Lessons in White Privilege

Ultimately, the election of Barack Obama has provided a series of object lessons in the durability of the colorline in American life. Most pointedly, Obama’s tenure has provided an opportunity for the worst aspects of White privilege to rear their ugly head. In doing so, the continuing significance of Whiteness is made ever more clear in a moment when the old bugaboo of White racism was thought to have been slain on November 4, 2008.

To point: Imagine if Sarah Palin, a person who wallows in mediocrity and wears failure as a virtue, were any race other than White. Would a black (or Latino or Asian or Hispanic) woman with Palin’s credentials have gotten a tenth as far? Let’s entertain another counter-factual: If the Tea Party and their supporters were a group of black or brown folk, who showed up with guns at events attended by the President, threatening nullification and secession, and engaging in treasonous talk, how many seconds would pass before they were locked up and taken out by the F.B.I. as threats to the security of the State? If the Tea Party were black they would have been disappeared to Gitmo or some other secret site faster than you can say Fox News.

Chauncey DeVega | AlterNet

Because They Can No Longer Say “nigger, nigger, nigger….”

Obama’s big healthcare speech — and the hooligan response from the GOP — should have made clear to everyone in America, except perhaps Obama himself, that there will be no bi-partisan anything between the President and this republican party.

Catcalls from a joint session of the Congress is just the newest low for a group that somehow manages to out-shame itself daily. This batshit lunacy followed “indoctrinating students” which followed death panels which followed birtherism and on and on.

We waste time and energy trying to reason our way through any of it. These people made up their minds years before Obama was elected: “no nigger is going to tell me how to run my life. And I’m armed to the teeth and angry as hell if you wanta try.”

It was not that long ago that their parents and grand-parents turned nigger-lynchings into social affairs, with photographs to record the happy events.

As a nation we’ve come a long, long way. But a segment of our population — the GOP’s base — is rooted in that time, and will never accept a black man as President.

Hence their endless attempts to delegitimize him.

My fear is that they will ultimately get their lynching. They already got us to accept that they can show up to his events armed — something that never would have been allowed for any other President.

At some point, the President and democrats have to cut the bi-partisan appeals and make clear that we are moving on to a better nation — one that honors diversity and that manages actual universal healthcare —  and that the angry reactionaries of the right will not be coddled, listened to, respected, invited in, excused, or re-elected.

Michael Sky