So, Oliver Willis caught this deliciously not-racist screen capture from the totally not-racist Fox Nation website, brought to you by not-racist Fox News. And don’t you dare call them racist, because if you do, you’re the racist. You race-card-playing racist, you.
As Mr. Willis tweeted, “Fox News gives up on racist dogwhistle, trades it in for a racist vuvuzela.”
FTW, as the kids say.
Anyway, that leads me to reprise the very first Your Friday Clash Song selection, which happens to be one of the band’s earliest forays into hip hop: “This Is Radio Clash,” here performed live on The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder in 1981:
And here’s the original version:
I mentioned last week that toward the end of the Clash’s mercurial existence, Joe Strummer and Mick Jones increasingly saw rap and hip hop as the next logical step in the evolution of political music. As Joe once said, “underground hip-hop … picked up where punk left off and ran full steam ahead.”
It’s too bad Joe’s not around any more. Imagine the heads at Fox News exploding if Pres. Obama had invited him to the White House for a barbecue.
But anyway, here’s the thing. This sort of thing, Fox News’ racial dogwhistles and the litany of other possibly unintentional (but quite possibly intentional), clumsy, racially-charged malapropisms that come from the GOP’s Tea Party fringe, doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. So, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that a large percentage of White Americans just can’t get used to the idea of an African American in the White House. Whether they are overtly racist, I cannot say; but if they’re not, why are they so uncomfortable with Pres. Obama interacting with other African Americans, especially African Americans whom they link to African American culture. Note the pictures at the top of that Fox Nation story: Former NBA standout Charles Barkley, the Round Mound Of Rebound; Chris Rock, a comedian; and Jay-Z, a rap star. Never mind the fact that other attendees included Tom Hanks, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, David Plouffe, David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel … it was the apparent otherness of Black celebrity icons that caught Fox News’ attention. And that influenced the sarcastic headline, Obama’s Hip Hop BBQ Didn’t Create Jobs.
To whom does that headline speak?
So, if you want to know why I tend to defend the President as vociferously and as often as I do, here it is in a nutshell: This is going on. This constant, racially-charged drumbeat is going on, and it’s going on precisely because Barack Obama crossed the invisible color line that most people thought would not be crossed in our lifetime. And as long as this is going on, this constant race-baiting, this constant effort to undermine the President’s legitimacy because of his race and this constant appeal to the worst in human nature, as long as all that is going on, I want nothing more than to see Barack Obama be successful, to be reelected, and to do so with broad support across the country.
I’ve never said liberals shouldn’t criticize the President, and I’m not saying that now. I am saying that defeating racists and dog-whistle-blowers is a huge priority to me. Other liberals are free to prioritize issues their own way; I only ask that you respect that this is important to me.
Well, I only ask that, and one other thing. Turn. It. Up.