Saturday, April 30, 2011

Afterbirthers Lingering, Racists Persisting, Apologists Weaseling . . .

Firstly, I love the neologism "Afterbirthers." It's a stunning image for people who are not exactly acting rationally human. People who can't let this shit go are clearly bloody messes.

Now on to the racism-related issues. But let me list my biases. Firstly, as a matter of intellectual argument, if not reality, I avoid false binary choices. In other words, I often find myself having to say, the correct answer's not necessarily (a) or (b.) Sometimes it's (c) -- all of the above.

And as another bias, I say it this way. I have played horse shoes. And I have played darts. When it comes to racism, I grade by horse shoe rules, not darts. In darts, you hit the right section of the board to get the point, and if you don't, you don't get the point. In horse shoes, close is close enough.

Taking that kind of grading to discussions about whether or not some thing or some person deserves the label racist, here's an example of how that works for me. Take for example when some GOP pol panders to the racist sentiments in the party, and makes what is essentially a race based attack on another, like "He ain't one of us. He ain't a proper American." Ya. I am not going to waste my time trying to figure out what is going on deep inside that asshole's cognitive processes. I just analyze the behavior, in using a racist dog-whistle, if not more obvious and odious racist messaging, and say, that's close enough. If one really doesn't believe that shit, but plays that shit, one should have to "own" that shit. Lie with the dogs, get fleas. All that. So as far as any politicians or pundits employing the rhetorical arguments of birtherism, I am tossing them in the racist box, under the close enough - own your shit theory.

Now let's take a look at the rank and file, the GOP base. And I will pull in the false binary argument, as there has been a lot of that shit in the press, on the net, floating among the commentariat, this week particularly. Firstly. There's a lot of white redneck resentment out there. Demographic projections say that the white population advantage will be lost by mid century(ish,) and folk who are not (based on the American cultural definition) white, Latinos, will be the biggest demographic block (never mind the nuances of divisions in the Latin/Hispanic world. Not germane to this discussion.) So they know their world is going to change, even if as a practical matter that might mostly mean the loss of a delusion. After all, to the people who actually run this nation and the world, us vs them is more about economics and class, rather than the stupidity of melanin and hair texture and eye color. But if all you got to be proud of is the stupidity of melanin and hair texture and eye color, the loss of enhanced social status (even if greatly if not mostly delusional,) losing that might seem to be losing a lot, indeed.

So that's the base line here. (That and the theme expressed in Bob Marley's "400 Years," and by that I mean American History.) And it is so easy to do an Us vs Them construct, and then embrace it, when one is doubly resentful not only because of loss of status, but also current economic worry. And once the race thing is there, it's there. It's not going anywhere.

So please people. Stop with the,"Gee they have other reasons to be persistent with this birtherism and afterbirtherism shit," bullshit argument. It's not either (a) or (b.) It's (c) -- all of the above.

To a resentful GOP-voting redneck, they might very well have a host of other reasons to hate on P. Obama. But you can't argue away the reality of P.Obama being an ethnic other, and the practical reality that if they can go there, as far as they can go there, they will go there. This is not nuanced, academic elite discussions of the minutiae of policy points, while sipping claret and nibbling on tiny Watercress Sandwiches with the crusts cut off, served on bone china. It's raw, nasty, emotional and irrational thinking and behaving. Never ignore the obvious.

And I suppose I should take a clearer whack at the apologists. I recently saw the clip of Dr. Phil on David Letterman's show, making a pathetic excuse for "He with the funny hair who will not me named." No Dr. Phil. The fact that people may say racist sounding shit without thinking, never mind specifically having as an intent to come across as or otherwise communicate a racist thought, is not an excuse from being a racist. Actually, it's prima facie evidence of being a racist. Particularly that whole doesn't even have to form specific intent part. That shows how deep that sickness runs, actually. What the fuck kinda Dr. are you? Are you a Dr. Laura kinda Dr.?

Anyway, that is all for now. But remember. Racism and White Resent-Driven Redneckism are pet peeves of mine. And that shit's not going away, well, not soon enough to suit me, at least.

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