Thursday, October 8, 2009

If This be an Addendum to "If This be Racism!"!

I was thinking about what I wrote yesterday regarding how I'm willing to say that much of the backlash against Obama is racist in nature. The thing that occurred to me is that I didn't even include some of the best pieces of evidence that I have. Let's start with this little gem from Rush Limbaugh, where he was commenting on a white kid who got beat up on a bus by a couple of black kids while the rest of the kids did nothing (some of them even laughed at the whole thing). Here's what Limbaugh had to say:

"Greetings, my friends. It's Obama's America, is it not? Obama's America -- white kids getting beat up on school buses now. I mean, you put your kids on a school bus, you expect safety, but in Obama's America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering, "Yeah, right on, right on, right on!"

I'm not even going to comment on my thoughts regarding what the motivation was for this attack one way or the other. Shoot, for argument's sake, I'll go ahead and say that these kids were all personally instructed by the Nation of Islam to beat up any and all white kids who they see. Even if it is that, it hardly indicates some kind of nationwide trend. And even if it does, to blame it on Obama is STILL crazy. I missed the part where he was calling on black kids to beat up white kids. Not only that, but I know some white people who have been beaten up by blacks, and it sure as heck didn't happen under the Obama administration.

Why would Limbaugh even say such a thing? I'll tell you why. It's because most white people fear black people. I'll admit to a bit of it myself. If I'm riding a bus, and a bunch of black guys come in and sit where I'm at, I have an instant reaction where I feel a bit on edge. However, my next thought is to quickly realize how I'm being a bit of a racist, and that I've been surrounded by black people plenty of times before and nothing bad has ever happened. As to why I have this initial fear, I suppose I could write an entire blog on it alone. The point is though that I'm not alone. I suppose that the difference between me and a lot of white people is that I'm aware of this, and I'm able to overcome it when the rational part of my brain kicks in.

Limbaugh is playing upon that fear, pure and simple. Shoot, I feel stupid even pointing that out. Isn't it pretty painfully obvious? What is that BUT racism? He knows that many people in his audience fear blacks, and he's willing to exploit that - even if it means creating even more fear of black people. Honestly, I feel that he wouldn't be as bad if he just came out and used the "N" word and talked like a Klansman. What Limbaugh is doing is FAR more insidious.

I also left out the bit with Glenn Beck and his comment about how Obama has a "deep seated hatred for white people or the white culture" and how Obama is "a racist". Of course, he then proceeded to talk out the other side of his mouth and say, "I'm not saying that he doesn't like white people." Umm...okay. I think that all Swedes are evil, repugnant people, but I'm not saying that I don't like them.

Anyway, the point is once again to highlight the fact that Obama is "the other". He's not one of you, and even worse - he hates you. Why does he hate you? Because that's what black people do; they hate white people. I mean, what else does Beck have to go on? For the love of Heimdall, am I the only one who remembers that our President is half-white himself? And don't even get me started on this whole "white culture" thing. What is that, exactly? Mayonnaisey potato salad? I guess that I hate white culture too. Am I the only white person who finds no meaning in that phrase? I relate to being of German heritage, but I don't have any identity with a "white" culture.

So, you might be saying, "Yeah, but that's just two guys!" The problem is that they have a lot of fans. And if you watch their shows, and you nodded your head in the affirmative when they said things like that, then maybe you're a racist too. Shoot, if you heard those things and then didn't think anything of it, then you might even be a little bit worse - because then you're apathetic to boot.

Once again, this "Stan Lee Challenge" was inspired by Fantastic Four #49: "If This be Doomsday!"


duley said...

you had to throw that mayonaisse comment in there, didn't you?

Lance Christian Johnson said...

It's evil, I tells ya! EEEEEVIL!!!!!!

Ingrid said...

Lance, you are also part Swedish. I think for many years blacks had to fear whites more than it ever could be the other way around. What I hear though is that you must have been influenced by society ingeneral if you were uncomfortable around black people, you didn't get that at home. That shows how the white supremacy attitude influence worked and they are still at it.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Indeed - I actually meant to add all that in there. (Except for the part about me being Swedish. LIES!!!)

Matthew said...

Ok, so since I represented the opposing opinion, I thought I'd weigh in. I don't object to any of the points you've made and I agree that many, if not all, of the examples you brought up do indeed stem from - or pander to - some form of racist thinking.

My objection to the racism argument is two-fold. First, it distracts from the issues. As soon as we start talking about which side or which person is or is not a racist, we've stopped talking about the policy or political issue at hand. Second, even though you made it clear that not all Obama critics are racists, it's still awefully reminiscent of Glen Beck and Hannity's rhetoric about Barrack "Hussein" Obama. 'I mean hey, it is the guy's name. I'm not saying that he's the same as Saddam, I'm just pointing it out that they share the same name...' .: 'I'm not saying that all Obama critics are racist, I'm just saying that racism plays a big part in much of the criticism of Obama. You may or may not be a racist - I have no idea - I'm just pointing out that many of the people that share your opinion are indeed racist.'

I'm all for pointing out that a particular comment or action was racist. I'm even ok with calling an individual a racist. I'm not sure it's always productive, but there's nothing wrong with it. But, my skin starts to crawl when a particular political view that is not inherently race based, becomes associated with racism.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Good point, and you're right that I run the danger of doing a bit of a similar game as those pundits engage in.

This is why I've been so reluctant to comment on this. But it was on my mind, and while there are liberals saying, "Criticism against Obama is racist!" (I'm strawmanning a bit there.) You have conservatives completely dismissing the argument as they completely ignore the rhetoric coming from people on their side.

I guess I could have more respect for the conservatives who weren't racist if they were more willing to condemn the ones who clearly are.

Matthew said...

"I guess I could have more respect for the conservatives who weren't racist if they were more willing to condemn the ones who clearly are."

Yeah... I don't think there are very many willing to do that.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

What's worse is that many of them will either deny it or defend the racists.