Wednesday, January 16, 2013

And now we're down to the racism

I've been thinking about what Peggy Noonan said on This Week ever since I saw the clip a few days ago.


You have to ask yourself what is the root of this anxiety/fear Noonan is talking about in all her unctuousness. Paul Krugman nailed it when he said that the reality of life in America is that its safer than its been in decades. So where is the fear coming from?

About the same time this discussion was happening, Colin Powell was answering that question.


America is changing. The "majority" will soon be a "minority." And not only that...the leader of the free world is an African American.

I have long thought that we are passing through a milestone in this country's long march towards "perfecting our union." History might not judge it as significant as the Civil War or the Civil Rights Movement, but it represents a critical stage in our development. A black man is no longer simply leading African Americans, he's leading the country. Moving from a stage where white people "granted" African Americans their freedom from slavery or their civil rights, we now in an era where white people are required to look black people in the eye with respect and equality - even be led by one. That's not going down real well for some folks.

Yesterday I ran across one of the most vile things I've ever seen on the internet. Its a Facebook page titled Christians Against Obama's Re-election (click through at your own risk). Sure its filled with all kinds of racist pot-shots at the President of the United States. But the main content appears to be anti-immigrant and pro-gun. This is from people who want to call themselves "Christian."
That's what the beast looks like in its death throes, folks. 

I don't for a minute think that people like that represent the majority of this country. As a matter of fact, I think they're even a smaller group than the one faced by Martin Luther King, Jr. As Ta-Nehisi Coates suggested, MLK stood his ground at the time - just as President Obama is doing today - with a kind of "good crazy."
Here is where Barack Obama and the civil rights leaders of old are joined -- in a shocking, almost certifiable faith in humanity, something that subsequent generations lost. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. may have led African Americans out of segregation, and he may have cured incalculable numbers of white racists, but more than all that, he believed that the lion's share of the population of this country would not support the rights of thugs to pummel people who just wanted to cross a bridge. King believed in white people, and when I was a younger, more callow man, that belief made me suck my teeth. I saw it as weakness and cowardice, a lack of faith in his own. But it was the opposite. King's belief in white people was the ultimate show of strength: He was willing to give his life on a bet that they were no different from the people who lived next door.
As our history shows us, this small group of fearful racists can do a lot of damage. We're seeing some of that unfold as the President begins to discuss a very courageous agenda on gun control today. So what should our response be to all of that? To have his back like we've never done before and to continue to believe in "good crazy."

8 comments:

  1. I wish the Peggy Noonans of the world would just say it. "We don't want to be lead by a Black Man because white people are superior." That's what at the bottom of racism, the belief in white supremacy. The belief that if a black man wants it...by its originating source its defective, less than...

    Somebody is gonna crack and say it out loud.

    jds09

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  2. This respect for the other side is at the core of Obama's political philosophy. You can see it in his dealings with Republicans. He may fundamentally disagree with what they say, but he also believes that the majority of Republicans are *not* bat-shit insane (even if a large minority of their representatives are). When he attempts rapproachment with the Republicans he is really reaching out his hand to *all* Republicans, not just the ones in Congress.

    The GOP leaders may have consistently slapped that hand away, but I think Obama has made a connection with a not insignificant number of Republican voters. And it is only when those voters actually start to push their party back off the ledge that this country will move forward.

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    1. I agree totally Chris. Its why I keep finding myself going back to Rev. Lowery's and Coates' thoughts about "good crazy."

      Every now and then, when I run across a site like the one I mentioned above, I find myself "sucking my teeth" about it - just as Coates talked about. But that's a recipe for joining in the fear rather than overcoming it.

      I'm eternally grateful to the men like MLK, Lowery and Obama who help me hang on to hope. If they can continue to believe in the goodness - after what they've been through - surely I can.

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    2. By assigning the Republicans--even the haters--dignity, the President preserves his own.

      It is a very powerful act of faith.

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    3. My Conservative Dad on PBO: "I can't help but like the guy."

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  3. Why do these conservative half wits keep showing up? "I am one of those feeling very strongly that, while the political in America is looking at the polls and looking at the storm coverage, Mitt Romney is very quietly stealing in and rising and cementing something that I think we'll see tomorrow night, which is a Romney victory. I think that's probably coming.

    You sort of feel it, you watch his rallies.... they're exciting, they're big, it's all together, something big's going on out there." That right there is political wiz Peggy. Now she's saying that crazy bigots aren't being crazy bigots. She needs to see somebody about that anxiety as well.

    I wonder what goes through Krugman's mind when he has to talk to the serious people. I'm guessing he gets a decent enough check.

    Vic78

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  4. The citizens of this great country have a message for Peggy and other conservative "intellectuals." http://youtu.be/QMFwFgG9NE8
    Not work safe

    Vic78

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  5. Noonan has taken a further step into Crazy Land with her latest article. She compares PBO's signature to Saint Ronnie's and concludes that a big signature = big government. Also, according to Noonan, PBO's signature shows he "thinks a lot of himself." Being black myself, I can accurately decode what Noonan is saying-that black man in the WH has no business being intelligent and confident in his abilities, the uppity n_ _er. Noonan has deified Reagan to the point where her recollections of whom/what he was have no connection to the historical record. She has completely forgotten he was deeply involved in using our media to spread his propaganda and would punish anyone who dared cross him in any way, and that he was a major player in the Iran-Contra Affair. IMO, the only reason Reagan avoided impeachment over I-C was because Oliver North volunteered to take the blame for the operation. Noonan really needs to get a life and let go of the Obama Derangement Syndrome that has invaded her brain.

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