Inspection- Obama’s Not Making It “All About Race…” but You Are

by Ken Carman


I’m getting ahead of myself, column-wise, for in a few days I’ll be putting this column on a brief hiatus.-kwc

 ”If I Had a Son, He’d Look Like Trayvon.”
 ”Trayvon Martin could have been me.”

 Noise from the Right, “Obama is making this all about race.”
 No: but you are.
 Let’s make me president. OK, that’s a bad idea, but I’m designing an example here: not trying to destroy the world. I’m blond, a little over 5’7″, overweight, my legs are short, my trunk taller. A high profile, controversial, killing happens and the teen who died fits my description. Would saying if I had a son he’d look like the teen mean I’m making it “all about” blond, a little over 5’7″, overweight, short legged people with long trunks?
 Of course not: you’d either be an idiot; or a sneering, sniveling partisan jerk just trying to shut me up for even suggesting such. Personally I would lean towards the last but hope for the best: so sad your mental problems are so bad you can’t form more logical conclusions.
 Oh, and I also was a gregarious 17 year old who traveled and visited a lot of relatives: stayed with them. One of my fav things to do when I lived in the small town of Old Forge, NY was to go out at night and get an ice cream, or soda/float from the Pied Piper: about a mile away. I would meander home because I enjoyed the community. And, at the time, I argued politics a lot. At one time you might even say: perhaps like our future president when he was young, I had “ambitions…” though not serious ambitions, politically. I had long before those days seen how politics can destroy a person who has good intent.
 So, given my scenario, would saying I could have been the dead boy mean I was, once again, make all about short overweight people? If you really believe that, for God sakes: get help; work on having a less defective brain… or stop trying to make it all about short overweight people for political gain.
 Obama even said we should respect the jury’s decision and that’s not good enough for those who want to make it all about race and Obama.
 Nothing he can, or could, say will ever satisfy what Spiro T. called, “The nattering nabobs of negativity:” only I’m not just referring to what has become a mostly a Neo-Con controlled press. And maybe that’s the point here. In the past 20 years I have seen a movement I used to be part of, I worked for, I campaigned for, dive into a form of insanity: fomenting hate against anyone who dares to disagree with them. Hate before debate, hate before discussion and hate with an absolute unwillingness to listen.
 When I first started to date my wife I still considered myself a Conservative. I had wanted to register as as a Conservative but the lady at the polling place in Big Moose, NY told me if I did I couldn’t vote in the primaries… so I registered as a Republican.
  My wife’s mother, while a Conservative, would watch the usual political coverage and make an occasional comment: usually on policy matters. Shortly after Ronald Reagan entered office I noticed a slow, but gradual, change in her and society: especially on the Right. Comments were less and less about policy, more and more on how they hated anyone who wasn’t on their team. Bringing it back for a moment to my in-laws: this was a baseball nuts household and, increasingly, the baseball talk was hard to separate from the political, except the hatred for Bill Clinton or anyone who dared to disagree was stronger than her hatred for the Yankees.
  For a diehard Mets fan, that says a lot.
  They would announce that John Kerry was going to speak and there was a never ending litany of, “I hate him. Turn it off. Change the channel.”
  Remotes became a blessing over the years because the almost foam at the mouth diatribes from some were mercifully cut short.
 Meanwhile Gingrich, or later potential teabaggers, were suffered in silence when we were guests, or at my in-laws, by Millie, my wife, and moi’. Why should our problems with these folks mean we have to make others: who obviously support them, and what they say or do, listen to our rants? And we certainly wouldn’t have just gone on and on saying little but ranting about hate, because it’s what they support that we have a problem with: not necessarily them.
 Besides: these are people each with a public persona: but few of us really know personally. To claim otherwise is usually intellectually dishonest.
  Which increasingly qualified as “never.”
  To be clear: this isn’t about my mother-in-law, for she simply reflects a movement she agrees with.
  I have said for years that while there may be racists in the Republican Party, this generally isn’t about race or racists. If Hillary had ascended they would have used sexist negatives about women in an attempt to beat her down, like they did when she was FLOTUS. (Michelle gets that now.) The coded language, yes in either case, is, or would have been, intended to inspire those who do have such bigotries. But at the core I believe it’s really about using any weapon: no matter how dishonest, how racist or sexist or how much of a bulldung scatter-gun approach it may be. Harm your opponent any way you can. Indeed I think some on the Right are in love with “Saint” George Zimmerman so much, and what he did, because he took it to the next level: “anything” punctuated by a bullet. Less about race: more about besting Martin by any means.
 Be aware Mr. Obama: I have always been underestimated at what “next level” those who are willing do anything are also “willing” to take it to.
 Just remember: if they can use race, or sexism, they will. And the next step is what the whole “he’s making it all about race” card is all about. It’s an Atwater, Karl Rove classic.
 Accuse your opponent of what you do.

                                                     -30-

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.

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