"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." --Bishop Desmond Tutu

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Is the GOP attracting the ultra-radical-right fringe?

Let's face it, America. There are some people in this country who will never accept an African American as President. These are the overt racists who live among us. They are usually working-class whites who see their economic and social situation not in terms of class but in terms of race.

Rather than seek remedy for their disenfranchisement from the American Dream through their vote for change, they seek to blame others for their troubles. And not just others, but Others. People of color are the usual outlet for their venom. People who don't look like them. People who speak and act differently. The Other.

People hate Obama. This vitriol is starting to emerge at GOP rallies where shouts of "Terrorist" in response to Obama's name. Introductions of GOP candidates that use Obama's middle name (Hussein) just to emphasize the Otherness of Barack Obama when contrasted with "normal" white candidates like McCain or Palin.

This is all red-meat for the ultra-radical racist right who are looking for a leader to focus their hate. Apparently, they've found two in McCain & Palin.
Palin's routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric's questions for her "less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media." At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."
Will McCain or Palin denounce these actions on the part of their supporters? Or will McCain smirk and Palin wink and move along as if nothing happened?

I suspect that we'll have to endure more and more of this hate-speech until the election (and probably beyond it a bit as well). But, as Winston Churchill observed,
"If you're going through hell, keep going."
28 days of hell left to go.

UPDATE: Over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars, Ed Brayton writes about the emergence of Neo-Nazis as Republican precinct delegates. Yikes!

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