Posted by: tazlmo | October 15, 2008

Race, Fear, Rhetoric and Election 2008

 

I have been following  election 2008 since the primaries and have noticed a serious undercurrent of racial tension expressed through euphemisms, rhetoric and fear mongering.  This tension has increased in recent weeks with the false rhetoric being spewed at Republican rallies by McCain and his VP pick Sarah Palin, but it began early during the primaries and went mostly ignored by most mainstream media outlets.

 

In the primary race when Reverend Wright became a national topic discussed on every cable news program, he was used to raise questions regarding Obama’s judgment. It became apparent  that people in the media were actually reacting to the expressive nature of a black church, rather than to any true equivocations over Obama’s decision making ability.  Few white people have ever attended a black church, and this first look into a progressive black church scared white conservatives and media members alike.

 

The obvious racism inherent in the universal outrage over Rev. Wright was further illustrated by the tepid and complacent responses to McCain’s spiritual advisors, John Hagee and Rod Parsley, both of whom have extreme evangelistic political views and opinions that are far more outrageous than any Reverend Wright ever espoused.

 

Pastor John Hagee once called the Catholic Church “the great whore,” equated Hitler to a righteous hunter carrying out Gods will, and suggested that hurricane Katrina was God’s retribution for New Orleans planning a Gay pride parade.  Hagee also wrote, in his book What Every Man Wants in a WomanDo you know the difference between a woman with PMS and a snarling Doberman pinscher? The answer is lipstick. Do you know the difference between a terrorist and a woman with PMS? You can negotiate with a terrorist.”  Can you imagine the outcry if Rev. Wright ever uttered such insulting sexist rhetoric?

 

Rod Parsley is so far off the beam that he insists Islam was founded by a demon, and that America has a divine mandate to destroy the evil religion. Parsley also suggests that AIDS and HIV are the product of “Gay sexuality…” which “… inevitably involves brutal physical abusiveness and the unnatural imposition of alien substances into internal organs, orally and anally, that inevitably suppress the immune system and heighten susceptibility to disease.”  Parsley fails to site any reliable medical reference to back these beliefs or to provide any explanation for the large number of heterosexuals with AIDS and HIV.  Parsley continually quotes discredited studies to suggest that Lesbians and Gays in America have unusually short life spans, that homosexuality is more dangerous than smoking, and mistakenly attributes 60 percent of all syphilis cases in America to gays. 

 

The reason we do not hear more about these outrageous statements in the mainstream media is that they are somewhat familiar to the any white person who ever attended a Pentecostal Christian church.  Scary hateful rhetoric spewed by white evangelical preachers is familiar and expected, and does not garner the attention of mainstream media outlets.  This was demonstrated most recently when video of Sarah Palin being blessed by a “witch doctor” was released on the net, and few mainstream media sources even carried the story.  I call the practitioner a witch doctor by the way,  because he was exorcising witch craft from Palin, not because he happened to be black.

 

In all fairness I must mention that McCain dismissed Hagee’s support early in the election process but, sadly, still counts Rod Parsley one of his personal spiritual advisors.

 

We saw racism rear its head again, when conservatives responded to Palin’s pregnant teenage daughter by suggesting Palin was a wonderful conservative mother for supporting her child’s illegitimate condition.  They lauded Palin’s parenting skills and suggested that the girl’s pregnancy was proof of Palin’s conservative credentials.

 

Imagine if you would how those same conservatives would respond if Obama had a pregnant unmarried black teenage daughter.   We can imagine the outcry over his judgment as a parent, and over the teenage girl’s irresponsibility for getting herself in that condition.  We’d probably hear complaints that Michelle Obama had failed to supervise her child appropriately because she was too career oriented, and the outcry over another pregnant black teenager would almost certainly be universally critical. 

 

It is not hard to imagine the negative response a black pregnant teenager would evoke when we consider that most critics of welfare programs incorrectly blame single black mothers for being the average recipient of public assistance programs (AFDC) when studies indicate the number of whites on AFDC is always higher.

