Thursday, January 26, 2012
I will let you all arbitrate the semiotics of this ad.
At least Mark Oxner's people had the good sense to make sure that the enslaved children on Obama's "ship of state" (with its upside down U.S. flag and crossed out "United States Constitution") were a diverse group. We can count that as a small measure of progress in the post-racial age.
In a political moment where campaign commercials have featured Islamic terrorists, demon sheep, and gangster rappers who penetrate white women with their guns, this ad is par for the course.
Is race an element here? I am not sure. This anti-Obama campaign commercial could be one more example of the "benign" myopia that is common to the white racial frame ("how could anyone be offended by a boat, an allusion to slavery, and a black captain whipping his crew? How shocking!). Alternatively, the racial ideologies at work here could be more sinister, as any reference to "white slavery" has historically done potent political work from the Revolutionary War to the present (with the Tea Party faithful using that very same phrase to oppose the Obama administration and play on white racial resentment and anxiety).
I am hoping that there will be an expert on naval history who is also a racism denier that will post a defense and explanation of Mark Oxner's ad. That could be good fun.
I will sit this one out and see if any of you want to put on the racism chasing shoes this evening. Who knows? Perhaps, the ghosts of Jack Johnson and the Barbary Pirates will show up and give us a real seminar on white slavery and poor Billy Budd.
It is always a pleasure to see my home state featured in the national media.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Not All Slave Owners Were Rapine Beasts: Ron Paul's Musings on States' Rights and the "Tragedy" of the Civil War
Over the last few days, I have watched this interview with Ron Paul several times. Something about his tone of voice just doesn't sit right with me, the detached indifference rubs me the wrong way.
It is easy to flatten history, in doing so to generate stories of evil men, barbarous and incomprehensible deeds, and frothing at the mouth villains. This is true when the history is personal and your people would have been the vanquished, the oppressed, the conquered, or the exiled. Ironically, the need to hold on to a fiction of two-dimensional monsters and evildoers is also true of those who are the present day descendants of the dominant, the winners, the exploiters, the "in-group," and the conquerors.
By painting "those people" into a box where only the most wicked were racist, prejudiced, genocidal, chauvinist or the like, a safe distance is created between the present and the past. Cartoon versions of the past are very comforting for those on both sides of history's accounting sheet: nuance is a shared enemy for those seeking simple and validating stories.
For example, it is easy to imagine all white slave owners as rapine beasts who crawled into the beds of black women and girls, using them as their personal sex toys, where inevitably these same white men would either sell off their own mulatto sires for a profit, or throw them into the fields as "free" labor. Likewise, we can envision the babies of newly arrived African slaves being smashed on the ground, killed during the seasoning process that the human cargo of the slave ships endured upon arrival in the New World.
In black masculinity's shared collective memory there exist memories of wives and loved ones taken before our eyes, we being rendered powerless to intervene by the barrel of the gun or the edge of the blade, and where inevitably the lustful eyes of the white slave owner, his sons, and friends turn to us as objects to sate the wickedness of their reckless and violent libidos. This is a secret pain, one little discussed in the shared history of blacks and whites together in the Americas and elsewhere. And of course, every overseer was an evil debased man like Mr. Covey of Frederick Douglass' famed autobiography, a degenerate piece of poor white trash who, like many of his class, lived for nothing but the sadistic pleasures that came with "breaking" black slaves as he made them suffer under his whip, ax handle, cat of nine tales, scold's bridle, or branding iron.
But, what of the white slave owner who struggled to reconcile his "Christian faith" with the owning of human beings, and in a fit of guilt, convinced that he would go to hell because of his wickedness, freed his human property? How do we make sense of the white slave owner who manumitted the children of slaves on his plantation, or the feelings of loyalty and closeness that some slaves felt for their "white family?"
