Everyone’s Just Clear To Me

By Jesse Taylor
Friday, June 13, 2008 14:59 EDT
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Again, quoting Dr. King.

“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

The left, not the right, has ignored this dream from the beginning of Obama’s run. They – not the right – asked “Is Obama Black Enough”, and refererred to him as “The Magic Negro”. They have exclusively made his race – exclusive. In fact when Hillary dropped out, the leftist media touted him as the “First Black Presidential Candidate”. In the dream of King it doesn’t matter what color his skin is, absolutely none.

Yet it goes deeper than that. The historical party of racism, who opposed the 1964 Civil Rights legislation, is now flipping it around and plans to use Obama’s race as shield to cover him from his lack of “character”. We’ve seen this numerous times every time someone has the audacity to bring up one of his ever growing gaffes. Watch the next time – and since he has about one a week it shouldn’t be long – he has a gaffe, and is called on it, how the left throws out the “race” card to claim he’s being picked on.

Not to interrupt this sage and yet, somehow, utterly mistaken take on Martin Luther King Jr., but the point of that statement wasn’t that one day, black people will assume that all judgment of them is based on the content of their character rather than their skin color, but rather that the judgment of them would actually one day be wholly and legitimately based on the full content of their character. If King wanted to do the It’s All Good Tour of 1964, he could have. But that was never the point. King would never say that we forget about racial identity, that we not be sentinels against the tyranny of prejudice and discrimination, but instead aim for the day where that racial identity was a positive force in our own lives and a neutral force in our relations to others. After the Reagan Army, Fucknut Division decided that King was no longer a Communist plant but instead a voice of common sense (and therefore one of theirs), that message got lost and distorted, rather intentionally. Racism can never die, but it can become an abberation rather than an expectation, a sordid part of a world where people of good conscience can interact with each other without race becoming cause for division and hatred. In the dream of King, race is still a factor, a heritage to be identified, remembered and celebrated, not merely tossed to the wayside once a black person is CEO of this or President of that.

Having typed all that, what the R.A.F.D. hears is this:

“Black people are going to have to give up this race shit before we do.”

That aside, I do want to point out something else that’s been nagging at me for a while. Now that we have the first major party black nominee in our nation’s history, the right is going to have to find a way to do its normal fear-and-loathing without appearing overtly racist towards Obama. The Muslim smears work perfectly in this regard – we’re largely attuned enough as a society to understand the big racial dogwhistles, even when they’re denied by those blowing mightily, but we’re not attuned (and in many cases, concerned) with attacks on a strange and alien faith.

Attacking Obama as a Muslim allows the grandest of xenophobic possibilities. Islam is a faith, not a race, so you can’t possibly declare that the attacks are racial in nature. Damn those race-baiters and hustlers! It allows those who would otherwise feel uncomfortable declaring to their friends and family that they’re not going to vote for the nigger an out – they’re not going to vote for the towelhead instead, and being one of them is a choice! Well, sort of.

It’s the true, disgusting brilliance of the smear. It allows a safe place to funnel race-based hatred without calling it that, and it allows the double-secret reverse of being able to brand anyone who points out the lapses into racist territory the real racist.

I sometimes wonder what it must be like to be one of these shit-wallowers.

Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor is an attorney and blogger from the great state of Ohio. He founded Pandagon in July, 2002, and has also served on the campaign and in the administration of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. He focuses on politics, race, law and pop culture, as well as the odd personal digression when the mood strikes.
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