Tuesday, October 14, 2008

We have always been at war with [insert name of country here]

Many people will have seen this footage on TV but I've not yet seen anyone blogging about it (probably because I tend to confine myself to the Ozblogosphere) and it seems worth making a note of. In a clip I saw last night of one of the Republican rallies where McCain was obliged to go into hosing-down mode against his own rabidly racist and moronic supporters, who were explicitly calling for Barack Obama to be murdered, one woman who had the microphone and was speaking directly to McCain, who appeared to be wandering around freely in the crowd answering questions, said of Obama 'And ... and ... he's an Arab!'

The split-second expression on McCain's face was indescribable. You have to wonder whether whether he can think much faster than he looks as if he can and was merely deciding how to play it, or whether his answer was actually based on a sincere belief. 'No,' he said, biting the bullet. 'No, no. He's ... a decent family man.'

Got that? The opposite of "Arab" = "decent family man".

AFTERTHOUGHT: In a way this is even worse, but has anyone else noticed that apart from a few true diehards (and I use the word advisedly), people seem to have been genuinely not noticing that Obama is, in fact, black? The race anxiety appears to have been displaced onto the evil Ay-rabs. My dad, who is 81 and has therefore seen a fair amount of recent world history played out (and spent most of 1944 and 1945 on a corvette in the Pacific), is barracking (sorry) for Obama but says he simply can't see America voting in a black president when it comes right down to it. But I'm getting the impression that in putting pressure on the running 'Ay-rab terrist' sore, the Republicans have -- quite accidentally, I'm sure -- taken the racist focus off its other obvious target.


Misrule said...

Hi Kerryn,

Can I say how much I have been enjoying your blog lately?

Anyway, you probably don't need to watch this, but if you are interested, there's footage of interviews taken by a Democrat (living in Ohio) of supporters at a McCain-Palin rally. It's pretty chilling to see how willingly people are to believe the lies about Obama and how unwilling they are to examine the truth. Oh, and there's one guy who actually says it: "I've never voted for a black man and I'm not starting now."

Makes the Howard Haters look mighty tame! At least we didn't call for his head to be cut off...


Ampersand Duck said...

Yeah, I'm in total agreement with your dad, and it utterly depresses me. I just can't see the US getting over that basic hump, and the fact that many people see Obama as being alien in an 'Osama' way just makes it worse.

Mindy said...

I'm just hoping that most of them don't vote at all. They don't have to vote for a black man, as long as they don't vote McCain in, I'm happy. I'd be happier if they woke up to themselves, but that's pretty unlikely.

Feral Sparrowhawk said...

I can't agree with you on the displacement thing. Calling him an Arab is a way of attacking the fact that he is black without admitting that is what you are doing.

With the possible exception of some states that aren't in play anyway America has moved on to the point where event the racists can't admit they are being racist against blacks, so this is their way of dogwhistling.

If Obama was white but just had a funny name I don't think we'd be getting anything like these attacks (the Ayers thing is different, they'd throw that at any Democrat who looked like winning)

Bernice said...

I agree with Feral Sparrowhawk - the bigotry that dare not speak its name can quite happily hide behind the Ai-raby accusation and be just as comfortable in their Walmart terrorist-killing-our-boys prejudice as wandering about as Klansmen a decade or two ago.

But with everything crossed, it just may be that McCain is such a knucklehead, he will lose this election more than Obama wins it.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Yeah, I was just doing what I usually do and working out what I think by writing it down. I think what I meant was that at least the racist focus is off his blackness for the moment and that that is a Good Thing, the US population being what it is.