2008 Presidential Election, Race and Racism
Professor Vernellia Randall
Speaking Truth to Power!

Speaking the Unspeakable About Obama and Race

 

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Pam Spaulding
Pam's House Blend
Alternet

 

This country has so many issues ahead of us, the economy, Iraq, health care, our shredded civil liberties, yet the fact that we as a country still cannot discuss race; we deny the role it plays in the political discourse when discussing Obama. There isn't a discussion of the tried and true race-baiting tactics that have been used by both parties to stoke fear in the Base of The Black Man at the polls (remember the Harold Ford ads?). Will there be an honest discussion about these political tactics and how they will play out in 2008, or will pundits dance around it, making only veiled references because a frank discussion about race and its toxic role in political elections makes people uncomfortable.

After running that cowardly, vile Freeper post about Obama the night he won in Iowa, several people have posted about it. A recap of the filth:

Did the weakest Dem candidate for the general election won tonight? I think so.

By sending forth Hussein Osama out of Iowa, Democrats have unwittingly weakened their general election prospects.

Hussein's exotic mixture of radical liberalism, Kwanzaa Socialism, antipathy towards the unborn, and weakness against his jihadi brethren will all come back to destroy him against almost any Republican opponent, even the snake-grope from Hope.

I think we as Republicans should be celebrating tonight at the coronation of Hussein, in whose presence millions of Democrat women, from elementary school teachers to journalism majors to law school grads to dykes on bikes will go weak in their knees.

As defenders of this great Republic, and of the pinnacle of Western civilization that it represents, we should all come together tonight and agree on a common strategy that will keep the White House from becoming a madrassa.

God Bless America, Land of the Free.

Some thought that there's no point bringing attention to the bigoted fringe element, others thought this is the tip of the iceberg and it should not go unnoticed.

For me it's not about elevating these bottom-feeder attacks, per se, it's showing how

raw people are willing to be under the cover of anonymity, and it gives license for other veiled attacks (remember, Hillary's supporters were caught with their pants down perpetuating the Muslim smear in Iowa). Hillary's supporters/camp has tried to "go there" with the casual raising of Obama's drug use as a teen to get that story back into media play.

Freepers may be fringe, but if you've got Dem supplicants willing to go there who aren't crazy, you can imagine the unending drumbeat of similar race-baiting that will go on in the mainstream GOP. And we all know what kind of third party Republican mailers end up in mailboxes not tied to the party. It's going to be toned down very little from what that Freeper said in that post, the GOP will decry the tactics, but the low-information voters can be swayed. The people who honestly don't think they are racist, but can be influenced by what we think is ridiculous propaganda.

Remember John Kerry and the Swift Boat attacks. He thought ignoring it and taking the high road would pass as a "response." How wrong he was. Rovian tactics of repeating lies so often that they become a truth to the target audience is time tested.

For every fringe element there will be less ham-handed but equally offensive tactics used by the GOP to race-bait and hide behind the cover of "I'm not racist look over there at the Free Republic."Note the community guidelines of the FR actually ban people for racist posts, so obviously this sort of thing passes muster as fair game. The key is to make the GOP answer for its Base. They court this vote, they own it.

Obama's success has again raised the issue of his safety, given the crazies out there. Chris Rabb of Afro-Netizen reacting to the Freeper post:

It would seem that Obama's that much more of a threat to these hateful hordes among us in blue and red states alike, as evinced in a recent racist blog post by anonymous coward hiding safely behind a computer somewhere between sea to shining sea. (Hat tip to über-blogger Pam Spaulding.)

I fear Obama's fate as a front-runner. I think about murdered politico Bobby Kennedy -- an ultra-wealthy White public servant, and the fear he instilled in an unknown mass of the White citizenry in 1968. And my concern heightens that much more for Senator Obama and his family amidst of his auspicious win this evening.



http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/http://www.pamshouseblend.com//72919/

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