American Hate Revisited
The racial bashing of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the race-bating around President Obama, and the use of the health care forum and issue to create racial turmoil and anxiety among whites by the rightwing and their supporters, including the Republican Party and corporations, is a do-over of 1960’s civil rights struggle. What we have observed since the election of Barack Obama is a concerted effort to foment racial discord and hatred. The economic insecurities of whites are being exploited against the backdrop of a constant barrage of hate messages and codes by the extreme right and the “respectable” right. Consider the white woman at a town hall meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas who said: “At this point in my life, I have never seen my America turned into what it has turned into, and I want my America back-” This is little more than saying a country where whites have supremacy and a lock on the levers and positions of power. Or take Sarah Palin’s claim that Obama’s health care plan will create “death panels” that would encourage euthanasia. Not only is this a lie, but it is a deliberate distortion of Obama’s Health Care Plan. Palin simply wants to scare whites. Her comment, “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel,” is the same racial coding message she delivered in the 2008 election-I am American, code for white, and Obama is not.
In the 1960s, the face of racial hate, to name just a few prominent figures, was George Wallace, Bull Connor, James Eastland Strom Thurmond, George Lincoln Rockwell (American Nazi Party). Now it’s Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, and the Republican Party. The aim now, as in the ‘60s, was to prevent the rising tide of social justice in America-what President Obama call the movement toward a “More Perfect Union.” To be sure, Palin and company are reckless and playing with fire. They are stoking the hatred of people of color in this country. They want Blue States and Red States, not the United States of America. And, like what occurred during the civil rights movement, the violence is sure to follow. The corporate media, hungry for excitement, is shirking refuses to call out Palin and her haters and put them on notice that they will be held responsible and accountable for the actions of their followers. Palin and her bunch are shouting fire in a crowed theater.