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Jim Crowing

When the going gets strange, the strange get going. Politics always has its share of irrational arguments, but a barrage of the bizarre often establishes a pattern.  If you’ve seen it before, experience kicks in to tell you that it’s a much bigger argument than you might have otherwise thought.  At some point you just have to accept the unexplainable for just what it is.

President Obama had a decent honeymoon period, but with the hard decisions needed to try to steer a nation careening out of control it was inevitable he’d meet serious criticism.  What was less obvious was how strange, persistent, and grossly over the top that jabs would be.  Consider the criticisms that have hyperventilated their way to prominence, which include:

  • Demands to see his “real” birth certificate.
  • Death Panels that will decide when people must die.
  • He is a secret (or not so secret) Muslim.
  • The agenda he promotes is socialist
  • Obma is a racist, promoting minorities ahead of whites.
  • And, recently, he has plans to indoctrinate school children as his footsoldiers.

The uproar over telling kids to take their responsibility for their own education seriously was the last straw for me.  It’s far from “unprecedented”, and I can’t see that there is any harm in having the President address kids directly regardless if that President is Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter, or Ford (I draw the line at Nixon – I feared Nixon as a child, since I was a good kid who listened to his Mom).

The reactions have been so strange and so irrational that there has to be more than the flailing of a once might Republican spin machine that has been mortally wounded.  I say this because I grew up in a racially charged world and I’ve seen what happens when there’s just too much to add up to anything sensible.

It’s called “Racism”.  We’ve seen how this works before.

In the bad old daze of Jim Crow, no one ever talked openly about denying rights to Black people.  There was this Poll Tax, see, and the issue there was having people pay their taxes.  The onerous registration procedures were about preventing fraud.  Literacy tests were to make sure people understood their civic duties.  The simple fact that these all added up to remarkably low voter turnout among Blacks was an unfortunate side effect – a terribly unfortunate thing.

That’s how it works, after all.  When people know better than to be openly racist, they get creative.  They make arguments that dance all around the central issue clockwise, arms flailing and feet shuffling.  But if you’ve seen the dance before, you know that all you have to do is look in the middle of it all once they’ve been around it more than 180 degrees and you’ll know what’s up.

In the middle of this one is a black guy that people go out of their way to describe as illegal, immoral, unpatriotic, and dangerous.

Some of this has to be expected, sadly.  No matter how many people proclaimed that we are “post racial” these people are in deep denial about the history of the USofA and how it affects our behavior.

In any economic downturn, the belief that there are only so many good jobs in the world becomes a reality and a fundamental principle to many people.  The positions of authority that are filled by a mysterious “other” – Black, Jewish, Hispanic, and so on – are just more signs that whites are going to be left out.  If you see more and more white people without jobs everyday, it starts to add up.  Combine this with the realization that some of the people gaining power might have an interest in retribution for being put down for so long and the situation gets very dire.

This line of “reasoning” is ridiculous, of course.  But it’s what inflames people to scream and shout with nearly unlimited energy how terrible it is that “This is not the America I grew up in!”  The code words are all there in the diversionary “issues” being raised – issues that make absolutely no sense outside of the targets and the codes.

This is racism, everyone.  We need to call it for what it is.  If you haven’t seen it before, you may want to take notes.  This will go on until we make it clear that a healthy debate on real issues is welcome, but the racist hysteria has to stop.

17 thoughts on “Jim Crowing

  1. AMEN! It’s about time we call this for what it is.

    It’s become really obvious that some people can’t stand to see a black man in charge. We have to call them on this BS.

  2. Of COURSE it is racism…Had Hillary been elected, it would have been misogyny. They got nothin’ else!
    Nicely written.

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  4. I dunno maybe there really are 3 or 4 parallel universes in america and probably a lot more. Being primarily a Minnpost reader amongst other things (salon, slate, print) I remember the days when a president would give a speech and maybe with a catchy phrase new frontiers, war on poverty, war on drugs, whip inflation now, carter (I really liked the man) and reagan. People would probably pretty much ignore the speech and go on with their lives. Those days are past now on Minnpost at least you have marginal natl figures Bachmann, Palin, and Pawlenty who throw out and give heat. Driving to work the other morning I heard Reagan’s speech on why the U.S. was invading Grenada in the context of history it was pretty despicable. But then I am showing my colors.
    Erik as you and I know we are in one mess of a recession and all the predictions are for rising joblessness in the near term (9 months) running this country even with all the aides has to be the lonliest job in the world.

  5. A big OF COURSE from me, too, but everyone in the media is to scared to say it out loud. It has to be said.


  6. Thanks everyone. Let’s spread the word, especially among us white people – we can’t let minorities bear the burden of calling this BS all the time.

    Dan, it does have to be the loneliest job in the world. I hope Obama can keep it from wearing him down.

  7. Was it LBJ who said that being President was like being a jackass in a hailstorm – all you can do is stand there and take it.

    Lately “politics” seems to have developed the hot button status that “religion” used to have, i.e. just as we were supposed to keep everything good and secular, now we are supposed to keep “politics” out of things like … policy?

    Obama makes a speech that encourages kids to stay in school and so on, cited his own bootstrap-style success and a policy goal of having more college graduates. Sounds about as tough a sell as anti-crime. This is too political?

    Maybe there is a bigger lesson there. We have Presidents, Congress, Courts not Kings & Queens. Why? Because reasonable people can disagree. Checks and balances. Good lesson for the first day of school.

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