Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

No Racists Here, Nosirree

Obviously not everyone on the right opposed to Obama, and health care reform specifically, is a racist. But it's ridiculous to pretend that some of the furor over Obama – particularly all the Muslim-Kenya-birth certificate stuff – doesn't have a racist tinge. And come on, what reasonable person could possibly view this as racist:

Or this:

Then there's this, this, this and this - in addition to other irresponsible charges.

The photo below is from February 2009, but just made the news. It's of teabagger Dale Robertson in Houston:

This comes via Digby, who has more.

This sign reminds me of an old Atlantic article that argued that the existence of slavery in colonial America leading up to the Revolution played an important role in the Founding Fathers' mentality and rhetoric. The writer contended that the Founding Fathers were basically saying, 'We don't want to be, don't deserve to be, treated like that.' I'm reminded as well of a middle-aged white guy in Tampa I met who once stunningly complained, "Everyone's treating me like I'm their nigger." I'm guessing that's the sense Dale Robertson was going for with his sign – and also guessing that he'd protest, of course it isn't racist.

He might also protest that his sign's not misspelled - that's just how the word is said in a Southern drawl.


Suzan said...


You've blown my hair back, friend.

I don't know anyone in the South who would dare say anything like that or act in that way anymore. Granted, it's been a while since I saw anyone anywhere like that, but still. I wonder if these people aren't paid actors working for tips from the rich bosses.

And no, I am not that naive.


Batocchio said...

It was back in 1998. That same year, we ran into a woman in Georgia who didn't want any black people staying in her motel, which was even more shocking. When it comes to language, some people just don't think about it – a friend of mine just moved to fairly rural South Carolina and was telling me people use "Jew him down" with no reflection. I don't like the South as a whole being stereotyped as racist or bigoted, at least when it's also implied (or outright stated, sanctimoniously) that other states aren't. Big city or educated, versus stuck in an insular small town, can make a bigger difference – I saw a fair amount of racism in Maine when I was living and working there in the 90s. (Big cities see their own bigotries, of course, even if the flavor is different). That said, region does play a role, and some regions show trends. There's that post-election map that showed that conservatism and GOP voting is on the rise – but only in the South in the old Confederacy.

Comrade Kevin said...

Unfortunately the South feels has a combination persecution/inferiority complex that binds it together in ways that aren't always healthy. From someone who grew up there and spent most of his life, I know this better than most.