Perhaps, most troubling for a two dimensional version of American (and Atlantic) slavery is that plantations were run like factories. Of course, there were yeoman whites who owned one or two slaves, and lived in close intimacy with them, as privations were shared, and struggles (if not successes) were experienced in common across the colorline. But the plantations that occupy American memory, The Gone with the Wind version of history, were in reality, based on detached principles of labor efficiency. The owners of these business enterprises exchanged journals, notes, and theories about how to improve the yield of their crops. Therein, rubrics about the relationship between the ideal amount of punishment (the whip) and selective incentives in order to produce the maximum amount of productivity were divined and ciphered.
For the most profitable slave-owning whites, chattel slavery was a business. In many instances, it was a very impersonal one (where on some plantations the owner would never dispense punishment personally as it was a distasteful act and would make his slaves resent and fear him, while on other plantations it was only the head of the house who could wield the whip or the lash--overseers were not to be trusted to act judiciously or fairly). In all, African American bondsmen and bondswomen were entries on a ledger sheet; they were "workers" whose productivity had to be maximized by any means available.
There is an odd intimacy here. On one hand, slavery on the largest plantations was business and never personal. As a practical matter, slavery could never be anything but the latter.
It is not Ron Paul's piss poor understanding of the historical underpinnings of the Civil War and chattel slavery that is most disturbing. No, it is the idea that in his detached musings, I can hear in my ear the whisper of the assassin doing a hit, or a slave owner assessing the value of his latest purchase on the auction block, that this is "business, never personal," just before they pull the trigger or sign the check.
As we have seen in other moments throughout his campaign, there is an utter lack of human empathy (and sympathy) for black personhood in Paul's speech to his Redemptionist, white racist, Neo-Secessionist public that yearns for the states' rights narrative. This is the root of my disturbance.
Ron Paul's counter-factual about gradual or compensated manumission (where the freedom of blacks held in bondage was purchased as a means to end chattel slavery) is problematic on a number of levels. Primarily, it ignores the significant psychic wage that whites invested in the personal owning of black bodies, their attachment to a society that validated white superiority over people of color, and where even though a majority of whites did not have bloody hands from the direct business of chattel slavery, they could aspire to one day own slaves as a sign of upward mobility and success.
Ron Paul's musings about the civil war as an avoidable conflict, save for the desire of the North to impose its will on the poor South--and thus violating states' rights--is also ahistorical. We do not need to hypothesize about why such proposals as compensated manumission did not come to pass on a wide scale in the United States. It is not a mystery or puzzle. There is a rich historical record which details the many failings of such a scheme, and slave owners' rejections of it in the name of perpetual white supremacy.
In all, Ron Paul's desire to frame the Civil War as a tragedy for the South at the hands of a villainous North, a federal force that only wanted to take away the liberties of white people, is an ideal-typical example of libertarianism's failings on matters of race and justice. Ron Paul does not seem to identify slavery--the owning of black people by white people in perpetuity--as a de facto state of war and tyranny. If libertarians were to find a historic freedom struggle to claim as their own, one would think that abolition, accomplished by any means necessary, would be at the top of their list.
Second, Paul places his principle of "non-interference" over the rights of African Americans (and others) to be treated as full and equal citizens. Whites have the freedom to discriminate against, violate, and terrorize black people. The latter's liberty and freedom are secondary to those of the former. By virtue of that most basic standard, Ron Paul is a polite white supremacist who enables and supports a herrenvolk Apartheid America in theory, if not fully in practice.
The detached manner in which Ron Paul valorizes the Confederacy as "the victim" of federal tyranny, is to my eyes at least, one of the most frightening faces of contemporary, "color blind" white supremacy. Here, black people are secondary to his principles; slaves do not really enter into the calculus because as a privileged white man he cannot imagine himself as existing in such a state of existential duress and oppression.
