), who was already recognized as a complete asshole and an unrepentant homophobe, so it should be no surprise that he came out as one of the nuttier anti-Obama zealots.
In an essay titled “Unlikely Events” published on his personal blog in May (it wasn't noticed until this week, probably because who the fuck reads Orson Scott Card's personal blog?), Card predicted a future where President Obama has turned into a Hitler-like dictator who uses street gangs to pacify the citizenry before placing his wife Michelle on the throne of the United States. He calls this essay a “silly thought experiment,” which is nice, because it means that he at least knows that what he’s written is completely fucking stupid.
Before getting into the Glenn Beck-esque, masochistic fantasy he’s constructed for himself, he claims that Barack Obama “hates the very idea of compromise; he demonizes his critics.” This is in preamble to a screed in which the author demonizes someone he doesn’t agree with.
If you wondering when all of this stops being just crazy, but also becomes racist, look no further than the following passage:
“Having been anointed from the start of his career because he was that magical combination—a black man who talks like a white man (that's what they mean by calling him "articulate" and a "great speaker")—he has never had to work for a living, and he has never had to struggle to accomplish goals. He despises ordinary people, is hostile to any religion that doesn't have Obama as its deity, and his contempt for the military is complete.”
This implies two things: one, that intelligence is synonymous with talking “like a white man,” and two, that an Ivy League-educated man from a middle-class family who was elected President of the United States twice “never had to work for a living.” How does one define work these days? Maybe America’s next president can be a 75-year-old minimum wage earner who greets Walmart patrons? Or maybe it should be a dude who comes up with pretend stories for a living. Go fuck yourself, Card. RACIST
- It’s not just famous authors who are turning the fire hoses on Barack Obama. It’s also the Missouri State Fair. In between the “4H/FFA Meat Pen Competition” and the Missouri State Fair Queen (congrats to you, Ashley Bauer!), there was a rodeo featuring a clown wearing an Obama mask. Again, I fully understand the need to criticize our government. What I don’t fully grasp is why that criticism has to turn into simulated violence that looks a hell of a lot like a minstrel show.
The announcer at the aforementioned rodeo was heard saying, “We’re gonna stomp Obama now! As soon as their bull comes out, Obama don’t you move. He’s gonna getcha, getcha, getcha, getcha!” An eyewitness described the scene as “like an effigy at a Klan rally.”
Maybe it’s time that we collectively admit a very painful truth: the United States of America is not ready to have a black president. As case after case of obnoxious, hateful rhetoric comes to light, it’s impossible to continue pretending that this is a “post-racial society” or that Obama’s election was a watershed moment. The fact that I have been doing this column every week for five months and haven’t ever been short of material is proofthat we have a long way to go.
Pundits like Ann Coulter who want to claim that liberals use race as a wedge issue ignore blatant acts of prejudice when they target people they don’t like. Minimizing racism after hearing stories like this is a harmful lie, and it’s RACIST.
- You might think that the answer to our racist, racist society is education. Unfortunately, a study is about to be released by sociology doctoral candidate, Geoffrey Wodtke, that claims that educated people are no less likely to be racist than uneducated people.
Wodtke told Science Daily, “High-ability whites are less likely to report prejudiced attitudes and more likely to say they support racial integration in principle, but they are no more likely than lower-ability whites to support open housing laws and are less likely to support school busing and affirmative action programs.”
Disagreeing with those positions aren’t necessarily signs of racism, but Wodtke continues:
"More intelligent members of the dominant group are just better at legitimizing and protecting their privileged position than less intelligent members. In modern America, where blacks are mobilized to challenge racial inequality, this means that intelligent whites say—and may in fact truly believe—all the right things about racial equality in principle, but they just don’t actually do anything that would eliminate the privileges to which they have become accustomed.”
It’s comforting to think that those in positions of authority are more enlightened, but without acting on their statements, it’s as hollow as me bemoaning the effects of global warming but refusing to stop driving my car two blocks to buy a 7-Eleven hot dog. 9
The Ten Most Racist Tweets of the Week [all grammar sic'd]:
10. @al_yanski: I'mnot racist I just really don't like Indian people
9. @benzo_diazepine: I'mnot racist at all, but black dick scares me
8. @realtreeromeo: Do you like black people? — Yea I have no problem with blacks. N*ggers are a different story....
7. @erikalovesyew: Would you fuck a black guy ? — No and no I'm not racist.
6. @high_imemily_: I'mnot racist at all but I know for a fact sometimes different races try to pull the race card and use it to their advantage
5. @WLGTchipthaarip: hella asians in the lab surprise surprise
4. @Deannay_Auldth: How many Mexícans does it take to build a,,,,,,, oh shit, they're done,
3. @SmoosieQ: Can someone please explain to me how the term "self deportation" is racist? Because I'm really not seeing it.
2. @let_live182: I'm not racist but I hate every race, whether you're brown white or black please enter my gas chamber
1. @thilanwij: I'mthe only non African American person on this shuttle #notracist
Last Week in Racism: Oprah Accused a Swiss Person of Racism
This post originally appeared at VICE.