Bell, Black and Scandal

A lot of people on the right want to paint Obama up in the guise of an angry black radical. It’s what was behind the Reverend Wright smears of 2008, and now the ugliness is reemerging as Sean Hannity colludes with the postmortem minions of Breitbart to demonize Obama through his association with professor Derrick Bell, a man who dedicated his life to fighting racism.
I don’t see the point in this, except it’s to get the good white Christians’ panties in bunches by yelling, “Boo! A black man!” And not only that, he’s a radical. It’s like they’d love nothing more than to dig up a picture of Obama sitting on Huey Newton’s lap like a child requesting gifts from Santa.
But even if it was the case, and they found their holy grail, which would be something along lines of Obama smoking a bowl and pontificating on the harm colonialism has done to the world, then what would it mean? It’d only mean something to these goons because Obama’s black, but don’t call them racists. They take that about as well as Kevin Kline’s Otto takes being called stupid. If they actually found what they think they’re looking for, then all it would prove is that for a brief period in his late teens or early twenties, Obama wasn’t happy with the way of the world. Whoa! Stop the fucking presses for that scoop! A young disaffected man! I’d find it odd if Obama never was particularly angry about the system. I think he was, but he expressed his anger through erudition, and that’s another one of those things that gets the right wing lathered up in a frothy mix of outrage and horror… education is the road to elitist ruin! If everybody gets all book learning smart, then nobody’s gonna vote for the cavemen no more.
“Grr! Caveman mad!”
And that’s the base of their hysteria, at the base of their hysterical base: fear of educated minorities. Fear of any angry finger that might point to them as being culpable in a system rigged to benefit only them and their white kind. Why it’s enough to cause a bunch of kids in the late seventies to start dying their hair weird colors! And that’s another truth for the modern GOP; they’re stuck in 1979. Carter is on the way out, Reagan is coming in, riding his horse into town to clean up all this social unrest, and then we can all just relax and put on some Bing Crosby and pretend all this civil rights nonsense ever happened… But after the election of a black president, well, that’s never going to happen now, and they are freaking the radical fuck out.

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