Hating a Black President Isn’t Necessarily Racist

It Might Be Coincidental to Your Hatred of Him That He Is Black. But All of the Following Expressions of Hatred of Him Are Clearly Racist—and If You Don’t Think So, You Are Either a Racist or the Word “Racist” Has Lost All Meaning

The recent controversy surrounding the caricaturing of President Obama by a rodeo clown at the Missouri State Fair cannot be considered in isolation.

We are almost a year beyond President Obama’s re-election to a second term, and yet when he spoke recently at an Amazon.com facility in Arizona, Far-Right protesters gathered outside and made a spectacle of themselves in their efforts to deride him. The following account is provided by the Daily Kos:

“Obama foes at one point sang, ‘Bye Bye Black Sheep,’ a derogatory reference to the president’s skin color, while protesters like Deanne Bartram raised a sign saying, ‘Impeach the Half-White Muslim!’

“Many on both sides wore red, white and blue and carried small flags.

“‘He needs to go back to where he came from because obviously, he is a liar,’ Bartram said. ‘I am not racist. I am part Indian. Obama’s half Black, half White.’

“‘He’s 47 percent Negro,’ shouted Ron Enderle, a 77-year-old Chandler resident, who said that he and his son served as Marines and his grandson is currently serving in the Marines.

“’We have gone back so many years,’ Bartram said. ‘He’s divided all the races. I hate him for that.’”

Juxtapose that rancid illogic with the Congressman Steve King’s attempts to minimize the offensiveness of the rodeo clown by addressing it in a tweet as if it were simply being misclassified and overblown as a racial insult—as if it were not a vicious and indefensible demonstration of disrespect for the president:

“Mr. President: Invite the rodeo clown 2 the White House 4 a beer summit. Take the temperature down, have a laugh, relax. It’s not about race.”

King is, of course, an absolute buffoon, a disgrace even to the widely derided Congress in which he serves. But you don’t have to take my word for it. If you haven’t seen the rodeo clown, look at the following still taken from a video and then the same image with a summary of the rodeo clown’s “act” and the public-address announcer’s commentary superimposed next to the image. Then decide for yourself if anyone with a shred of sense or decency would suggest that the president should invite the rodeo clown to the White House for a beer.

Obama as a Rodeo Clown

Obama as a Rodeo Clown, with Text

The GOP cannot keep claiming that these kinds of incidents are simply a reflection of the hyper-partisanship of some at the fringes of the party. What follows are a series of posters that were seen at rallies and posted on anti-Obama websites throughout the last two presidential elections. They continue to appear on Far-Right websites and in e-mails, and they continue to stoke a visceral hatred for this president–who, ironically, has been much more centrist and has tried to be much more bi-partisan than most progressives–and some political realists–clearly would have hoped that he might be.

Obama Is a Muslim 16

Obama Is a Muslim 01

Obama Is a Muslim 05

Obama Is a Muslim 03

Obama Is a Muslim 02


Obama Is a Muslim 19

Obama Is a Muslim 20

Obama Is a Muslim 06

Obama Is a Muslim 08

Obama Is a Muslim 07

Obama Is a Muslim 09

Obama Is a Muslim 18

Obama Is a Muslim 17

Obama Is a Muslim 10

Obama Is a Muslim 12

Obama Is a Muslim 13

Obama Is a Muslim 14

Obama Is a Muslim 15

That most progressives and moderates will not have seen most of these posters represents, I think, a major failure on the part of the mainstream news media, which in the name of “objectivity” has simply failed to report on the increasing virulence of extremist ideologies on the Far Right and, therefore, have soft-pedaled their increasing influence on and, worse, acceptance by the “mainstream” of the GOP.

In response to these assertions, I am certain that some in the GOP would wish to counter that there are plenty of extremists on the Far Left as well. In that case, my response would be that, by all means, we should expose extremists on both sides for what they are.

But I am very confident that I can find plenty of evidence that, at least at this historical moment, the extremists on the Far Right are more numerous, more visible and more vocal, and more insidious than those on the Far Left.

6 thoughts on “Hating a Black President Isn’t Necessarily Racist

  1. Pingback: So the Haters Are Now Worried about Hate Speech | Academe Blog

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