20 February, 2009


It's gonna be a long eight years

Though I have my doubts about his allegiances and his history, now that Obama is in office I wish him well. He seems to be a reasonably pragmatic type who is prepared to listen, and listen across party lines.

Unfortunately for us people of pallor, criticism of The One, however justified and however constructive and well-intended, is going to be an uphill struggle as the usual suspects seek out racism in every utterance or action that is less than gushingly adulatory. This bizarre piece of conspiracy-mongering by one of the Graun's resident Collective of Professionally Offended Race Victims is a harbinger of things to come, as is this supporting piece of Righteous Left posturing.

"Chimpgate", as doubtless some are already calling it, arises out of a fairly indifferent political cartoon about the US economic stimulus bill in which a policeman has just shot dead a rampaging chimpanzee. Ardent analysts of victimhood, such as rank amateur Lola Adesioye (give me pros like Harker or Younge any day), are interpreting this as a racist insult to St Barry. In some quarters it even seems to be seen as incitement to assassination.

Lola discounts claims that the chimp image was a reference to a domestic-pet chimp in Connecticut that went berserk and near-fatally mauled its owner's friend. That chimp was shot dead by police. Lola handwaves this away as a local news item that the cartoon's New York audience would not have known about. Well dear, I'm 3,000 miles away from Connecticut and I picked up the reference immediately, having read about it my local newspaper: either the London Times or the Evening Standard - can't remember which and can't be arsed checking.

GW Bush was caricatured as a monkey by the Guardian and others throughout his presidency. Tony Blair was caricatured inter alia as an arse-sniffing poodle. Such is the cut-and-thrust of political commentary. And yet to speak less than well of The One is apparently worse than blasphemy, for racism is indeed the most heinous of all crimes. Even if crude and explicitly racial stereotypes are deployed in caricaturing Obama, how is that worse than these Bush and Blair caricatures? Have you never seen the work of people like Scarfe and Steadman? As one CiF commenter puts it, if you put yourself up for the world's top political job, you've got to be ready to take the flak that goes with it, and that includes "brothers" like St Barry.

Unless St Barry fucks up bigtime, I can't seem him not going two terms. So it's going to be a long eight years with every negative comment or representation being picked apart for racist subtexts, while the substance (if any) is disregarded.



I love this Michelle Malkin quote about Obama-ite sensitivities:
“McCain was tapping into a current of superiority among white voters. It was an attempt to ‘otherize’ Obama.”

“Otherize”? Sounds like something you do to your car tires to prepare for winter.
I'm just off to the nearest Halfords to see if they stock otherization solution. It could definitely come in handy.

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