Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Too Bad the Country's First Black President Can't Go All Django on Them: The Shutdown of the United States Government by the Tea Party GOP is an Act of Political Castration Against Barack Obama

Joan Walsh has a great piece on the role of white racism in the Tea Party GOP's determined--and for now successful--effort to shutdown the United States government. She also echoes many of the points we have been developing here on We Are Respectable Negroes. It is nice to be in such smart company.

The tempter tantrum by a group of right-wing zealots to subvert democracy in order to derail the expansion of health care to millions of Americans is more than partisan bickering. It is a sign of how one of the country's two governing parties is now fully broken.

One of the long-held arguments about American Exceptionalism centers on the stability of our party system. The logic suggests that consensus liberalism and a "first past the post winner take all" electoral system creates a tendency towards centrism. The Tea Party GOP is a radical political faction with no interest in reasonable governance. To that end, they found what video game players call an "exploit" in the system. As such, they are mining the loopholes in the Constitution which allow for tyrannical behavior by a minority of people in the legislature for maximum effect.

The disruptive political behavior by the Tea Party is also a direct function of how the Republican Party is the country's de facto "White" political interest group--and how the Tea Party, its most extreme element, functions as a White Identity organization.

Obama has been the focus of repeated efforts by the Right to delegitimize his presidency. Most of these are fundamentally rooted in a deep anxiety about his race. In all, a black man is incompatible with the "real America" that the Tea Party and neo-Confederate Republican Party yearns for. Obama's personhood, and all of the history and weight that comes with it, is outside of the boundaries of what it means to be "American" for the White Right, their allies, and many in Red State America.

And despite his extremely conservative racial politics, and almost instinctive retreat from any discussion of white racism and its impact on communities of color, Barack Obama is to them the black president bogeyman who must be stopped at every opportunity in order to save the Tea Party GOP's dream of a White Republic.

Since the founding of the United States, black folks (and other people of color) have long been seen by the White Gaze as racial pollutants in the American body politic. We can be a source of labor and wealth for White America. But, black folks and other people of color are not supposed to be full citizens, equal with white Americans, and receiving the full material benefits of that civic identity.

African-Americans have been barred by violence, arms, the law, and other means from full citizenship for a majority of the centuries we have been in what would eventually become the United States of America.

In the short time that constitutes our full citizenship and freedom in the United States a black man became President.

That was not supposed to happen.

Barack Obama's election in 2008 was exciting and thrilling and positive for many Americans, while simultaneously being a thing of terror, fear, and anxiety for others who cannot cognitively and emotionally reconcile how a black man, as President, is now American royalty and the symbolic embodiment of the State.

Birtherism and legislative obstructionism are efforts by the Tea Party GOP and White Right to make Obama politically impotent. The Affordable Care Act is the crown jewel of Obama's presidency and legacy. It must be opposed at any cost by Republicans, even if the result is a Pyrrhic victory and the shaming of their party.

Barack Obama had the unmitigated gall to run for President and to win...twice. There is no greater affront to the Tea Party GOP as the defender of "conservative" and "traditional" American values--especially as those standing norms have been centered upon maintaining a system of white male (and class) privilege.

Obama's punishment? A government shutdown, debt ceiling crises, and manufactured scandals that are efforts to symbolically castrate the United States' first black president.

Barack Obama is not allowed the revenge fantasy against the Tea Party GOP that is the movie Django: Unchained. If he were, then perhaps the obstructionist politics of the Republican Party could be broken and Congress allowed to do the People's business.


Learning is Eternal said...

It's crazy. They, like Obama have so much in common being they were birthed by white women. Obama like The Egyptians, like Hannibal, like Jesus... & even Alicia Keys will become white in time. Someone/they will recognize his greatness or what he meant to the times & that's when (history) they'll take him away from us. His white, pure side tried to bring everyone together but his black democratic side was the source of all conflict. I'll leave it alone for now. Good post.

DeistPaladin said...

Maybe he can go all Django on them.
"OK, the entire Tea Bagger caucus of the Republican Representatives in Congress are under arrest."

"What for?"

"We suspect you're Al-Qaida terrorists so we're taking you to the detention facility in Guantanamo."

"But wait, we're not terrorists."

"Yeah, that's just what Al Qaida terrorists would say."

"But what evidence do you have?"

"We've established from W Bush's precedent that we don't need evidence. All we have to do is 'suspect' you. That's enough to allow us to have you detained indefinitely."

