Monday, January 14, 2013

The low-hanging fruit that keeps on giving

Ugh. I hesitate to even post this.

I know this disgusting image and others like them have been around for at least four years now, and I tend to pick low-hanging racist fruit even if it's been out for awhile. But this is different. These are new shirts spreading like wildfire at a South Carolina tea party convention. Like vile, racist wildfire.

By now, I get it. Humor attacking Obama for his blackness is a hit with terrible people, who happen to be a huge demographic in much of the U.S. If your brain is wired to find broad, century-old stereotypes amusing, then this will stimulate all the right neurons. Not my cup of tea, but hey.

As I always say, though, they should at least own up to why they find this funny. This rationale is especially pathetic:

Bob Cramer, a Myrtle Beach local, told Palmetto Public Record that his homemade airbrushed shirt is meant to be a comment about President Obama’s “takeover of medicine” through the Affordable Care Act. The shirt claims that Obama-the-medicine-man is “your new doctor, coming soon to a clinic near you!”

It seems like Obama dressed as a doctor, with a white coat, stethoscope and headband light thing, would make the same point. But that wouldn't be funny. Obama, after all, is a smart and competent guy with a million-dollar smile. He could be a doctor. Such an image isn't frightening enough, and it certainly isn't racist enough, to be sufficient tea party propaganda.

Cue the witch doctor. That effectively conjures images of, to paraphrase G. Gordon Liddy, unqualified black men operating on your kids. SCAR-REE! Repeal Obamacare now!

Except that under Obamacare, more people will have access to top-shelf health care — the kind administered by smart, competent professionals in white coats in stethoscopes and light-headband thingys who have offices and tongue depressors and everything. You know, the exact opposite of over-the-counter guesswork, witch doctors and other byproducts of not being able to afford real medicine.

If you're going to be racist, own it. If you're not willing to own it, at least don't make an excuse that is the most diametrically possible opposite of the truth. 

After all, you don't want to look ignorant.

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