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As opposed to cold water...

My goal isn't to shock or start a war, or even, necessarily, to grab a lot of attention. I've just been thinking about Barack Obama, race, and the current recc'd diary claiming Lady Dowd hit a home-run with her profound analysis of impeachment motivation.

Of course her premise is that many for impeachment want it because they are racists.

I think she's wrong, and I think the diarist is wrong for promoting her lazy thinking.

So here it goes.

First of all, I would never argue that this is not a country infested with racism. It's constituent to the fiber of the United States, which is why it's been so difficult to get rid of. The American strain of racism is particularly impressive in that it so strongly persists even as Americans, for the most part unanimously, agree that racism is not just wrong, but evil.

As a result, modern American racism usually manifests behind thick layers of makeup. Today's racism most often comes in the garish form of ugly.

But... The millions of racists that slather themselves in makeup have succeeded in one respect: They have managed to convince themselves they are pretty. They don't see the garish. And when you point it out, they are hurt and offended and don't believe you.

Which brings me back to the Dowd column. She says the lean toward Obama's impeachment, for many, is driven by the color of his skin.

That, I think, is bullshit.

I lived through the nineties. The folks that want to impeach Obama hate Democrats. They did it to Clinton, and if we elect Casper the Friendly Ghost in 2016, they'll do it to him too.

That doesn't mean these folks aren't slathered in garish racism. Many of them are.

But suggesting that they are pro-impeachment because they can't stand the idea of a black boss in the White House does them a favor. It concentrates and unites their tribe and allows them to rally behind the victim/persecution flag. They'll trot out Niger Innis or Alan West or Tim Scott or Clarence Thomas to ^prove^ they aren't racist. And then we're off: This just shows what elites think of the flyovers, blah, blah, blah....

Don't give them that.

There are a lot of ways to get people thinking about their own racism without resorting to crude and falsifiable broad strokes.

The fact that the right wing is in an uproar over a run-of-the-mill murder in Oklahoma... The fact that Ed Henry asked the stupidest fucking question ever at a White House press briefing and the (white) press spokesperson couldn't remember the reason the question was so fucking stupid... Well, that's a pretty good place to start talking about how quickly white folks are to flush racism out of our memories. That's a race conversation with a chance of generating a productive "Aha! I see what you mean..." moment.

But "They just want to impeach the president because he's black and they're racist"?

C'mon... That's lazy, overly simplified, easily refuted, counterproductive, and a waste of time. Do better.


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Comment Preferences

  •  AH but that kind of thinking is (0+ / 0-)

    too hard. And it involves nuance. It's not binary, too hard, make people's brains hurt.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 01:43:39 PM PDT

  •  As much as they hated Bill Clinton... (0+ / 0-)

    ...they never even raised a shadow of a doubt that he was a natural-born citizen of the United States, or made endless demands that he show more and more proof he was born in the US.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 02:19:07 PM PDT

    •  You're missing the point (0+ / 0-)

      The birth certificate was what was available, so they used it.

      With Clinton, it was Whitewater, the travel office, an airport in Mena, and Vince Foster. Google "Clinton Chronicles".

      The point you are missing is that any Democrat will be subject to the worst kind of undermining scandal-mongering and calls for impeachment.

      I'd add this too: many Democrats went along with the attacks on Clinton. See Joe Lieberman. You don't see that so much with Obama.

  •  Nixon's impeachment has given the Republicans (0+ / 0-)

    a lust for revenge, so I expect we will be hearing about impeachment from some decades to come.

    Let's face it when you think back over the last centruy who are the great Presidents, FDR, Eisenwhower (he did play golf though his entire second term though) JFK, and LBJ.  It's kind of Democratic Party Heavy.

    They think somehow impeaching and Dim POTUS will even things up in the eyes of history.  It won't when it is a bogus as Clinton's debacle.   Just the opposite actually.  

    It is the same mentality the keeps a constant level or war in the mideast and feeds the  terrorists forever.  Every blow struck against you must be avenged even though the return blow requires you to seek revenge, which requires revenge....

    That those who call for the impeachment can't even hint as what any article of impeachment would be based on is proof positive that they are just keeping their drooling masses will spittled up.  

    If no actually ligit impeachment can be put together in the next year or two look for true hysteria to set in.

    They are going to look idiotic in the eyes of history and liars in the eyes of their base if they can't act on all the threats and promises.

  •  Please link the diary you are refuting. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 11:08:29 PM PDT

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