"But we get a trial to prove our innocence, right?"



OK, not likely to happen but fun to think about.

Wisconsin Reader said...

I am a 72 year old retired small business owner - Vietnam era Veteran - white male (which I view as my least important category) who firmly believes change is coming to and arriving in America . . . Almost all of these tea party people are old confederacy or rural folks - rubes being played by Right Wing media - they fear the modern world and yearn for yesterday. . . preferring "beliefs" over facts and science - please keep talking - writing - registering - voting - tweeting - and never ever give up!. . .

chauncey devega said...

Red State America and their leaders are the former CSA. Why are people afraid to say that so plainly?

chauncey devega said...

Maybe the Sergeant at Arms could detain them for betraying their oaths of office? What a great visual if the Executive Branch forced Congress to stay in session by surrounding the respective buildings with U.S. Marshals?

chauncey devega said...

Changing norms of whiteness and a version of racial formation in practice?

j.ottopohl said...

Of course the definition of "white" like other racial categorizations changes over time in different places and racial formation is an ongoing phenomenon. I am not going to predict how it will evolve in the US, but what is "white" isn't fixed or constant so people of mixed race could be redefined from "black" to "white." North Africans are already officially "white" according to the US census categories.

Learning is Eternal said...

Nothing new under the sun. If it has any good in it there is no way possible a black man/woman had any involvement. Unlike the debate (by whites only) of the race of my aforementioned there were no forms of social media. You know, CDV, those electronic time capsules idiots use daily to capture their more meaningless thoughts. A thousand years later we'll still have record of who these people are/were & who they claimed to be.

chauncey devega said...

But be careful, by definition to be white in america is defined opposite of blackness. The one drop rule has a funny way of lingering.

DanF said...

Prior to Nixon's "Southern Strategy," both parties had plenty of racists and god-botherers. Southern Democrats (and Democrats whose heart was in Dixie even though their ass was someplace else) had no problem with big government as long as it was perceived to be helping primarily white folks. Unions? Great! Social Security? Awesome! GI Bill? Best thing ever! Rural electrification? Who could be against that! But Johnson's War on Poverty coupled with civil rights legislation was effectively exploited by the Republicans to change FDR's perception that "government can help" to, "Government only helps those people."
When you're a party that caters to business like the GOP, you find that rich people only have one vote hence the necessity for the Southern Strategy. You also find that people will only vote against their deteriorating economic self-interest for only so long unless you keep upping the ante, and they've been upping the ante for almost forty years. So now they're the party with the vast majority of racists and con artists and their new leaders have been raised on this nonsense and nurtured in their epistemic bubble.

And then we elect a black guy President. This is not the reality they were taught. This is not the country they thought they lived in. None of their "facts" have prepped them for this possibility. So they are lashing out and are willing to pay any price as long as it brings their opponent down too.

The problem for the GOP now is that they are so toxic, that the vast majority of young people want nothing to do with them if for no other reason then they are just so fucking mean. Worse for them is that there is no cultural divide to exploit. They've convinced as many people as they can that not having affordable healthcare is a form of freedom. That science is bullshit. That Jesus was a killer who hated the poor and would have loved shopping at Walmart. You got all the racists and thanks to popular culture, you aren't making enough new ones to keep up. What issue can they use to peel people off from the center? We're in for a hell of a tantrum. That much hate and crazy isn't going to go away quietly.

thetruthsetsufree said...

Its funny when ignorant people like you call for a race war. It wouldn't last a week and America would be free of the welfare class. Bring it fool. Of course you will delete my comment. True to your cowardly nature.

Miles_Ellison said...

Thanks to the destruction of public education, an alarming number of people will buy into that hate and crazy because they don't know any better.

Weird Beard said...

