(Sorry for the brief hiatus – I was teaching all weekend. Whee!)
Since Obama’s election, there’s been an uptick in eliminationist rhetoric.
• In Standish, Maine, a sign in the Oak Hill General Store said, “Osama Obama Shotgun Pool.” Customers could sign up to bet $1 on a date when Obama would be killed. “Stabbing, shooting, roadside bombs, they all count,” the sign said.
• Elementary students on a school bus in Rexburg, Idaho, chanted, “Assassinate Obama,” a district official said.
• University of Alabama professor Marsha Houston said a poster of the Obama family was ripped off her office door. A replacement poster was defaced with a death threat and a racial slur, she said.
• Alie Kamara, a black teen in New York, said that on election night he was attacked with a bat by four white men who shouted, “Obama.” Police said Saturday that two 18-year-old white men were arrested Friday. Ralph Nicoletti and Bryan Garaventa face charges of hate-crime assault and criminal possession of a weapon, police said.
I can’t help but somehow feel that the mainstream political movement that’s branded Obama personally and black people in general thieving, anti-American threats to our national sovereignty is somehow, possibly, responsible.
Jonah Goldberg wrote a column this Friday about how the idea of a new breed of socially liberal and economically conservative Republicans is a pipe dream that will never come to fruition, because the fundies run this piece. What he misses (and it’s Jonah – he’s going to miss something) is that the economic message of the Republican Party is fundamentally tied to its social conservatism, which actually makes its aversion to minorities of all shapes and sizes even more pervasive. It’s not simply that the social message of the Republican Party tends to be averse to the rights of blacks, Hispanics, gays, lesbians, etc., but that economic conservatism inherently embraces the social phobias and hangups that define conservatism. Black people aren’t simply whiny, they’re welfare-begging reparations hogs who must be stopped before they steal valid white moneys. Hispanics are a low-earning brown menace, women want to take man jobs and earn man money even though they’re obviously not men, and the denial of marriage rights to gays and lesbians has an obvious and fundamental economic component to it.
It’s the thing about any form of bigotry – it tends to start out as hatred based on physical difference, but invariably moves towards the belief that the focus of hatred constitutes an economic force that will deprive you of liberty and Bibles and gas-powered grills. This is the natural consequence of the past several decades of not just the conservative social alienation of white people from minorities, but even more importantly the construction of an economic theory that portrays all non-white Americans as thieves of our national treasure.
Thanks, guy who wrote Liberal Fascism. Thanks a lot.