Saturday, May 12, 2007

Smooth Barack, Secret Service & Magic Negros

Wassup, Y'all!

The wires have been buzzin' lately about a request from Smooth Barack's campaign for Secret Service protection. Naturally various factions are weighin' in with just why they feel that that level of protection is needed, especially this early in the campaign season. Well, despite the ill thought out contention by many in the southside nation that Smooth Barack just isn't 'black enough', ol Ty seems to think that this type of request proves just the opposite and likely a little bit more courtesy of Rush Limbaugh...

Now we all know that race relations in the US have progressed to the point where there's a paper thin veneer of good will covering nearly four hundred years of ill will that routinely bubbles to the surface like pressurized lava. No need to delve into that madness as a reason for Smooth's protection request. Instead let's talk about the political hatred stirred up by the Grand Pooba of conservative commentators, Rush Limbaugh. Spend any amount of time suffering through his radio talk show and you'll quickly discover two things - 1) Limbaugh runs fast and easy with things like facts and accuracy and 2) his audience is huge, fanatically loyal and eager to eat up every morsel of separatist rhetoric that Limbaugh spoons out. He's a modern day snake oil salesman and his sales are very, very good. In my opinion, the effect of his political rabble rousing is no different than the racial rabble rousing put out by folks like David Duke or the Klan - it encourages unstable followers to commit unstable acts.

Lately, Limbaugh's been getting a lot of mileage out of cribbing Los Angeles Times columnist David Ehrenstein (a southsider - see the glossy on the left) reference to Smooth Barack as The Magic Negro. Homey Clarence Page does a good job of summing up that ruckus, while the national media watchdog group Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) does a good job of exposing Limbaugh's sloppy track record with the truth in their classic Limbaugh's Reign of Error report. Limbaugh's rebuttal to that report is pretty funny too until you realize the vast majority of his listeners seem to be soaking up that stuff without challenge or debate. His audience seems to revel in stocking up any ammunition they can get, real or imagined, to justify their extreme position on the far, faaaaar, right (even moderate Republicans don't get a pass from this crew). It doesn't take a 24 writer to come up with a scenario that would have someone from that crew trying to 'get with' Smooth Barack if it looked like he was going to win the Democratic nomination or, more dangerously for them, the White House. Now I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

That said, Limbaugh followers would do well to use a little thoughtful deliberation when listening to his show. A few of you biddy-bop readers may not remember another back-in-the-day snake oil salesman named Jim Jones. The major ruckus at his Jonestown compound gave rise to the popular phrase 'Drinkin' Kool-Aid', which is used to describe someone who ignores known facts while arguing his position ('Dude - how can you think the Clippers are going to win the NBA title? Stop drinkin' that kool-aid, homey'). Jones' followers had similar blind loyalty to the man and his message and, if I'm not mistaken, things didn't turn out too well for that crew...



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