I love your analysis/reflections upon the state of black citizenship within the American polity historically to present. I believe it lends weight to your argument, and yet I am left with the feeling that Obama is more a means to an end with Republicans. Yes they have beef with him, but my internal response to your piece is that it isn't all about Obama. The beef seems to be from the top of the capitalist pyramid scheme (like Yertle the Turtle), complaining that their labor is not cheap enough, and is demanding too many benefits. This class war cannot be separated from the racial components as it is part and parcel of White entitlement. It hails back to a slave era White entitlement in which whites demand cheap/free labor on tap to do with as they please and treat as they please. We went from slavery, to Jim Crow, straight to exporting the labor base to 3rd world slavery/sweatshops, and now as we see China investing in infrastructure to exploit cheap labor in Africa in an aggressive way, we are coming full circle again to black bodies being exploited to serve white entitlement (as some of these goods will undoubtedly make it to U.S. shores). So Obama is implicated by republicans as being sensitive to the issues of poor/working black and brown folks, like middle management or a union boss. But I feel the real hatred, loathing, the real beef is with poor/working black people demanding dignity, decency, fairness, opportunity, humaneness, and to be treated as citizenry in an era of record breaking profits in the richest nation on the planet. This master/slave dynamic continues to be perpetuated, I feel with more audacity of late with the rise of the Tea Party. Obama is not their cheap labor, but he is targeted as he is perceived sensitive to the plight of their cheap labor. Regardless I appreciate the Django fantasy aspect of this.

Constructive_Feedback said...

My beloved Brother Chauncey DeVega:
Help me get my head around this one:
The US government, long said to be the VEHICLE OF RACISM is today, in your opinion, the `playing field `by which RACIST ATTACKS are suffered by its Commander in Chief.
Just a few weeks ago this same "Black Guy In Chief" was advocating for an Imperialist Attack against the `nation of color called Syria - this after knocking off Libya, Mali, Yemen and Somalia`
Are you sure, Brother DeVega that as a "We Are In The White HOUSE NEGRO" you are merely projecting YOUR SENTIMENTS of IDEOLOGOCAL OFFENDEDNESS upon your Progressive Vessel?
Since Blackness Is Cheap - you are able to use it as a force of INDICTMENT against your Right Wing enemy - yet when your Progressive Vessel orders this otherwise RACIST SYSTEM to attack a people's of color - you are NOT willing to risk your domestic progressive fundamentalist interests to stand against Global Imperialism against people of color (or not until another enemy enters the White House)?
Have you really and truly thought about your position, Mr DeVega - away from the vapors that your progressive friends blow your way?

Constructive_Feedback said...

Why is it that a RACIST must show contempt for Black people?
What about a person that BEFRIENDS the Blacks - gets them to join a coalition by which they INvESt THEIR VALUABLES with the hopes that they will be developed - only to be left UNDERDEVELOPED as this machine takes over their community. With the team consciousness still cemented in their minds they agree to follow this team NATIONALLY in the battle against their enemy?
If this partner HAS NO INTENTION OF DEVELOPING BLACK PEOPLE to the point where they can assess that their RETURN ON INVESTMENT has not developed them sufficiently and thus the partner should be FIRED - can you tell me that the only ENEMY OF BLACK PEOPLE ARE THE ONE'S THAT OFFEND THE AMERICANIZED NEGRO?
The forces that STEAL the Black community's ability to govern their own communities are the bigger enemies.

Constructive_Feedback said...

Miles Ellison:
Who controls these public schools where Black people live in our highest concentrations?
We are witnessing a grand FRAUD before our eyes.

When I see people like Michele Alexander brought in to comment on Mission Accomplished Zones like Baltimore and then claim THERE IS A WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE. The fact that she can't bring herself to note that the BLACK PEOPLE OF BALTIMORE voted 50%+1 in support of these "Oppressors" shows me that the entire body of thought that she represents IS NOT interested in developing Black people but is instead interested in harvesting their valuables as raw materials in the fight against this amorphous right wing enemy.

Constructive_Feedback said...

Wisconsin Reader - I have heard more Black women voice FEAR about living in the community that they presently live in than I have heard Tea Party members voice FEAR about a browning America.

What makes the opinions of the Tea Party so SUPERIOR to you , over the concerns voiced by people who's INVESTMENTS were collected but the promised benefits not delivered?

Constructive_Feedback said...

And the Chicago Street Pirate is what?
Did you see Al Jezeera America -where they spent time with Chicago street gangs?

chauncey devega said...

When are you going to get a youtube show Constructive? I keep encouraging you because you are so consistent with your talking points and downright entertaining. Plus, those great charts and graphs are humorous in and of themselves.

chauncey devega said...

I know that bookerrising is gone. And you would like some more attention and interaction. But do refrain from using WARN as a sounding board to blog by proxy. I will leave the above comment up because Miles responded. After that you have been put on notice. You have your own site, use it however you like. But this is not a side gig for the "wisdom" you try to offer.

skilletblonde said...

Chauncey coming from you, I can't tell you how flattered I am.

chauncey devega said...