 

Recently we have seen Republicans use deceptive rhetoric and code words like “character” to evoke racist response among their followers.  It was at a rally in New Mexico, when John McCain asked “who is Barack Obama” that a supporter yelled out “kill him.” Sarah Palin has repeatedly whipped crowds into frenzied shouts of “treason” and other invectives by suggesting, falsely, that Obama pals around with terrorists.   At one heated rally audience members verbally attacked a black cameraman working for a local media outlet, by ominously telling him to “sit down, boy.”   Rally goers in Ohio, when asked if Obama was a terrorist, responded that Obama had the name and the “blood lines” to suggest he could be a terrorist.

 

While McCain asked his followers to tone down the rhetoric, his campaign is still releasing ads evoking racial fear responses and hatred by tying Obama to terrorists or suggesting he is “foreign” and unknowable. It is apparent that racial tension is still an effective weapon in the political arsenal of the Republican Party, and they are attempting to use that weapon to affect the outcome of this election.

 

According to veteran civil rights activist Congressman John Lewis, Republican John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin are  “sowing the seeds of hatred and division” which  remind him of the segregationist era tactics of Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who incited violent responses to his race baiting rhetoric.  What is even sadder is that most of the mainstream media, and many white Americans will fail to recognize the racist rhetoric employed by McCain and Palin for what it is; Pure unequivocal opportunistic racism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources: Mother Jones, McCain’s Spiritual Guide: Destroy Islam, David Corn, March 12, 2008. Open Left, Top 10 Outrageous Quotes From McCain’s Spiritual Advisers, Katie Halper, May 01, 2008 Think Progress, McCain Spiritual Advisor, Allah was a Demon Spirit, Amanda Terkel,March 12, 2008. The Huffington Post, McCain Backer Hagee Said Hitler Was Fulfilling God’s Will (AUDIO), Sam Stein, May 21, 2008.  The Huffington Post, John Hagee’s McCain Endorsement Sparks Uproar, February 29, 2008 Department of Health and Human Services, Indicators of Welfare Dependence, 1997.  Liberalism Resurgent, People on Welfare, Steve Kangas, editor. Reuters, Congressman says McCain sowing ‘seeds of hatred’, Matt Spetalnick, Oct 13, 2008.

 

 

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Responses

  1. The Republicans embracing bigotry? No way! It isn’t llike they have been impicately embracing it since 1964- nope, no way. Or that part of their platform is based on hate and legal inequality…

    Honestly, the Republicans mirror their constituency… which I find disturbing on so many levels. I’m curious how many are true believers and how many just are along for the ride.

  2. Yes, I find the racism espoused by republican voters extremely disturbing, as well. I hope the majority of them are just spouting off rather than truly embracing bigotry, but I am a natural skeptic.

  3. GREETINGS AND BLESSINGS!!!,

    What’s even more RIDICULOUS IS THE NOTION THAT BLACK JUDEO CHRISTIAN CHURCHES ARE EVEN THE ISSUE!!!! The TRUTH IS England ABOLISHED SLAVERY IN 1761 WHEN DISCOVERED THAT UNDER GOD,”I AM THE MAKER OF THE RICH AND THE POOR,AND ALL ARE GATHERED UNTO ME!!!”. EVEN the english throne saw “THE TRUTH” HERE AS,”NO Man CAN OWN ANOTHER WHEN GOD IS THE MAKER OF US ALL!!!” In the 21st century,who could imagine that We would still have these sosrts of issues,with global warming(IT’S TRUE!), disease and famine literally gnawing Our Lives to shreads!!!!! Racism IS ABSOLUTELY FARSICAL CONSIDERING NONE OF Us LOOK THE SAME, TALK THE SAME OR ACT THE SAME!!!! IT’S ABSOLUTELY ASTOUNDING THAT NO ONE HAS FIGURED OUT THAT THE LORD IS A LOVER OF VARIETY! As politicans,WITH THEIR OWN ADGENDAS,NONE IS TRULY BETTER THAN THE OTHER BUT,EXAMINE EACH AS THEIR OWN Man and there You’ll FIND THE RIGHT VOTE!!!!! For Yourself AND Your COUNTRY AND Your Planet. ALWAYS IN PEACE AND LOVE,

    Tony Montana225!!!


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