Point of View Columns

Slipping (Further) Into Darkness

To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, the world will little note or remember Ted Nugent. This past his prime rock star has managed to cling to shreds of infamy and notoriety by hurling multiple insults and threats at President Obama. He has disappointed many by not following up on his promise to commit suicide if Barack Obama was reelected president and now he has decided to dive deeper into the sewer of racist calumny by calling the President of the United States “a half breed mongrel”.

It is always important to keep in mind that to be President of the United States one must be prepared to be the target of epic insults. George Washington was called “illiterate and unlearned” and Abraham Lincoln was likened to a baboon. So in looking at the cascade of insults that have been directed against Barack Obama an historical perspective is important.

That being said, one would have to be as innocent as a newborn to not discern the scruffy stain of racism that is a part of the Obama Insult Brigade’s weaponry. Early in the Obama Era Teapublican partisans and others felt so liberated in the so-called post-racial America that they carried around signs and posters with Barack Obama being depicted as a sub-mythical stereotypical savage with a bone through his nose.

Clearly some image consultancy consigned such obvious signs to the scrap heap, or at least to some place off camera. But the Confederate flags, the swastikas and the repeated references to President Obama as “not American” are all ladled from the same racist cesspool.

We should not spend a lot of time worrying about a has been like Ted Nugent. We should be worried that a leader of the Teapublican Party who aspires to be president – that would be Texas Senator Ted Cruz – has no problems with Ted Nugent’s remarks and continues to appear with him in public.

We should also be concerned that the spillover from these racist attacks can be seen on college campuses across this country, most recently at the University of Mississippi where some miscreants thought that it would be a good idea to hang a noose around the neck of a statue of James Meredith, the first black student at that school.

The point is that we are as far from a post racial America as we are from Mars. The point is that as long as racist language and racist behavior is tolerated and not shunned, as long as such behavior is embraced and not the proscribed, we will get to Mars sooner than we arrive at that post-racial America.

 

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