Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It only took 2 days (sigh)

On Saturday, January 2, 2010, only 2 days into the new year and new decade, a black doll with a noose around its neck was hung over a billboard with a sign reading "Obama." This was in Plains, GA and the billboard reads "Plains, GA--Home of Jimmy Carter--Our 39th President."

(big sigh)

This is the WALB clip where you can see the doll very clearly.

And this is Jimmy Carter speaking to Brian Williams back in September about how much of the language and criticism directed against Obama is a subtle--or in the case of the effigy a not-so-subtle--form of racism:

There are so many disturbing things about this--the obvious I don't need to state, but in the WALB clip, they interview an African American man who says that everyone can see it [the effigy] but no one is talking about it. And that's what seems particularly disturbing. We are witnessing outright racism but everyone is afraid to name it clearly and directly. We have become so afraid of talking about racism--as if it's a disease. Or that calling someone racist may be seen as worse than actually saying or doing racist things--the label becomes worse than the actual, underlying problem. And so all those people who were mad at Carter for calling it as he sees it--as it actually IS...what do they think now?

I know it's a bit discouraging to have this be the second post of the new year (I was intending to write about Invictus, the new film about Nelson Mandela starring Morgan Freeman--guess I'll save that for tomorrow) but I also think that this is a good reminder to us that there is work to be done and that we must step up and take on that work. Are you ready?

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