In keeping with the universal "I" of whiteness, the "normal," the race-neutral "we," the African American held in bondage is secondary to Ron Paul's higher order principles. "We the people," and "the states' rights" apparently do not include the will of African Americans to not be held as human property. Ron Paul's whiteness is blinding, deafening, and utterly transparent in this regard. It is ugly. I dare say that there is something evil about it.
I thought long about that last statement of moral and existential judgement. I own it. I believe it.
Just as the plantation owner entered profits and losses, births and deaths, crops and yields, in his ledger, we can all take comfort in the fact that Ron Paul's particular version of white racism is "business, and never personal." That makes it okay, doesn't it?
Saturday, January 21, 2012
There has been much talk about Red Tails online, with George Lucas receiving both praise and condemnation for his honest sharing about the difficulties of getting Hollywood to make a "black" film in which white actors are not central to the story. Across the black blogosphere, the upset at Red Tails has been at the apparent omission of black women from the Tuskegee airmen's story. Clutch Magazine for example, has featured a series of posts on this question, where the feeling is that the lack of black women in Red Tails is a reflection of their broader status as second class citizens.
As always, populism is both liberating and fun.
The Tuskegee airmen could not win World War 2 alone. There were many support personnel, mechanics, and the like who kept the P-51 Mustangs, "the Cadillac of the sky," up and running at peak performance. This actress should be attractive, but also comfortable with machines and tools. It would be a bonus if she complicated gender stereotypes about black femininity. She is a "strong black woman." She is also vulnerable. Her body and habitus should suggest athleticism, confidence, and a no nonsense attitude balanced with a need to love someone--be they male or female. Queen Latifah (or perhaps the movie Pariah's Adepero Oduye) is a great choice for the part of Master Sergeant Mechanic for the 332nd airgroup:
There were Afro-Germans, French, Italians, Russians, and other nationalities across the continent. One of the pilots in the Tuskegee airmen should have an intense relationship with a character who is the child of a Black Sicilian and a white Northern Italian woman.
Hauntingly beautiful, she would be marginalized by the French in the small town near where the Tuskegee airmen are based. One faithful night she meets one of the black American pilots outside of a segregated U.S. Army club. They then proceed to dance the night away in an alley where he sings jazz classics in her ear and she provides the chorus in Italian. There relationship is a whirlwind of sexual bliss and intense, immediate love. She becomes pregnant with their love child, only to have her lover killed during one of the Tuskegee airmen's final missions of the war.
There is only one choice here: Halle Berry.
Rosie the Riveter is an iconic image from World War Two. Women served throughout the U.S. military. While they were not allowed in "combat" positions, they took great personal risks flying aircraft across the Atlantic to Europe, towing planes for gunnery practice, as nurses and spies in Europe and Asia. In fact, one of the most noted aviators of the 20th century was Bessie Coleman, an African American woman, who in the dark days of Jim Crow, flew across the United States solo. If history does in fact echo, Red Tails should include many more women of color in its narrative.
Truth is fiction; fiction is truth. The Tuskegee airmen were facing difficult odds. The War Department, in realizing that it was foolish to hold back talented war fighters from the front lines, have called up an elite group of female aviators. "The Black Banshees" are assigned to the Italian theatre of World War Two, where they appear in the last thirty minutes of Red Tails in order to save the day after the 332nd suffers heavy casualties on a particularly harrowing and poorly planned mission. At first, their presence is resisted by the Tuskegee airmen. Inevitably, The Black Banshees win over the Tuskegee Airmen, and each woman pairs up with their opposite number among the 332nd. At first the mutual attraction is resisted, but eventually each member of The Black Banshees marries a Tuskegee airmen after retiring from the service, pregnant of course with future aviators, who just like mom and dad, will be the cavalry of the skies in the jet age.
Members of The Black Banshees include Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Missy Elliot, Jean Grea, and MC Lyte. Their flight leader is Angelina Jolie channeling her earlier role as Cleopatra.
