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My on-going narrative where I expose how Americans politics in the era of the 24/7 news cycle is so very much a spectacle, one closer to professional wrestling, than anything civic-minded or which serves The Common Good, is one of my favorites here on WARN. I have been waiting for the right time to share this newest installment. I hope you enjoy it.
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The controversy over George Zimmerman's acquittal for murdering Trayvon Martin is Christmas in July for black conservatives. The professional best black friends for white conservatives who defend George Zimmerman--and by extension the White Right--are in high demand.
As such, Allen West has revealed himself to be a black man who would sell himself into chattel slavery and thank his white owners for the privilege. Shelby Steele, a brilliant man, demonstrates once more that he is psychologically damaged.
Even the D-List backbenchers, as seen in this video from Crooks and Liars, and who are the equivalent of a pee wee baseball league team, are getting a chance to show their teeth and gums as they work on their "self-hating black folks who buck-dance for the pleasures of white conservatives that watch Fox News" dance routine.
Many folks likely believe that these (and other) black conservatives are sincere. Why make such an assumption? In order for a person of color to so betray their community, serving as a human hose who ejaculates and sprays the befouled and racist talking points birthed from the Right-wing echo chamber out of their mouths, on a basic level one must convince him or herself that what they are saying is true.
Yes, money is an inducement for betrayal and foolishness. But, in keeping with my argument that politics is just like professional wrestling--where the latter is actually more honest--a person has to still sell the performance if they want to get repeat work.
Populist black conservatives in the Tea Party GOP mold have to be themselves "with the volume turned way up". However convincing they may be, said black folks are still playing a role for the pleasures and joys of the White Right. Black conservatives are also great "heels" who attract the boos and condemnation of the African-American community (and those others) who correctly see in them a betrayal of the Black Freedom Struggle.
Working through my politics as professional wrestling analogy, the Jesse Petersons and Pastor Mannings are not skilled mat wrestlers. They are great talkers who do "high spots" that involve the ridiculous and the unbelievable in order to "get over" with the audience. By comparison, Clarence Thomas is a master technician who likes to "stretch out" his opponents and put them in a submission hold that they are powerless to counter. He is silent and deadly; the smart marks and owners of the territory love him for it. Tara Setamayer and Crystal Wright are just jobbers trying to get a shot at a regular gig on the road.
But, what if the black conservatives who are the darlings of the Right-wing media, and that are now shucking and bucking in defense of George Zimmerman, were revealed to be actors?
Politics is ultimately about performance, and the marshaling and manipulation of emotion in order to get "those people", i.e. the public, to do what you want...even when it is against their own interests.
If we destroy the pretense of sincerity in political communication and interpersonal dialogue in the public sphere would anyone really care? Would the "marks" who are being hustled and grifted find a way to rationalize their continued support for the con artist(s) on stage?
Magicians often have confederates in the audience to aid in their performance. Snake oil salesmen would have plants in the crowd that spontaneously testified as to how they heard the magical elixir--now finally available in their little hamlet or burg--cured all ailments. Evangelists fleece their flocks, laying hands on those who pretend to be sick, now magically healed by the touch of the chosen one.
In much the same way that the Right-wing establishment has been using bots and paid operatives to troll social media in order to advance the talking points of the Right-wing corporateocracy and the Tea Party GOP, Right-wing talk radio has actors and actresses on retainer whose job it is to legitimate the lying performances of Rush Limbaugh and his ilk.
And yes, some of these professional callers are "black".
In a moment where the United States has a black president, and is in the midst of a tired and moribund national conversation about race in the aftermath of the Zimmerman acquittal, these performers are in high demand.
The "black conservative" listener who calls into Right-wing talk radio is working a minstrel routine. On one hand, there are undoubtedly white conservatives who call into Right-wing talk radio programs and pretend to be the "ignorant" and "uninformed" "black liberal".
Like those who put on the cork, the pleasure for conservatives is that these faux black people are a fantasy projection that legitimates the scurrilous lie that Right-wing Whiteness has about African-Americans being politically naive, hoodwinked, stupid, and stuck on a "Democratic Plantation", where they/we are uniquely addicted to welfare, drugs, and the government tit.
They are complimented by the "real" black conservative who can call in and play the role as a noble defender of the White Right and the Tea Party GOP's racism, or works an angle as being "converted" and "saved" by the good work done by the Great White Fathers, those post racial saviors in Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Savage, or O'Reilly.
Because politics is professional wrestling, these players are working an angle where they are being paid now, hoping to be paid in the future, or are refining their craft as professional "black conservatives", the real "race hustlers" and "race pimps" in the Age of Obama.
The smart marks who follow Right-wing media are fluent in the performance and routine: they can pick out a "good" black caller or a "good" female caller and explain what worked and resonated about the performance. The marks who believe that the Right-wing media are offering up the truth are amateurs. They are moved by the emotions, and how good it makes them feel to be part of the show. If asked, the populist foot soldiers of the Tea Party GOP cannot explain with any level of intelligence or expertise the policies they routinely shill for because all they want to do is cheer and boo on command from their propagandist cult leaders in the Right-wing echo chamber.
This is our America. And what do we do with her?