Saturday, October 11, 2008

Arab - the opposite of a decent family man?

Oh boy. As the McCain rallies get angrier and angrier, McCain seems to be getting a little nervous. After all, he's not Sarah Palin - he's just not really the one in control anymore. But his choice of words in assuaging the fears of the crowd raises interesting questions.

The video clip is terrifying, really. The person asking the question seems batshit crazy, and the response is a horrifying indicator of the way many Americans think.

So the lady claimed she didn't trust Obama since she'd heard he was an Arab. To which McCain responded: "No ma'am, no ma'am. He's a decent family man...[a] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. That's what this campaign is all about."

To me this sounds an awful lot like McCain is reassuring her that Obama is not an Arab by offering out its opposite - being a decent family man and a citizen. Since when can't Arabs be citizens? Since when can't Arabs be decent family men? I'm sure this is not what McCain thinks, but to get the conservative base to continue to rally behind him, that's the level of comprehension he has to cater to.

To the conservative ranks of the white, poorly educated segment of the US population, therefore, an Arab couldn't possibly be a good family man, and an Arab will certainly never, ever be considered a citizen.

This is the most rabidly racist crowd out there since...oooh, this is fun, getting to make another angry 60s reference....George Wallace's 68 presidential campaign. These are the ones we all knew existed in the US, and were wondering when they'd rear their ugly heads. All was well when things didn't seem so bright for Obama, but now...well, these people don't care about the economy. See, what they really care about it not electing black people to the office of president. Sure, the economy sucks, but didn't McCain say he knew how to fix it? He's a white, Vietnam POW, and Palin...well, she's one of us - she understands where we're coming from. She's from Alaska where everything's white...and what isn't is oppressed.

People pissed off about the economy: not usually violent as long as they still have food on the table and a sixpack in the fridge. People pissed off about the possibility of a huge leap forward in racial equality: few things bring out such violence.

I want to scream. These unevolved, pea-brained bastions of the great American Dream, or what's left of it, can't stop their blind hatred for a second to look at what's happening all around them - not in the presidential election context, and not even in a global context, but on a domestic, at-home micro-economics level. Issues, people, issues...not even worth mentioning that word, I guess. Issues have come to mean anything problematic - from an emotional to a national level. And the only issues that matter to the angry mob are questions of race, abortion, socialism (whatever that means...), and oh yeah, race...


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