War is hell. Blood is spilled. Bodies are broken. Nurses in wartime are sisters, mothers, confidantes, objects of unrequited love, and skilled technicians who put broken bodies back together again so that they can go out to fight (and be broken) again. There is something almost Freudian and Oedipal about nurses in many World War 2 movies: they are sister-mother-lover figures. The love is many times quite chaste...until it surrenders to desperation...and lust. Red Tails needs this actress to be compelling, pathos filled, and sincere. Gabrielle Sidibe, of Precious fame, is the perfect young actress to play the role. She is a member of the U.S. Army's nursing corps who is transferred from Atlanta, Georgia to the European theater in order to tend to the young and homesick men of the 332nd air group.
In that spirit, what other actresses would you add to Red Tails and why? And how would you cast the obligatory big budget black actress of the last few years, she who is Miss Beyonce (who I intentionally left out of my hypothetical casting game), in the film? Would you include a dance number where all of the black women in the movie break out in song Dreamgirls style?
Friday, January 20, 2012
The World is Now Made Less Interesting: Meteorologist Dr. Mel, from New Haven's WTNH, has Passed Away
Dr. Mel Goldstein has passed away. He fought a long and very public fight with cancer and it appears he finally succumbed. Dr. Mel didn't lose. Dr. Mel simply went on to another fight; he had to predict the weather for the elder gods on another plane of existence.
He was a quirky guy. Dr. Mel was very popular and a true populist: he would show up all over New Haven county and talk to people. From the rich to the poor, all of us--the black, brown, white, yellow, and red--we all trusted him. I am sure if Dr. Mel decided to run for Mayor he would have won in a landslide.
In fact, at the supermarket in the old Ames-Stop & Shop Plaza near The Strand Theater on Dixwell Avenue in Hamden, Connecticut ("back in the day" during the 1980s), I met Dr. Mel.
My dad, mom, and me? We were all overwhelmed. Dr. Mel was genuine, and it was as if he had known us for years as he talked to us for a good fifteen or so minutes. While my favorite celebrity encounter was getting Mr. Fuji's (of the then WWF's) autograph at Bradley's department store while he stood in line wearing a kimono and flip flops, my encounter with Dr. Mel is a close second.
Random factoid: I am named after a weatherman. Therefore, my highest complement is that Dr. Mel was THE DUDE that all of us trusted when it came to his predictions about closing school for a winter storm. If Dr. Mel said there would no school tomorrow, we were never disappointed. Those other folks, on those other networks? Not to be trusted.
You will be missed Dr. Mel. Your passing means that we are all a bit older. You will never, not ever, be replaced.
In the unique cadence of Master Yoda, "irreplaceable, you are."
Dr. Mel, you are real people. You are also a respectable negro. Do travel well.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Juan Williams is in on this angle; in the language of professional wrestling the Gingrich-Williams fracas is a "worked shoot."
I left a little easter egg in my piece on Juan Williams and the Tea Party GOP's air raid siren politics of racial appeals to white conservatives. No one gave either a wink of approval or a moan of condemnation...until today.
The good folks at the Right-wing website Newsbusters have declared me a very nasty boy--one you don't bring home to mother. They picked up on my suggestion that Juan Williams, in his Stockholm-like loyalty to Fox News and the Tea Party GOP, is a political coprophagist. Hopefully, this allusion to Juan Williams' (and that of black conservatives more generally) role as a human receptacle for white racial resentment will resonate around the Right-wing echo chamber. It would be good fun.
And do check out the peanut gallery's reaction as well for a laugh.
Hearing oneself discussed in the third person is always great sport. Courtesy of Newsbusters:
While several media liberals have praised Juan Williams of Fox News for pushing around Newt Gingrich with the idea that his campaign rhetoric is at best insensitive to black Americans, Chauncey DeVega at the Daily Kos is sticking to the theory that Williams is a tool of racist Republicans: "Juan Williams is an object of abuse, a means to prove a point. Juan Williams is a paid pinata for white conservatives."
