Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Obama's "starting a race war"?

Regular readers of this blog would have noticed that I've written a few posts on Barack Obama. And it's not because I'm totally on his jock. Well okay, I am a little bit. But primarily I focus a lot on the O Man because this is a blog about culture, diversity, race and all that sort of stuff. And the varying reactions to Obama's presidency tell you a whole lot about where the Western World is at when it comes to those things.

If his election was a sign that the US has come a long way on matters of race, the way many people have responded to it shows that there is still a long way to go. In real terms, Obama being POTUS has not radically changed things in the struggles of black people and minorities. But for many conservatives, having a swarthy foreign-sounding guy in the top job is the end of the world as we know it. Obama is a kind of lightning rod for all the insecurities and contempt that some white people have about non-whites.

To Australia now, and evidence that despite his broad appeal throughout the world, pockets of rabid anti-Obama paranoia do exist here. Herald-Sun editor and columnist Andrew Bolt has never hidden his distaste for Obama, but the title of this post is surprising in it's no-holds-barred sensationalism:

Obama plans a race war

Yes, you saw that right. The heading of this article comes not from a white supremacist website, or from some far-right paramilitary group. It is from the flagship columnist at one of Australia's major newspapers.

Barack Obama appeals to two races to help fight the males of a third:

In the video message to his supporters, Obama said his administration’s success depends on the outcome of this fall’s elections and warned that if Republicans regain control of Congress, they could “undo all that we have accomplished.”

“This year, the stakes are higher than ever,” he said, according to a transcript of his remarks provided by Democratic officials. “It will be up to each of you to make sure that young people, African Americans, Latinos and women who powered our victory in 2008 stand together once again...”


How would it have played in the media had George Bush appealed to “whites to stand together once again” in the next election?


Here is the actual video message. If you can spot the bit where he talks of his planned race war, you are a smarter person than me.


Of course, when heard in context it is clear that he is talking about the many people for whom the 2008 election was their first real involvement in the voting process, inspired by the Obama campaign. And they were largely young people, women, Latinos and African Americans.

But since Bolt and his army of rabid rightist followers are terrified by anything that doesn't specifically uphold the white males dominance, that translates as "race war".


Bolt's question "How would it have played in the media had George Bush appealed to 'whites to stand together once again' in the next election?" is the kind of thing you hear time and time again in discourses dominated by white racists. The implication of course, is that a call for whites to stand together would be attacked as racist, yet Obama says something similar about blacks and Latinos (and young people and women, but that's conveniently forgotten) and gets away with it.

To ask such a question, you need to be coming from a particular mindset: that society is a level-playing field and has always been so. That it is not significant that white males have traditionally dominated American politics to the exclusion of all others. Or, if you do recognise that white males have monopolised power all this time, it must be because white males are so much more awesome than everyone else. So there is no point in changing things to encourage others to have a share in that power, because frankly, they don't deserve it.

You can read the comments posted at the article if you like to observe ignorance and racism at work.

4 comments:

  1. "The heading of this article comes not from a white supremacist website..."

    Ah, but it DOES come from a "white" supremacist website: the Herald-Sun! (AKA The Stormfront-Sun) LOL

    http://bolttheracist.blogspot.com/

    It ought to be noted that the sort of thing the Herald/Stormfront-Sun does is ILLEGAL. Material provisions of Victoria's Racial and Religious Vilification Act 2001 -- especially Sections 15 and 27 -- are as follows:

    Section 1(a)(b) of the Act states its purpose to be to “promote racial … tolerance by prohibiting certain conduct involving the vilification of persons on the ground of race …” and to “to provide a means of redress for the victims of racial … vilification.”

    Section 7(1) states that: “A person must not, on the ground of the race of another person or class of persons, engage in conduct that incites hatred against, serious contempt for, or revulsion or severe ridicule of, that other person or class of persons.” This behaviour, adds section (2)(a), “may be constituted by a single occasion or by a number of occasions over a period of time”.

    Section 9 states that the motive behind the contravention of section 7 is irrelevant.

