Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fear of a black president? Solution: the whitest man in America, Mitt Romney

Today in The New York Times, Lee Siegel wrote an opinion piece about why Mitt Romney is the Republican front runner. In a nutshell, it's because he's white.

[This was the photo they used in the New York Times]

But Romney isn't just any kind of white. He's a white American in a way that makes folks who yearn for the good-old-days of a better, simpler, gentler, whiter way of life think that it's possible, just possible, to roll back the clock to an era when women stayed at home, families prayed at the dinner table, and the era of "rights" (civil and human) were not part of our lingua franca. To quote Siegel:

"The simple, impolitely stated fact is that Mitt Romney is the whitest white man to run for president in recent memory.

Of course, I’m not talking about a strict count of melanin density. I’m referring to the countless subtle and not-so-subtle ways he telegraphs to a certain type of voter that he is the cultural alternative to America’s first black president. It is a whiteness grounded in a retro vision of the country, one of white picket fences and stay-at-home moms and fathers unashamed of working hard for corporate America.

In this way, Mr. Romney’s Mormonism may end up being a critical advantage. Evangelicals might wring their hands over the prospect of a Mormon president, but there is no stronger bastion of pre-civil-rights-America whiteness than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

I know I haven't really chimed in on the racial politics of the 2012 campaign--mostly because I haven't been blogging at all, but really the kind of ridiculously racist comments that get made, and the appalling homophobic, anti-family, anti-choice, anti-human rights, anti-women comments that are made by various candidates leaves me yelling at my computer screen, television screen, car radio. I think for many of these candidates, especially Newt Gingrich, being black and being poor are the same thing. And being black and being poor means being stupid and lazy. Which is just about what people believe about President Obama.

And in the state of Kansas the House Speaker Mike O'Neal (R) sent around two email messages that demonstrates not just what an ass he is, but that should have him on a short list with the secret service. In the first email he referred to First Lady Michelle Obama as "Mrs. YoMama" and in the second email, he essentially called for the death of President Obama--wishing for his assassination, as the "Think Progress" blog notes:

"[T]he Lawrence Journal-World was sent another email that O’Neal had forwarded to House Republicans that referred to President Obama and a Bible verse that says “Let his days be few” and calls for his children to be without a father and his wife to be widowed.

Nick Sementelli at Faith in Public Life notes that Psalm 109, which is a prayer for the death of a leader, became a popular conservative meme after Obama’s election. The “tongue-in-cheek” prayer for the president was seen on bumper stickers. The relevant part of the psalm reads:

Let his days be few; and let another take his office

May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.

May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes.

May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.

May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children.

O’Neal forwarded the prayer with his own message: “At last — I can honestly voice a Biblical prayer for our president! Look it up — it is word for word! Let us all bow our heads and pray. Brothers and Sisters, can I get an AMEN? AMEN!!!!!!”"

As I said to a friend of mine, there should be a special place in hell (if you believe in hell) for this guy. And hopefully the Secret Service are keeping tabs on him because there's NO WAY you could say something like this--to make a veiled or not-so-veiled death wish on the President and not find yourself escorted off the plane and into an interrogation room with Homeland Security.

The 2012 Presidential election. I guess I should get geared up for some crazy racist comments (sigh).

1 comment:

skim666 said...

His hair! His clothes! His TEEEEETH!!! :O