Or Williams is a toilet: "Juan Williams is/was a repository for the fecal matter of white conservative bigotry, and a need to maintain superiority over negroes who dare not to step off of the sidewalk when white folks pass." Or Williams is actually "coprophagic," he eats feces:
That in another life Juan Williams would be a critic of "negro agitators" during the Civil Rights movement is coincidental to his designated role on Fox News: he is exemplary of Joel Kovel's theories about white supremacy, and how it manifests as a White society which is collectively (and individually) stuck in the fecal phase of human psychological development -- it is all over his face. Juan Williams smiles while cashing his checks at the prospect of his political coprophagia at the ass end of conservative politics. He revels in playing the role of the human centipede.Chauncey followed up his pinata line with this:
I do not know if he was legitimately hurt and surprised by their reaction to him, or if his pain was not feigned, and rather sincere and real. In understanding the logic of Republican racism and naked appeals beyond the dog whistle, Williams was the stand-in, the object of abuse through which to actualize rage and hostility. Barack Obama was not available. Any black body would do. The cheering, snide glee of Newt Gingrich dressing down uppity "Juan," and the audience's cheering of a "boy" being put in his place, would be missed by only the most in denial observer.Let's just round up the crazy with this final brain-blast:
In 2012, Republican candidates are using overt signals, what are for all intents and purposes blaring air raid sirens and signal flares that race, whiteness, and American identity are deeply intertwined. The appeals to white racism by the Tea Party GOP during the primaries are not background rhythms or subdued choruses. They are the driving guitars of Blue Oyster Cult's "Godzilla," the chorus of Jay-Z's "99 Problems," the opening moments of the Notorious B.I.G's "Kick in the Door," or the flipped samples of Justice's "Stress". You feel it. You know it. To deny the obvious is to close one's ears to a driving drum line and cadence that travels up through your shoes...and to your bones.
How else can a fair observer excuse away Republican arguments that blacks are lazy parasites, whose children should live in work houses and pick up mops and brooms to learn a work ethic, that "illegal" immigrants should be killed by electric fences, or Muslim Americans should be subject to racial profiling, marked like the "Juden" of Nazi Germany?[HT: Johnsey deFlagga]
Racial Air Raid Sirens: Newt Gingrich vs. the Uppity Negro vs. Boardwalk Empire vs. Speaking Lies in the Black Church
A Google search limited to the last seven days yields the following results:
Ultimately, Newt Gingrich is a master of talking out of both sides of his mouth.
I am unsure if Newt Gingrich is closer to the Batman character Two-Face or He-Man's Man-E-Faces, but his practiced lies-as-truth speech mongering does most certainly remind me of Nucky on Boardwalk Empire--but with less sincerity, generosity, or pragmatic spirit:
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
An Air Raid Siren: Chris Matthews was Right About Republican Racism in South Carolina, But Wrong About "Dog Whistle" Politics
On his MSNBC show Hardball, Chris Matthews called out Newt Gingrich and other Republicans for what he described as their "dog whistle" appeals to white racism during the South Carolina debate on Monday night.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Such thinking is prologue to Mearsheimer’s admonition that a struggle with China awaits us. “The Chinese are good offensive realists, so they will seek hegemony in Asia,” he tells me, paraphrasing the conclusion to Tragedy. China is not a status quo power. It will seek to dominate the South China Sea as the U.S. has dominated the Greater Caribbean Basin. He continues: “An increasingly powerful China is likely to try to push the U.S. out of Asia, much the way the U.S. pushed European powers out of the Western Hemisphere. Why should we expect China to act any differently than the United States did? Are they more principled than we are? More ethical? Less nationalistic?”
There is racial progress in America: the Republican crowd for last night's South Carolina debate only booed Juan Williams for his uppity back sassing, whereas not too long ago they would have called up a lynching party.
