WHAT do you get when you combine the worst economic downturn since the Depression with the first black president? A surge of white racial resentment, loosely disguised as a populist revolt.
An article on the Fox News Web site has put forth the theory that health reform is a stealth version of reparations for slavery: whites will foot the bill and, by some undisclosed mechanism, blacks will get all the care. President Obama, in such fantasies, is a dictator and, in one image circulated among the anti-tax, anti-health reform "tea parties," he is depicted as a befeathered African witch doctor with little tusks coming out of his nostrils.
When you're going down, as the white middle class has been doing for several years now, it's all too easy to imagine that it's because someone else is climbing up over your back.
via Barbara Ehrenreich's editorial at www.nytimes.com
I'm sure you know that I would read Barbara Ehrenreich's grocery lists, I'm such a devotee of hers. But this is a particularly trenchant piece, that would never have been printed in the New York Times except that they are impressed with her celebrity.
But BE's fame isn't the point... it's what she has to say. I feel like we're living in some kind of Civil War reenactment. This country is determined to cling to its violent slave/master mentality no matter if it rockets us right back to the Stone Age.
What's so odd about Obama is the "window dressing." The VOTE that put him in office was progressive, truly thrilling. That's the grass roots spirit that's missing now.
"His party" turned their back on the dispossessed the people who MAKE things instead of BREAK things they embraced Wall Street and adopted the spirit of noblesse oblige. That's the "health reform" we're getting... "I wonder how the poor people are doing today? Would they like a stick of gum?"
It's a slap in the face to everything his street supporters fought for. I didn't want a king, I wanted a democracy.
I will always defend Obama against the racists, as I did for Hillary against the misogynists, and so on. But it's a distraction, and a painful one at that.
These leaders are not my allies, economically, intellectually, or morally they're gilded spokesmodels for a corporate elite that dangles them like a cat toy over the public square. The little aristocrats. I just don't know how much more sucker bait I can stomach.