Race still matters in America

The Rs are running a meme that Barack Obama is “The Great Divider.” That flaming asshole Charles Krauthammer employs the message – he uses “Divider in Chief” to sound more original – in his column in the Post today (I’m not bothering to link; look it up if you want, but you can take my word for it).

However, Barack Obama is not to blame for divisions in this country. That responsibility rests squarely on the Rs, who’ve fanned the flames of racism, bigotry, and xenophobia for years, beginning with Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy in the late 1960s. Of course, stirring up hatred against “The Other,” (pick someone, anyone) is an ancient political technique, but the Rs have been relentless in employing it.

Which is why racism is still a powerful force in this country.

The rotting fruits of the Rs’ labors are described by Sabrina Tavernise in the New York Times today. Sabrina visits Steubenville, Ohio, a community that by tradition should be solidly working-class Dem, but bring up Barack Obama, and you get comments like this one:

“He was like, ‘Here I am, I’m black and I’m proud,’ ” said Lesia Felsoci, a bank employee drinking a beer in an Applebee’s. “To me, he didn’t have a platform. Black people voted him in, that’s why he won. It was black ignorance.”

Sabrina points out that the fact of Obama’s being African-American probably helped voter turnout in 2008, which is another reason why the Rs have been going at it hammer and tong to try to keep minorities – and the poor, while they’re at it – from voting.

And that’s apparently working.



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