Once more, my black conservative readers, can you please explain your affinity for a Republican party that consistently (and with glee) lies about and belittles African Americans? And which does so before a national audience--and even to one its "exceptional" pet negroes?
Ultimately, I do not know which was the more offensive aspect of the South Carolina Tea Party GOP debate: was it A) Rick Santorum's factually and sociologically challenged understanding of the relationship between poverty, marriage, and opportunity structures or B) Newt Gingrich's consistent insistence that black people are lazy bums who need to pick up mops, and are uniquely addicted to food stamps and welfare?
Monday, January 16, 2012
It is great when you can still be surprised by life. Ignorance is bliss; discovery is joy.
With his intensely autobiographical paintings depicting the day-to-day existence of African Americans in the segregated South, Winfred Rembert has preserved an important, if often disturbing, chapter of American history. His indelible images of toiling in the cotton fields, singing in church, dancing in juke joints, or working on a chain gang are especially powerful, not just because he lived every moment, but because he experienced so much of the injustice and bigotry they show as recently as the 1960s and 70s.
Now in his sixties, Rembert has developed a growing following among collectors and connoisseurs, and enjoyed a number of tributes and exhibitions of his work. In "ALL ME: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert," the artist relives his turbulent life, abundantly visualized by his extensive paintings and, in a series of intimate reminiscences, shows us how even the most painful memories can be transformed into something meaningful and beautiful. A glowing portrait of how an artist—and his art—is made, "ALL ME" is also a triumphant saga of race in contemporary America.
The Obamas vs the Romneys: The Republican Mind and Visions of Whiteness and Race Suicide on Dr. King's Holiday
The road to the world imagined by Dr. King remains long.
For example, some Americans see Mitt Romney's much publicized family photo as one of homogeneous whiteness and WASP glory.Whether in rust belt towns, gated communities, poor white rural America, or the nondescript suburbs, this is the America of "Nixonland" that so many yearn for. This is real America; the best of us; a country that they/we should die to protect.
Other folks see the family photo of Barack Obama and his kin as the future. Americans are a cosmopolitan people. While there exists a deep and historic nativist impulse, as well as a fear of the Other, the country's greatness has been its ability to include all folks that want to belong-- what is an all embracing sense of pluralism and "we the people" that is flexible, accommodating, and inclusive.
Citizens use heuristics, memes, cues, and slogans to make sense of politics, and to work through their own political decision-making. As such, for many, the photo of Mitt Romney's family is that of "real America," and to deviate from this approved model is hazardous to the Common Good, a decision that is perverse, and one that is "unAmerican."
By implication, for the collective consciousness of the white Tea Party GOP populist electorate--and although they may lack the vocabulary to express this cogently--there is something inherently wrong with the interracial, international, and "diverse" nature of Barack Obama's family. In all, the Obama way is "race suicide": it is a path of destruction for the United States, as to be American is to be quintessentially and unquestionably "white."
Folks like Pat Buchanan are honest enough to voice such sentiments, feelings which are the rotten, beating heart of the Tea Party GOP. Others who share Buchanan's anxieties and loyalties are not as courageous; they play around with his themes while not owning their substance.
On Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's birthday, conservatives will mouth breath about his legacy as they spin an empty story of racial equality, racist Southern Democrats, and white victimhood in the Age of Obama. These contortions are to be expected. The joke is--and has long been--that the real Dr. King, the radical visionary and not the deracialized, apolitical panderer for gross consumerism and empty politics, would be hated by conservatives, Red State America, and many others fearful of his progressive vision, if he lived in the present.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Football Theodicy? Tom Brady is to Tim Tebow as Stone Cold Steve Austin was to Jake the Snake Roberts
Oh Mr. Tebow, I know that the faithful Christian Nationalist evangelical Dominionists who believe that you are favored by Providence--and that God intervenes in football games--will valorize your suffering as it is both epic and prophetic.