    Section 15 states: “A person must not request, instruct, induce, encourage, authorise or assist another person to contravene a provision of this Part.”

    Section 27 (1)(a) states: “If a body corporate is guilty of an offence against this Part, each officer of the body corporate who knowingly directed, authorised or permitted the commission of the offence by the body corporate, is also guilty of an
    offence against this Part.”

    Section 27 (4)(a) states: “If a body corporate is guilty of an offence against this Part, each officer of the body corporate who knowingly directed, authorised or permitted the commission of the offence by the body corporate, is also guilty of an
    offence against this Part.”

    Section 19 states that complaints alleging contravention of the Act may be made to the Commission by persons or person acting on behalf of that person or a representative body that believes the matter of the alleged contravention of the Act to be against its interests or the interests of the welfare of those it represents.

    http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/rarta2001265/

    It ought to be noted that the Herald/Stormfront-Sun seems to be able to operate against the law with impunity because it is protected by the Great Murdoch Wall of Legal Impunity. The law, it would seem, is not blind but rather doffs its cap respectfully at the very powerfully, choosing instead to devote its time and effort to prosecuting the weak and the defenceless -- those without the deep pockets to treat the law with contempt as Murdoch and his Herald/Stormfront-Sun is so manifestly able to do.

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  2. By the way, Afrikaner Bolt is at it again in shepherding his readers back to the correct narrative whenever said narrative may veer off-course.

    Some young drunk men behave badly and fight with each other. Intervening police officers are attacked and injured by these men.

    The problem is ... all this occurs in Sale. Which means that the offenders are likely to be ... "white". That means, fair dinkum, true blue, ocker, bogan Australian men responsible.

    This doesn't fit Bolt's narrative. But the Sun's done a story on it and the Afrikaner feels he must comment on it.

    So he does. But he wheels out again his strategy, when faced with such a departure from the narrative, of psychologically helping his readers to focus their attention on where it should be.

    Yep, when referring to this violence by young (ocker, "white", true blue, "Aussie") males, he conveniently places below his comments those VERY SAME VIDEOS of -- you guessed it -- young Sudanese men behaving badly during (I think) New Year's!

    Of course he says nothing explicitly about these Sudanese, since the relevant news articles is about young men in Sale behaving badly. But the association is nevertheless made, namely, vciolence -- rising violence -- is due to ... young Sudanese men behaving badly! See? A biff-up in Sale? The Sudanese! The non-"whites"! The Other! Bring back the White Australia Policy!

    Consciously, the violence in question is due to young men in sale behaving badly. But subconsciously, the association is made with young men's violence -- any violence -- with the pronounced visual Otherness that the Sudanese represent. Ergo (subconsciously), violence comes from the Other, the non-"white".

    Afrikaner Bolt's trying his hand at psychological manipulation, it would seem. He's obviously not a one-trick pony!

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/teenagers_attack_police_yet_again/

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  3. It seems Andrew "Afrikaner" Bolt will now be taking every opportunity he can to post his favorite videos on his blog. The Melbourne Flower Show? Why, have a look at these videos of young Sudanese males behaving badly on New Year's Day! It's quite amazing how, it seems, he's going to repeatedly keep on wheeling these videos out ostensibly to highlight other issues when really it is to advance his "white" supremacist agenda.

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/todays_mtr/

    Reader brian of melbourne, consciously coming to the subconscious programming, observes:



    "At the risk of being called racist I noticed the prevalence of African and Middle Eastern people involved in those video clips.

    "So it would seem we have imported troublemakers by the bucket load with out open immigration scheme .

    "As if we haven’t got enough home grown trouble makers already"

    See? The videos were posted to highlight some other topic -- I think in this case the claim by Bolt that women are unsuitable for policing -- and lo and behold, some observant individual makes the sharp observation that he notices that Sudanese seem to feature prominently in these videos! The percipient observer then comes to the conclusion that we "seem we have imported troublemakers by the bucket load with out open immigration scheme."

    Bring back the White Australia Policy!

    Gee, it's not half obvious what the Afrikaner's ultimate agenda is, ambitious as it may be.

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