Guess they don’t want to take that deal

22 Sep 2009 01:37 pm
Posted by: Donna

Last Friday I dashed off a quick LTTE to the Republic in response to an oped and a few letters complaining about how the mean old liberals are accusing the teabaggers of racism.

Don’t like being called racist because you oppose President Barack Obama?

I’ll make a deal with you. Assuming you are not a person who holds up signs with our president dressed as an African witch doctor or demanding to know where his birth certificate is, I’ll take you at your word that it’s his policies and not his race that bother you.

But you have to agree to acknowledge that those of us who voted for Barack Obama and support his goals, including health-care reform, are “real” Americans, too.

Try to resist the urge to proclaim how badly you want to take “your” country back because it’s not your country alone. It’s our country too. Deal? – Donna Gratehouse, Phoenix

I was surprised they printed it because it’s not my best work and I’m not sure if my point was clear. I guess they like the incendiary lead sentence. The comments from readers are boringly predictable. Teabaggers are NOT racist so stop saying that, dissent is patriotic (now), blah blah Thomas Jefferson blah blah Constitution blah.

I wrote it because I agree with both Jimmy Carter, who attributes the vitriol of Obama’s critics in large part to racism, and Bill Clinton, who thinks it’s a lot more than that. They’re both right. If Hillary Clinton were President right now you can bet there’d be the same amount of hostility, along with a heaping dose of misogyny. If Bill Richardson were President, ditto on the hostility and ditto on the anti-Hispanic sentiment. President Joe Biden would have fared slightly better, being white and male, but they’d be hating on him with the same ferocity they showed toward President Clinton. The commonality is the arrogance and entitlement that have been the hallmark of the reactionary wing of America since Reconstruction. They are the “real Americans” and don’t you (people who are not like them in some way) forget it. Over the years it’s become a movement that is hostile to cities and culture and education – and thus inclusive of fewer and fewer actual people – but it has remained a bastion of white straight male Christians and those who identify with them. Which is why having a Black Democratic President adds gasoline to the fire of their hatred but y’all know their heads would be exploding no matter who the Democrat was.

On the subject of the Birthers I’m going to share what I’ve long suspected the motivation is for at least some of them: Oh yeah, it’s racism for sure. But it’s more than simply a belief that Barack Obama can’t be a legitimate President because he’s African American, though that is an element of it. It also has to do with the fact that a substantial number of white Americans are deeply offended by interracial relationships. It’s no longer socially acceptable to express that publicly so the Birther conspiracy theory allows white people who fervently wish they’d bring back miscegenation laws to vent their spleen about the circumstances of Obama’s birth. Think about it, a young white woman married and had a baby with a BLACK man from AFRICA in 1961!! Not only was no one lynched but the grandparents accepted and raised the child, who would be described as a “mongrel” and worse in many circles back in the ’60s. You know that’s got to be driving a segment of white people in this country nuts, which is why they are so eager to embrace this cockamamie story about Barack Obama being born in Kenya and documents and birth announcements being forged 48 years ago. They not only can’t accept that he’s President, they can’t accept that he was ever brought into the world in the first place. I may be wrong about the Birthers, but I don’t think I am.

I mean, heck, at least the crazy 9-11 Truthers can claim that buildings actually blew up.

9 Comments

  1. Comment by Marilyn Freeman on September 22, 2009 2:11 pm

    Hi Donna,
    Just needed to connect with an intelligent, thoughtful human. I have been having it out with a guy on facebook and I almost lost my Buddhist calm center. But I didn’t. However, I wanted to share his last “comment” to me:

    Donald Chesnel
    How can you support a Socialist? The man is trying to control you lock, stock and barrel. It is scary that people have no clue that our freedom is being taken away, piece by piece. You talk about Bush and the Patriot Act? That has prevented a number of terrorist attacks and has put many Islamo Facist terrorists in jail! You want to adopt some of … Read Morethose Gitmo savages? Obama is still trying to figure out what to do with them, since he never had a clue or a plan from day one. My prediction is that he will eventually let them go. You want them living in your town? As far as health care, Obama just wants to control your LIFE and tell you what medical treatment he will decide you get. He is also trying to tax you into the freaking stone age! Duh! Don’t you libs get it? Apparently, going to the Mall has more priority for you sheeple! Anybody who supports this phony is braindead.

    OK, I feel better now. Thanks for sharing this work. You are amazing. I am so thankful you are as strong as you are. Please know how appreciated and needed you are by so many.
    Namasté and much love,
    Marilyn

  2. Comment by Eli_Blake on September 22, 2009 2:54 pm

    In many cases, the birthers ARE the truthers.

    They believe just about any conspiracy theory they can get their heads around, the nuttier the better. I bet if you took a poll of them you’d find that a majority of them also think the Clintons had Vince Foster and Jim McDougal murdered, too.

  3. Comment by Craig on September 22, 2009 3:22 pm

    Nice letter Donna. That’s not an opinion shared by all though – on the AZ Republic website, your letter has received 47 comments and counting, many of which are obviously from people with something to learn from the letter.

    And just as obviously, they haven’t learned the lesson.

  4. Comment by Appleblossom on September 22, 2009 4:47 pm

    They need a lesson in the structure of government. President Obama has no control over what amendments are allowed on a bill in Congress. Executive now, not legislative.

  5. Comment by Julian on September 23, 2009 3:26 am

    I agree with your letter Donna because it is OUR country. I object to the name teabagger because Republicans and tea party goers have NEVER referred to themselves as that. It was a name given to them because they attended tea parties and it was liberal talk show hosts and liberal guests on those shows who started calling them that obscene name.

  6. Comment by Timmys Cat on September 23, 2009 11:37 am

    Of course it’s racism. Don’t you smell the fear from the white right? The sense of entitlement is going down their pant legs. Feel like you’re losing control dears? Me thinks the big scary is that they will be treated as they’ve treated others for so long who aren’t one of them.

  7. Comment by Donna on September 23, 2009 12:36 pm

    I object to being called a socialist, communist, and not a real American. I object to being called a member of the “Democrat Party” – that childishly insulting bit of linguistic framing that Frank Luntz concocted. Yet I’m still called all of those things, by you teabaggers.

  8. Comment by Timmys Cat on September 23, 2009 1:17 pm

    I object to being called a socialist, communist, and not a real American.

    Mmmm, to me that’s not objection but anger if not rage. Good for you.
    After the gloating of the Bush years, enough is enough. This cat has been pooped on so many time it’s time to fling the poo back.. Repulicans, you lost because your policy was a systemic if not total failure . By trying to bully or obstruct anyone or policy you don’t agree with not only is not patriotic, but is an insult to a true conservative value. Barry Goldwater would be ashamed of you.

  9. Comment by Timmys Cat on September 23, 2009 1:25 pm

    Oops, kitty needs spellcheck. when I start hissing. Maybe I was born in Kenya..

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