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View Diary: Ben Stein: "If Obama had been Martin, he would have talked Zimmerman out of his watch and wallet." (193 comments)

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  •  I'm just uncomfortable with this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil

    for so many reasons, some of which I feel uncomfortable even going into.

    The Ben Stein thing is unbelievably atrocious. That's the first thing, and I wouldn't even know where to begin as to how to wade through/take apart the truly noxious racism there. I think I actually prefer Limbaugh--at least he doesn't make a pretense of intellectualism.

    The basic comparison of Obama to Trayvon makes me uncomfortable itself, though I think POTUS made it in good faith and I see what he meant--that there was a time in his life when he could have been Trayvon.

    But the main thing about Trayvon was that he was unprotected. When this guy came at him with a gun there was no recourse for him. Hell, when he decided to get out of his car so the "punk" wouldn't get away, it was all over for Trayvon. No recourse.

    I feel uncomfortable comparing Trayvon to anybody who's in a position of power with lots of guys with guns protecting them. Not because I don't want the President of the United States to have that protection--I absolutely do. But the central fact of Trayvon's death was that there was no protection anywhere for him. And that fact continued to be in evidence after his death. Because justice is a way of saying "There should have been protection. You should not have died." Not providing justice is the after-death corollary to not providing protection. And it's the way in which not providing protection gets reinforced, and spreads (why should any new Zimmermans hold back, now?)

    Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:03:30 AM PDT

    •  I do not get your last paragraph (0+ / 0-)

      Why on earth do you feel uncomfortable, other than you are inappropriately trying to compare the circumstances of a teen Trayvon and an adult President Obama? The comparison, which you already note, is that "at one time" a teen Barry, walking through an unfamiliar neighborhood, would have been just as suspect (and had as little recourse) as did the teen Trayvon.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:34:01 AM PDT

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      •  Yeah, that's what I said. (1+ / 0-)
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        Tonedevil

        I'm comfortable, just fine in fact, with comparing a teenaged Obama to a teenaged Trayvon.

        Do you think that's what Ben Stein was doing? Doesn't sound like it to me.

        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:40:10 AM PDT

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      •  Like I said: I think POTUS made comparison (0+ / 0-)

        in good faith (there are lots of things I criticize Obama about; this isn't one of them).

        I am not sure about this, um, recap of what Obama said. Because it sounds to me like the Obama that would have "talked him out of his gun and his wallet" is the Obama of right now whom Stein is imagining into the situation, in a way that makes me mondo uncomfortable.

        I'm not just uncomfortable b/c of the racism of Stein saying that about Obama. I'm uncomfortable with the way Stein identifies Obama with Trayvon, which strikes me as a subtle but pretty nasty twisting of what Obama actually said.

        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:43:32 AM PDT

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        •  I think Stein is referring to the teen Obama (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil

          He's taking a position, common on the right (and to some on the left), that Obama has always been a smooth talking con artist. Of course, that's hard to square with the other common view (pretty exclusive to the right) that he's hopelessly stupid and was an affirmative action student all the way through law school.

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:47:16 AM PDT

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          •  I thought he was thinking of Obama the (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Catte Nappe, Tonedevil

            politician and public figure from right now. The resentment of Obama's persuasive ability and oratory/ability with rhetoric feels pretty palpable to me.

            But whatever, YMMV. Like I said in my original comment, it's difficult to disentangle the strands of this noxious stew.

            Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:56:49 AM PDT

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            •  Why I saw it the way I did (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SouthernLiberalinMD

              Stein's own words say he's thinking of a teen Obama.

              talked Zimmerman out of his watch and his wallet and then gotten a scholarship to college for writing about it

              “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

              by Catte Nappe on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:35:16 AM PDT

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              •  Because ALL black teens are thieves, sez Stein. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Catte Nappe

                Yup. Totally not-racist, Ben.

                Thank God, the Bob Fosse Kid is here! - Colin Mochrie

                by gardnerhill on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 11:20:51 AM PDT

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              •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Catte Nappe

                So the resentment here is actually that the President ever got a college education in the first place.

                I think the common thread btw what I was perceiving and what you were perceiving is resentment of a black man's access to mainstream power, particularly power associated with language (the imagined youthful Obama talks Z. out of his watch, etc; he writes about it to get into college).  This access to mainstream power and upward mobility through language is defined as theft, the taking of Z's wallet and watch, because Obama, unlike Trayvon, is the cleverer version of the young black man--the one who can bamboozle the white man out of his property. And of course mainstream power and the things you get through upward mobility are part of that property.

                I could pull it apart further but I don't want to spend any more of my energy thinking about Ben Stein.

                Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 11:53:57 AM PDT

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