American Pie In The Sky . . . a la mode

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For a “post-racist” society, America certainly has a lot of overt and covert racial stuff on its mind, lately.  Personally, I think that the rumors of American Racism’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.  One black man taking up residence in the Oval Office may feel like an apocalyptic event to some but most evidence indicates that we’re not really any closer to a true “Kumbaya moment” than we we were in, say, 2007. 

Actually, the idea of “Post-racist America” is as screwy a fairy tale as “American Exceptionalism” or “America’s Christian Founding Fathers.”  And history provides plenty of examples of countries that embrace screwy fairy tales in their national mythos behaving very oddly before they go completely off the rails.  In most cases, screwy national fairy tales often arise as a moral justification for bad behavior and are designed to comfort the perpetrators and assuage their guilt. 

For example: of course it’s OK for Americans to kidnap people off foreign streets, ship them to other countries for imprisonment, torture them, deny them due process and keep them imprisoned for indefinite periods of time.  And the reason that it’s OK is because America has been designated by God [the Christian one] to lead the world’s people and keep them honest and pure and protected from evil. 

We are the Lancelot of Nations and things that are crimes if other mere mortals commit them are sanctioned and, indeed, sanctified by the God that chose us to run his planet.  We Americans are Exceptional!  And we know we are exceptional because we have more and better stuff than any other people.  We have nothing to learn or earn from the rest of the world and, whatever they have, they got it from us, one way or another

Furthermore, because that screwy fairy tale works so well for us, we have revised our history to reflect the source of our exceptionalism: Almighty God, of the King James Bible, who selected a few exemplary British gentleman to take ownership of the New World, annhilate the unexceptional original inhabitants and, henceforth, help themselves to whatever they needed to advance their sacred mission. 

It matters little to us, today, that the original Pilgrim settlers were as savagely and ingeniously intolerant of other religions as had been their own persecutors in the homeland.  Likewise, it is irrelevant that our Founding Fathers were in fact Deists, Freemasons and ardent secular evangelists of the Age of Reason.
 
We can totally forget that Thomas Jefferson would be described as an atheist, today.  That’s the same Thomas Jefferson who actually rewrote the New Testament by, in his words, excising all of the silly, supernatural stuff like miracles and resurrections and such and promoted it to the colonists as The Jefferson Bible.  Likewise forget that Washington only attended church services to keep Martha off his back and, nonetheless, refused to kneel or to take communion. 

Thomas Paine is famous for saying

I would not dare to so dishonor my Creator God by attaching His name to that book (the Bible).

and this gem:

One of the embarrassing problems for the early nineteenth-century champions of the Christian faith was that not one of the first six Presidents of the United States was an orthodox Christian.

And James Madison wondered, publicly:

What influence in fact have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of political tyrrany. In no instance have they been seen as the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate liberty, does not need the clergy.

Maybe I’m missing something but that just doesn’t sound like full-throated Christian crusaders bent on establishing a Christian Nation.  In fact, if these founding father types had wanted to do such a thing, why the heck didn’t they just do it?  They were making it up to suit themselves, so why confuse us all with the First Amendment Establishment Clause?

In the end it’s no matter, though, because Americans have never been shy about revising their own history and so it is that in the 21st century, finally, most Americans believe the screwy fairy tale about our Christian roots.

Which takes us to the most modern installment of our screwy fairy tales—the one about Post-Racist America.  From my observation of Americans who appear to be under the sway of this latest screwy fairy tale, the following are some of the characteristics of Post-Racist America:

- in post-racist America it is impossible to say or do anything that can be defined as racist.  If allegations of racism arise the offensive behavior was either not intended to be racist and therefore exempt from criticism or deliberately misconstrued by overly politically correct troglodytes just spoiling for a fight.

- in post-racist America funny racial jokes, posters, photos or mash-ups are simply funny stuff; if they seem racist to some, those people have no sense of humor, are uptight and racially hypersensitive and should get over themselves.

- in post-racist America, things like voter ID crusades and long waits at urban polling stations are not at all racially inspired, they are pure-hearted campaigns to stamp out voter fraud [that, statistically, doesn’t exist].

Now, I’m willing to admit that I might be somewhat cynical about all of this baggage.  But in support, or refutation of, the post-racist notion, allow me to simply list a few events that have occurred in Post-Racist America over the last couple of weeks, with a minimum of commentary, on my part.  Then, you be the judge—Post Racist or Not Quite There America.

On Wednesday, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) accused Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk (R) of proposing an “elitist white boy solution” to gang violence with his plan for the mass arrests of 18,000 gang members in Chicago.

