This post was originally posted on OneWhiteDuck.com.
Current U.S. President Barack Obama graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law school, yet Right-wing talk radio host Rush Limbaugh refers to him as an “affirmative action candidate” and “Barack the Magic Negro.”
Which stands to reason why one of the most incredulous statements put forth this week by the Right wing media was when everyone’s favorite junk-lugger, Newsbusters.com (Twitter: @newsbusters), “retweeted” a comment made by one Dan Isett (Twitter: @danisett) that read: “Dear Chris Matthews: Republicans DO NOT focus on Obama’s ‘ethnic background.’”
After taking a five minute breather to settle my nerves and successfully fight back the demons that beckoned me to fling my laptop across the room, I partook in a brief, rapid-fire Twitter “debate” with Isett; during which he offered no retort in defense of his obvious falsely-laid blanket statement, even when presented with a minuscule sampling of the countless gigabytes of well-documented evidence to contradict his theory.
As usual, our bit of banter led nowhere, and yet another Right wing “sheeple” herder returned to the frock to head toward some skewed, fact-deficient path of self-proclaimed righteousness. Am I surprised? Of course not. Newsbusters – along with the larger sect of Right wing hysteria – seems to positively revel in quick-jab untruths that stir up their base while blatantly refusing to acknowledge reason, accountability and facts.
“I believe that some of the right-wing extremists which oppose President Obama are also racially prejudiced and would prefer not to have an African-American president.” – Former President Bill Clinton.
Am I losing my mind, or are a large number of prominent Republican politicians and pundits positively frothing to pander to their racist roots against Obama’s “ethnic background?” Does Isett simply ignore the rampant slander by the Republican base on the mainstream conservative blog (not some fringe site) Free Republic, where Obama’s pre-teen daughter was referred to by commenters as “a typical street whore”, “a bunch of ghetto thugs” and “ghetto street trash?” Is he oblivious to the scores of racist anti-Obama signage witnesses at Tea Party rallies over the past year?
“Obama’s entire economic program is reparations.” | “We need segregated buses…this is Obama’s America.” – Rush Limbaugh.
Let’s forget about the incredibly ludicrous “birther” movement (as large as it is, I can write for hours ripping those people apart) and examine some facts: Rush Limbaugh has ranted on-air about how “Barack Obama is the most-racial president” in what he calls a “regime at its racist best.” He has continually referred to President Obama as a “halfrican-American” while then contesting that Obama was in fact NOT black but Arab because Kenya is an Arab region (even though Arabs are less than one percent of Kenya) in an effort to play off the current demonization of Arabs and Muslims in America.
Over 100 advertisers have dropped their ads from Glenn Beck’s Fox News program since he called Obama a “racist,” even though fellow conservative Fox News host Sean Hannity argued, on air, whether Beck has really said anything “over the top.”
Conservative radio personality Jay Severin has “focused” on Obama’s ethnicity, saying “as long as Barack Obama is president, there is a complete double standard, and a lot of it is based on race” and that “the president of the United States is demonstrably a racist.”
South Carolina’s Republican Senator Jake Knotts referred to Obama as a “raghead in the White House,” while a GOP activist from the same state, Rusty DePass, compared an escaped gorilla to Michelle Obama’s ancestors.
The highly conservative, Murdoch-owned New York Post published a cartoon depicting President Obama as a crazed chimpanzee that needed to be shot. A Republican-appointed member of the Staten Island Community Education Council sent around a racist cartoon strip mocking President Obama, while a Republican mayor sent around a picture showing the White House surrounded by a watermelon patch.
“It is clear that Senator Obama has disowned his white half, that he’s decided he’s got to go all in on the black side.” – Rush Limbaugh
Yes, these are just a handful (out of hundreds) of isolated incidents for which I have neither the time nor the energy to display full and comprehensive context, but certainly it is abundantly clear that the Republican party offers a safe haven for racism, or rather, a “focus on ethnic background.”
“I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.” – Rush Limbaugh
And while racism and the notion of white supremacy are widespread and ingrained in American culture, it is often masked to deflect reason and common sense from its sinister agenda. Truth is, contrary to what Isett or Newsbusters or Fox News or anyone within their circles may argue, this is about tearing the Obama Administration down by any means necessary. The cynical Right-wing propaganda machine is leveraging much of its 2012 election-bound fervor on peddling poisonous, fear-inducing fiction; suggesting that when African-Americans or other minorities reach positions of power, we should question their motives.
With 2012 in their sights, Republicans are waging a campaign that appeals to the ugliest prejudices and most vile hatreds where grown men are carrying automatic rifles to Presidential rallies and Christian pastors are calling for “Sasha and Malia to be fatherless” and “Michelle Obama to be a widow.”
Unfortunately, because we enjoy “free speech” in this country, hate speech often gets a free pass; distributed via mainstream media so ironically “fair and balanced” that it almost becomes acceptable if and when phrased the right way. We even hear the Right toss around terms like “socialism” and “communism” while absurdly asserting the notion of corporate-run government disguised as a free democracy in yet another willful attempt to further demonize the nation’s first black president based on his race, faith, ancestry and moral belief systems that have nothing to do with either and everything to do with “Americanism.”
Racism – in all its forms – is very real in this country, and it is grossly irresponsible for anyone within the Right wing to suggest that it does not exist in their ranks. To say that Republicans do not “focus on Obama’s ethnic background” is drivel – a weak, contrived connotation manufactured in the typical, quick-jab style of the Right.