Why Can't Obama Be Less Divisive, Like That Nice White Boy Martin Luther King Jr.?
Donald Trump, who is somehow our president,said a racist thing last week. We will wait while you scoop your exploded brains back into your head.
It was so racist Fox News had to ask, "Is Donald Trump a racist?" And that is when Director of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen broke out in great red hives all over her chest. (Hat tip: this guy!)
— Ghoul (@GhoulOfficial) January 14, 2018
It was really something to watch!
You'll forgive the pedantry, but this construction has been nagging at me for a while. Is Trump "a racist"? If yes -- ifffff yes -- then those of us who are not as racist as Donald Trump are not "a racist." "A racist" is reserved for people who have actively
- Refused to rent apartments to black people so hard they got sued by the Nixon Justice Department.
- Called Mexican people "rapists," out loud.
- Called for the death penalty for black boys who had already been exonerated for a crime they'd been wrongly convicted of.
- Defended white supremacists in Charlottesville who chanted "Jews will not replace us" and then chased black guys into parking garages, where they did their level best to beat them to death, oh, and killed a woman, as "some very fine people."
- Pretended not to know whether David Duke was a bad hombre or not.
In this construction, you have to be a card-carrying member of the KKK -- or the president of the United States -- to be "a racist."
But we (and I am talking specifically to white people here) are all at least a little bit racist. We all have biases, implicit or explicit, and it's on us to be self-aware enough to catch ourselves when we see them and think, "well shit, that thing I was just thinking was kind of racist. I do not want to be an asshole dick, so I will do better."
If we reserve racist for the "a racist" among us, we don't have to look at the small and large actions we take and society takes that explicitly devalue an eighth of our population. I guess my solution would be to use "bigot" instead?
Last night we watched David Letterman talking with Barack Obama as his first guest on his Netflix show, "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction." And we wept, and we laughed, and Obama said clever funny things, and everybody in the giant theater where the show was recorded, and everyone at home, missed our intelligent, compassionate president fiercely, and grieved over what we lost. They did not call Donald Trump by name. They didn't have to.
Portions of the hour were spent by Letterman interviewing Rep. John Lewis on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where Lewis was beaten almost to death, and knew that surely he would die. You can see Lewis's heart almost burst from his chest with pride for Obama, his son.
The "news" that came out of the interview -- from an hour's talk -- was Barack Obama hating the First Amendment by saying if you watch Fox News, "you live on a different planet." Of course, the quote was compacted to leave out "than if you listen to NPR," which was a discussion of ideological information silos, about which there is nothing controversial at all. But there can't be an Obama story without a ginned-up controversy.
Here, for instance, is how Fox News lied about it:
And The Blaze:
And for the purposes of being fair and pointing out that BOTH SIDES are lazy and sensational sometimes, here is RawStory:
It is a sin to bear false witness.
Here is how the Obamas spent their last Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the White House:
— The Daily Edge (@TheDailyEdge) January 15, 2018
Obama spent his eight years doing his best to call upon our better angels while walking a pretty careful line regarding not offending white people by calling us racist. Even when he called out a white cop for arresting Professor Henry Louis Gates for breaking into his own home, after Professor Henry Louis Gates explained yeah he lived there, the president called the action "stupid" instead of pointing out that it was an assumption on the part of the officer -- and then a concomitant power trip the cop probably would have been less comfortable using against a late-middle-age well-off white guy -- that was racist as shit, even if the cop himself might not be "a racist." (And even if he likely is.)
And America still went batshit insane.
Spend an hour sometime today with our Only President -- you can find it on Netflix -- and spend some time thinking about being a better "white liberal" (talking again specifically to you, white liberals), in Dr. King's construction.
And that's all I've got to say about that.
For more, please read Fox News's important op-ed, "Really, Though, Was Martin Luther King Jr. Even Black?" just kidding, please don't read that.
Rebecca Schoenkopf is the owner, publisher, and editrix of Wonkette. She is a nice lady, SHUT UP YUH HUH. She is very tired with this fucking nonsense all of the time, and it would be terrific if you sent money to keep this bitch afloat. She is on maternity leave until 2033.