But, I simply could not resist: Tom Brady and the Patriots just kicked your ass.
This begs a question: does Tebow's humiliation introduce a theodicy problem for his zealous faithful? How do they reconcile an all knowing, all loving, omniscient and omnipotent god with the existence of football evil in the form of the unholy trinity that is Brady-McDaniels-Belichick?
Thus, I must ask: Are matters really this dire?
Jess JANUARY 10, 2012 AT 8:05 PM
Vertigo Schtick JANUARY 14, 2012 AT 7:16 AM
Friday, January 13, 2012
Laughter is Your Friend: Courtesy of Comedy Central, Do You Want to Win DVDs of Sinbad, Eddie Griffith and Patrice O'Neil?
I promised to bring the readers of We Are Respectable Negroes more goodies in the year 2012. I generally pass on promotions, but this most recent offer from the good people at Comedy Central was too good to let slip by.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
George Lucas is making the rounds to promote his newest film Red Tails. I attended a screening of the movie several months ago and wrote my review here. On The Daily Show Lucas echoes my observation that Red Tails is a corny, over the top, jingoistic, 1940s era World War 2 movie--just one with black folks as the centerpiece of the story. In short, Red Tails is the World War 2 movie that The Tuskegee Airmen deserved and never received: it is their/our Flying Leathernecks.
I love Star Wars. I owe Lucas and his fantastic creation a great deal both personally and professionally. As such, I feel that I have earned the freedom to engage in some critical ghetto nerd talk about the prequels and Lucas' politics more generally. Dude is on the right side of so many issues, and his body of work signals to this fact, that (to my eyes at least) Red Tails makes up a bit of the ill will left over from the Jar Jar debacle that is the Prequels.
Lucas drops the shield with Stewart, engages in some self-deprecating humor, talks long term plans for the Red Tails franchise, and the reality that Hollywood will not finance black movies save for Tyler Perry's hot garbage new age race minstrelsy (notice how George bites his tongue, speaking very carefully about the coonery and buffoonery that are Madea and Meet the Browns).
Last night, Brother Cornel West appeared on "Brother" Sean Hannity's TV show. Lord. "Brother" Sean Hannity? Save me now. I cannot stomach Fox News; only a few seconds of viewing leave me spent and exhausted--their lies and distortions are that burdensome.
In all, this an entertaining interview. But, it left me with many head-shaking moments, and a few questions.
One, why would Cornel West go on the Hannity Show? Fox viewers are not going to buy his books, they see him as a crazy negro intellectual leftie Commie, so what is the point? Is Brother Cornel just putting his head in the lion's mouth for a cheap thrill?
Two, why would Cornel walk back his observations about Herman Cain being on "the symbolic crack pipe?" You are on enemy territory, why not go hard and stick to principles? And yes, it was fun to hear Hannity mentioning some of my talking points on Herbie Cornbread Imagine There is No Pizza Cain (once more, I had a moment when I regretted not going on Fox News those months back). One day, I will get my metaphorical hands around the throats of Hannity and company, I just have to wait for the moment of my own choosing.
Three, are the talking heads all in bed with each other? Is this a big charade that the true believers, marks, and the low information voting public don't realize is a sham? Left and Right need a good fight, just like boxers who feign hatred for each other to build up the gate. Is this a dynamic present in the Cornel West Fox News interview?
Fourth, do Hannity and the Conservative Jesus Christ hates the poor and loves the rich Christian Nationalist Dominion crowd really believe the crap they spew? I am not a "Christian," but the Right-wing prosperity gospel war monger types have always been the object of much fascination on my part. What mental gymnastics do they use in their biblical hermeneutics? Can their pastors, ministers, and other oracles be brought up on charges of biblical malpractice?
Finally, who the hell are the "so-called" rich that Hannity defends as an oppressed and aggrieved public? What leaps of faith are necessary for listeners to sustain a belief in, and adherence to, such Orwellian fictions?