Monday, October 27, 2008

"Why They Hate Obama: Miscegenation and Other Nightmares of the Racist Political Imagination"

Stephen Ducat has a nice meditation on the white racist's political mindset.  The article places the emphasis NOT on Obama's blackness, but on his mixed-race background:
The frank comments of unapologetic anti-Obama racists across the country have recently gained a wide national audience. As Ricky Thompson, a pipe fitter from Mobile, Alabama, told a New York Times reporter, "He's neither-nor. He's other. It's in the Bible. Come as one. Don't create other breeds." Another denizen of the GOP's "real America" shared his spiritual insights with the same interviewer. Glenn Reynolds, of Martinsdale, Virginia pointed out, "God taught the children of Israel not to intermarry." Such shameless declarations of prejudice reveal something obvious but easily overlooked: It is not Obama's blackness that disturbs these pious bigots, but his grayness.
After going through a brief history of the strict racial divisions in our society, their social, legal, political, psychological and religious roots, and why mixed-race people confound and particularly threaten white supremacy, he writes,
Thus, the very visibility of Barack Obama - let alone his candidacy for the most powerful and, before Bush, the most esteemed job in the world - creates a category crisis of epic proportions. He not only mouths a rhetoric of transcending division, but is himself a seamless genetic integration of what should be immiscible. The decent, God-fearing racist must be plagued by unanswerable questions: What is this incomprehensible mutation of badness and goodness? How can the same person contain that with which I identify and which I despise? What does that make me?
It is well worth a read. I hope you will take the time to check it out. Then, leave a comment, if you feel so moved...

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