Earlier, state Sen. Kirk told WFLD:

My top priority is to arrest the Gangster Disciple gang, which is 18,000 people. I would like a mass pickup of them and put them all in the Thomson Correctional Facility.

The senator proposed that federal agencies — like the ATF, DEA and FBI — work together to charge members of the gang with “drug dealing” and “murdering people, which is what they do.”

Rep. Rush reacted to that plan by insisting it was a “sensational, headline-grabbing, empty, simplistic, unworkable approach” and he told the Chicago Sun-Times that Kirk needed to “see the bigger picture” instead of proposing an “upper-middle-class, elitist white boy solution to a problem he knows nothing about.”

Shortly thereafter, Rep. Rush issued an apology for using racially freighted words in his reaction, but explained that his colleague’s “current plan does not include the option to create jobs, provide affordable and safe housing, quality health care and improve schools in urban areas, BUT certainly a plan to incarcerate 18,000 black men is elitist.”

Yesterday, board members of the Isle of Wight County, VA school district voted 4 to 1 to officially call for their colleague Herb DeGroft to step down over emails he sent this month from his board email account attacking first lady Michelle Obama. DeGroft was the only one who voted against the measure.

According to NBC12, one of the emails DeGroft sent to colleagues depicted bare-breasted, African female warriors along with the caption, “Michelle Obama’s high school reunion.” Another message claimed the first lady was paid $50 to model in National Geographic.

DeGroft has apologized and expressed regret for his involvement in the controversy, claiming that “there was no intention or motivation…to be inappropriate…discriminatory against anyone [my bold].”  But NBC12 reports that some school board members said they’ve been receiving similar emails from him since January 2012.

On Memorial Day, Miami-Dade Police says officers were forced to throw a beach-going 14-year-old to the ground and forcibly restrain him because of clenched fists and “dehumanizing stares,” as first reported by CBS Miami.

But Tremaine McMillian says he was merely walking along the beach on Memorial Day, feeding his puppy from a bottle, when police overreacted. Cell phone video shot by his mother shows the unarmed teen pressed to ground at Haulover Beach as one police officer holds his forearm across McMillian’s throat and another places him in handcuffs.

“How could I be clenching my fists when I was taking care of my puppy and giving him some milk with a bottle?” McMillian asked CBS.

McMillian was charged with a felony count of resisting arrest with violence and disorderly conduct, according to Miami New Times. His case is reportedly scheduled for trial in July.

An adorable Cheerios commercial featuring an interracial couple and their daughter generated such a strong racist backlash on YouTube that the comments section had to be closed.

Prior to the closure, the comment section had been filled “with references to Nazis, ‘troglodytes’ and ‘racial genocide,’” according to Adweek.

Commenters on the cereal’s Facebook page also said they found the commercial “disgusting” and that it made them “want to vomit.” Other hateful commenters expressed shock that a black father would stay with his family.

And then there’s Daily Caller’s short-lived Twitter faux pas in which some genius tweeted this:

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For those of you not as streetwise as the hip young post-racist honkies at Daily Caller, “HNIC” stands for Head N-word In Charge. 

That one was quickly pulled and replaced with a half-assed apology.

The whole dilemma about how we comport ourselves as Post-Racist Americans might just go away sooner than we thought because Phyllis Schlafly and the conservative, nonpartisan think tank Center for Immigration [teehee] have almost simultaneously come to the conclusion that it will NOT be necessary for the GOP to court “voters of color,” after all. 

Turns out, according to recently released 2010 census data, white voters without college degrees stayed home in larger numbers than other ethnic groups.  So, all Republicans have to do is get the critters to put down their assault rifles, sober up, gas up the truck and show up at the polls and there should still be plenty of white folks out there to float the GOP’s boat. 

The political calculus of the situation is—white voters without college degrees = likely Republican votes; Latinos on Path to Citizenship = likely Democratic voters—that would mean people like Marco Rubio will be able to hop off the Immigration Reform Plan bandwagon.  Pushing for immigration reform would only piss off those sleeper cells of white, low-info voters who are the GOP’s new secret weapon.

Oh yeah . . . and the good news just keeps on coming for the GOP . . .  America’s Biggest Loser, Mitt Romney, has promised to lend his support and electoral expertise to 2014 candidates looking for a mentor.  Isn’t that a little like getting Nero to tune up your fiddle . . . ?

Posted by Bette Noir on 05/31/13 at 02:07 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsBedwettersNuttersTeabaggery

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Just wait until Cheerios does a commercial featuring a family with a same-sex couple. YouTube’s gonna suffer a fuggin nuclear meltdown.

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