Saturday, August 21, 2010

the thought that dare not know its name

i keep wondering about the upsurge of conservative hate, which seems more prevalent, or larger, or more acceptable than it's been in past years.  i've lived through the civil rights movement, the vietnam war, the birth of the 2nd wave of feminism and of the stonewall-inspired gay rights movement.  i've lived through the 2 presidencies of george w. bush.  i've been pretty attuned to the hostility of the right against all sorts of things.  but nothing prepared me for the open lies and the cruel small-mindedness of the recent right wing. it seems like in the bad old days, unless you were Bull Conner in  the 1950s south, you muted the ugliest of your hates and you attempted to lie with some degree of subtlety.

rachel maddow recently noted that by today's standards, dwight eisenhower would be seen as a liberal.

everywhere you turn, it's hitting at you. legislating bigotry against arizona hispanics, so that american-born citizens must carry proof of citizenship wherever they go, if their ethnic origins are hispanic. so that the claim of gay citizens to marriage is knocked down by people who, ironically, are self-described as ''pro-marriage.'  so that a church calls for a 'koran-burning day,' while a debate about the right of muslims to build mosques is carried on around the country.  so that a serious political candidate can proclaim that he deserves to win because he's 'the only one not wearing high heels.'  so that roe v. wade is being dangerously threatened by, among others, conservative women who use feminist rhetoric in their self-descriptions. and a talk show host nearly gets away with  reciting a litany of 'nigger' on the air, and resigns because her 'freedom of speech' is being curbed.

[yes, i used the word. it's an ugly, hateful word and in this context, it needs to be named. i promise not to repeat it 10 times, or even once.]

and what i don't want to face, but seems increasingly clear, is that it is very much connected to one of the proudest moments of our history:  the election of a president who is black.  as a country, we showed that we were capable of voting on the issues, on the best candidate, regardless of skin color.  that he has failed to be the messiah may be a cause of disappointment for some of us, and his liberalism, however mild, displeases others,  is not enough in itself to trigger this extreme venom.

the almost obligatory need for right wing talk show hosts and their cronies to seize on the word 'racism,' turning its meaning around, using it as  a word describing perceived black attitudes towards whites, is telling.  racism is exactly what's happening--real racism, not this perverse invention of the right.  one of those n-folks has gotten into the white house, and [whatever he has said on any related issues] has brought with him all his devils--homosexuals, muslims, mexicans, liberals, africans, lazy unemployed people,  enemies of big business, exaggerators of dangers to the planet, and lord-knows-who-else.

the lies about obama are many and strange--and all rooted in the great lie.  what other president has been accused of, literally, not being american?  this lie, with all its absurdity, echoes the underlying wishful thinking of many americans.  it's not because his family traveled to different countries, in any of which he might have been, but was not, born.  don't you get it? the n-people can't be real americans.  even one whose  mother is white, who is himself more intelligent than probably 9/10th of all of us, regardless of race.  maybe even because he's more intelligent than 9/10th of us. we won't get any minstrel show from this guy.  we won't get any uncle-tom shenanigans.  we won't even get displays of anger against whites, so we could dismiss him as some sort of hostile militant.

all they can do is lash out, lying, attacking all 'foreigners,' real or imagined; all liberals who would vote a black man into the presidency.   it's sickening, it's pathetic, it's tragic. and it's dangerous.

say it isn't so......

1 comment:

Ken G. said...

It absolutely terrifies me. To the core.