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Mo's Journal
October 14th, 2008
04:47 pm


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If Clinton Was the First Black President, Maybe Obama is About to Be the First Jewish One
There's no denying the racist undercurrent of a lot of the anti-Obama sentiment being fomented by Fox News, right-wing bloggers and the McCain campaign. OTOH, it's not traditional racism, with the more popular lies about African Americans. They're not claiming Obama is stupid or that he only got his elite education through affirmative action. They're not claiming he's sexually irresponsible and after white women. They're not even getting very far with the "angry black man" libel. Any of those claims would be completely laughable in the face of the man's obvious intelligence, happy family life, erudition, and almost preternatural calm. So what are they claiming?

- That he thinks he's better than "regular Americans"
- That he consorts with dubious people and traitors
- That he's not in touch with mainstream America
- That he's not a Christian
- That he and his friends control Hollywood and the mainstream media
- That he eats strange foods
- That he and his friends are wealthy and not like down-to-earth "heartland" Americans

These are all staples of anti-Semitism. Barack Obama is being treated by the Right as if he were a Jew. So it wasn't surprising to me to see that the founder of many of these untruths, Andy Martin is a long time and well-known anti-Semite. Don't get me wrong - I don't doubt that Obama is a committed Christian. He's just being treated like these people treat Jews.

In a tangentially related op-ed piece in the Times, the history of Jewish campaign buttons was reviewed. Here are the campaign buttons aimed at Jewish supporters provided by the McCain and Obama campaigns:

What's the difference between them? At least one actual Jew was involved in the design of the Obama one. I kind of doubt the same is true of the McCain one.

Unsurprisingly, the Obama campaign has also provided buttons for LGBT supporters and the McCain campaign has not.

For those puzzled by my subject line, it's a reference to Toni Morrison's 1998 New Yorker essay, reproduced here, titled "Clinton as the First Black President."

(7 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:October 14th, 2008 09:16 pm (UTC)
Wonderful! I'm reposting.
[User Picture]
Date:October 15th, 2008 01:35 am (UTC)
Be my guest!
[User Picture]
Date:October 14th, 2008 11:25 pm (UTC)
Wow! This is a brilliant analysis! I can understand a little more where the "Obama hates America" lines are coming from now.
[User Picture]
Date:October 15th, 2008 01:37 am (UTC)
Glad you liked it!
[User Picture]
Date:October 15th, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC)
Yeah, graphically, the McCain button totally reads as clapboard Americana. Sunday morning Southern temple Jews at best.

Has anyone pointed out the Hebrew meaning of "barak" yet?

btw, did you get Ch. 26 or did it go into your junk?
[User Picture]
Date:October 15th, 2008 10:50 pm (UTC)
Which meaning were you thinking of? He's said it's related to Baruch - blessed - from the same route. But Barak with a kuf at the end means lightning, I think, no?

I didn't get the chapter - I'll look for it in the spam folder.
[User Picture]
Date:October 15th, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC)
It means lightning.

Judaica in 26, btw. Email me if you don't find it.
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