Obama, race, extremism, and stupidity

I was surprised at the racism in this election. I have been surprised and disturbed at the increasing reveal of racism over the last four years, mostly by people trying to appeal to Republicans, and – now,  in the end, when the ballots have been counted – I am surprised and delighted that it didn’t hurt the President. Ironically, the racism seemed to have hurt the Republicans.

We all know the guy above is a ___fill in the blank again__. Even he knows it, as he stands there, staring into the close distance, looking at nothing, just being aware of the camera behind him. My question is Why did he do it? Why did he put that shirt on and go out in public? Why did he even buy that shirt? I guess that it is possible he is so tired of his life not working that he is finally wants to yell out his truth. His life is not his fault, it’s the black president’s fault giving all his black friends all the goodies . Maybe he thought most of us would secretly agree.

Before the election, I thought I hope he is wrong, but I am not as sure as I was four years ago. The election proved him – and me – wrong. Sure, there are racists out there, but not enough to overturn a black president whose pitch was What I am doing may not be working – yet – and hasn’t lived up to my promises, but it will and I need to be reëlected to finish the job. This was not the magic Negro promising Change, this was – in most American’s opinion – a steady, competent  guy trying to dig us out of a hole. A guy who just happened to be black and it didn’t really seem to matter.

Most of us reconized the passive- aggressiveism of Romney dickishly saying When the world needs to do really good stuff, you need an American. while pretending it was not about race, and it ended up hurting Romney more than it hurt Obama. Not with people who really did think he was born in Kenya, I guess, but with most voters (66,882,230 and counting). I can understand that the guy in the picture is too stupid to realize that he is hurting what I presume is his cause (getting Obama out of office). But I found it harder to believe that Romney is that stupid – I know, the proof is in the fact that he actually did make that statement – and I wonder why he made it. I wonder what he was thinking when he included you need an American in his speech.

When I read about Republicans cutting back on early voting, eliminating Take Your Souls to the Polls Sunday in Florida, making picture IDs mandatory to vote, and just generally harassing black voters, it scared me. I had forgotten that these were people who – just sixty years ago – were willing to die to get the vote (and, don’t forget, some did). The harassers must have forgotten that too, and they must have been shocked that all their harassment just increased the turnout against them.

I went to bed Tuesday night feeling great about America. An America, it turns out, that is becoming as inclusive and welcoming as I had dreamed it would be.



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