It has been ugly out there ever since Barak Obama was sworn in as the President of the United States. You didn't have to look far for it. Now it is being shoveled right into our faces on a nearly daily basis.
After Clint Eastwood rambled on at the republican convention to an empty chair some conservative wits have taken a liking to that metaphor for the president. In Austin, Texas some guy hung an empty chair from a tree branch in his front lawn. In Centerville, Virginia another hung one from a tree near a park with a hand painted sign that said, "Nobama." Funny stuff right? Of course the symbolic lynching of the first African American president has nothing to do with racism, especially down south where the lynching of African Americans was once nearly as popular as football.
Tech News Daily is reporting a sharp spike in racist activity on social media outlets such as Facebook. It notes that a study done by Baylor University found wide spread racially stereotyped photo shopped depictions of the president doing things like wearing a flat billed baseball cap while eating fried chicken. Another shows him sporting a mouthful of gold teeth while asking, "where are the white wimmin?" A third portrays Mr. Obama as an African witch doctor wearing a necklace of skulls and sporting a large bone through his nose.
Mia Moody Ph D, who headed the study, pointed out that some groups on Facebook claim not to be racist, such as a bunch called, "I don't hate blacks, I just think Barak Obama is a terrible president" However despite the denial "I don't hate blacks.."
is chock full of bon mots such as, "Obama needs to step down and go back to Africa with the rest of the coons." Another post there claims, "He's nothing but a jigaboo and spear chucker." If those clods don't hate blacks, God only knows what they say about the people they do.
A quick glance at the comments section of the Tech News article provides a glimpse of the outrage felt by conservatives about such accusations. Most commenters believe the article was severely biased. As one person wrote, "Hate speech is defined as anyone who disagrees with Obama's policies. However the vast majority of racism I see on social networking sites is coming from the left." Another stated that he, "saw far worse when Bush was president. Far, far worse." Both authors failed to provide any examples, or proof of their statements. Well why muddy up the waters with such details?
It is an old conservative trick to play the martyr and wail about how they are persecuted by a vast leftist cabal. Yes, we're all just a bunch of poor white people suffering from discrimination ourselves. Hell, we even have to let black people eat in the same places we do now days.
Do I think, Mitt Romney and all republicans are racist? No, I don't. However they've attracted every closet and overt racist in the country to their cause. And now, thanks to places like Facebook, any loon with a home computer can spew his, or her bullshit out to millions of people without taking any sort of responsibility for it at all.
The election of Barak Obama has ripped apart the myth that racism is dead in this country. It has reared its ugly, lice ridden, head like some flesh eating zombie rising from the grave. Not that it was ever really gone. All you had to do to realize that was sit around a cigar store lounge with a bunch of other old white guys who assumed you thought just like they did and still do.
A democratic blogger down in Austin called the guy who lynched the empty chair and explained to him her concerns. His response was, "You can take it (her concerns) and go straight to hell and take Obama with you."
A year or so ago a fellow asked me, probably not rhetorically, "Where is Lee Harvey Oswald when we need him?"
Oswald is dead. Luckily, someday that gentleman will be too. Maybe then we can move forward and be done with all this hateful crap. America may be the home of the brave, but we'll never be the land of the free until we are.