To this point in his tenure, my favorite "space coon," ghetto nerd, Commander in Chief, has been linked with Star Trek on several occasions. During the campaign, the pundits wondered if he was more Spock or Captain Kirk (the consensus was that the cerebral assassin was more a Vulcan; John McCain got to play the role of space cowboy and gun boat diplomat James T. Kirk). President Obama also hosted Nichelle Nichols at the White House and posed for a soon to be iconic photo with the actress who Dr. King persuaded to remain on classic Trek because she was a trailblazing role-model for young women of color.
President Obama's enemies on the Right must also be Star Trek fans. In their desperate muckraking, they have "discovered" that Barack Obama once ate dog as a child. Making matters worse, his father was apparently judged to be "anti-white" by immigration officials in the United States and the United Kingdom (my goodness, a black man who grows up in colonial Africa may have some issues with white folks? the horrors and surprises never cease...).
In keeping with the Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series, it would seem that the sins of the father are now the sins of the son for President Obama. Because Conservatives actually see President Obama as a Klingon (a perpetual outsider and Other), the deeds and (dis)honor of his father passes down several generations. Even Obama's children's children would not be spared this shame!
Not content with voodoo beyond the grave zombie mind control Mau Mau politics where Obama's absent father controls him from the afterlife, they are channeling popular culture and the cinematic imagination to cook up foolishness in an effort to distract the mouth-breathing Right-wing populists from the Ayn Rand reality show which is the Tea Party GOP's check and mate for the American middle class.
The spectacle is entertaining, if not bizarre, theater. In all, this charade is symbolic of a fractured and sick political culture. For example, during the past four years President Obama has been accused of hating white people, being controlled by ghosts, faking his grades at Columbia, being a Manchurian candidate who was not a U.S. citizen, using crack and having sex with male prostitutes, drinking 40's at the White House with dangerous "gangsta" rappers, is a secret Muslim, and also a closet Socialist controlled by an evil cabal of Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers, Saul Alisnky, James Cone, Derrick Bell, and Frances Fox Piven. These conspiracy theories are not even internally consistent or coherent--but that is the point of the paranoid style, is it not?
This is all good sport that does more to demonstrate how out of touch with reality the Right-wing echo chamber and its supplicants actually are. However, the sins of the father should be turned around on any Conservatives who dare to utter such balderdash. Mitt Romney should be queried about his lineage and how he was socialized into a religion and culture which until very recently claimed that people of color were not fit for heaven, and are in fact subhumans stained by the Curse of Ham, destined for perpetual slavery at the end of the whip, and under the boots, of white people. Using the same logic, why was George W. Bush never asked about his grandfather, a man who helped finance the Nazi's rise to power?
Of course, the sins of the father for white folks specifically, and conservatives, in particular are not bound by rules of inter-generational culpability or guilt by association. White privilege is the freedom to be an individual, one unmoored both from history or the burdens of racial identity and group responsibility. Funny, this would seem to apply even to Star Trek and the Right's efforts to smear President Obama through the blood lineage of his father.
But I think the joke is on them this time. As a ghetto nerd, President Obama is likely smiling as he looks at his photo of Nichelle Nichols, thinks about the long arch of history, and bears his teeth, channeling his inner Klingon.
Moreover, as President Obama prepares for the 2012 election, he should heed the following proverb from his Klingon brethren: To those who are overly cautious, everything is impossible.
Being a Klingon ain't too bad after all; for some of us it is actually preferred.