When are you going to get a youtube show Constructive? I keep encouraging you because you are so consistent with your talking points and downright entertaining. Plus, those great charts and graphs are humorous in and of themselves.

chauncey devega said...

I was talking to our resident heckler Constructive Feedback...or constipated feedback as others have called him and mistyped my response here. But, you are quite bright and witty and should put up a shingle and do you own thing too. I am sure it would turn out great.

James Estrada-Scaminaci III said...

I would suggest that if you examine the leadership of the "Tea Party" you will find the leadership of the Christian Right that are located in the DC beltway. Yes, there are Tea Party groups around the country that get heavily involved in promoting primary challenges to GOP members who do not toe the party line. But, the key strategists and propaganda campaign makers have been around for decades; they built a five billion dollar infrastructure of think tanks--with money coming from Christian billionairies, millionaires, and conservative foundations; they have conservative talk radio that dominates the airwaves; they have blogs and Internet hubs; and, they have Fox News. Everything the Tea Party has proposed has been dredged up from the past right-wing proposals going back to the 1950s and 1960s. And, I would suggest that is the Christian Right which is really driving this GOP-Tea Party-white nationalist train and they aim to destroy this federal government and U.S. Constitution because it represents evil and a cultural and existential threat to them. They were gearing up to oppose Hilary Clinton; instead they got Barack Obama. That unleashed their inner racism, but this is much more than animus towards Obama--this is religiously driven hatred of the federal government.

Miles_Ellison said...

Beautiful soliloquy. But what I said has nothing to do with the inadequacies of black leadership in Baltimore. I know you only have a hammer, but that doesn't make everything a nail.

Constructive_Feedback said...

As I understand your response:
1) You are not interested in addressing my direct challenge to your line of thinking - in which I took YOUR claim of "Racism Against A President Of The United States" and asked you to define how the classical definition of racism (hatred + power to injure a people) can be applied to a man who has attacked a series of "Nations Of Color" in a manner that you would otherwise call "Systematic Racist/Imperialist"?
2) You care more about MY CONSISTENCY than you are in refuting my points BECAUSE it is YOU who are interested in affirming YOUR consistent Ideological bigotry - than confronting the forces that steal the Upward Thrust from your investors - "The Least Of These"
3) While you seem to like my "charts" I wonder if you find anything about the as inaccurate, since clearly none of this content has cause you to change.
It should be no surprise though. Regardless of the outcomes received by the Black community in Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia or Baltimore - after investing their VALUABLES as a proxy for their DEVELOPMENT HOPES - you will never come to see this as the greatest SUBPRIME INVESTMENT SCHEME.
Instead it is my views which are contra wise to your own that prove to be more repugnant.
For me - it is repugnant that so many forces that compel our people to invest their valuables are allowed to have unchecked access to DO IT OVER and OVER again and then blame someone else for the continued inferior results that our people register.

Constructive_Feedback said...

Mr Ellison:
I now see that no only do I need to reset YOUR analysis of what I said - I must also be careful to not offend my dear friend Chauncey DeVega's desire to have a comfortable coffeehouse where there is mass agreement without any "coffee spilt" on anyone clothing due to verbal conflict.
I was just working with my young son about pulling out the MAIN SUBJECTS in his reading assignments. I made him use the tragedy of the 450 African immigrants from Eritrea/Somalia as his news story. He said that the "Fire On Board" was the main subject.
I told him "NO!!" - the main subject is the (over) 150 people that drowned. The fire caused the people to evade to the other side of the ship, causing it to capsize. The fire was a subordinate issue.
Do you not see SIR? My dear brother Chaucey DeVega - who I have philos love for - has you focusing so much on your known ENEMIES and thus achieves cult-like agreement on this blog.
I showed you a Mission Accomplished Zone that has purged this enemy and yet the very same detrimental OUTCOMES but also descriptive rhetoric about the ENEMY is being used.
This I am forced to conclude, sir, that it is FAR MORE IMPORTANT to PLEASE YOU IDEOLOGICALLY than it matters that YOUR mental viewpoints be in line with THE REAL WORLD.
Please tell me where I am wrong.

chauncey devega said...

Great points on Christian Dominionism and the neoliberal Austerity alliance and the neo-Confederates. This all reads like a bad pulp novel from the 1930s but it is very real. Terrifying.

Bryan Ortez said...

"knocking off Libya, Mali, Yemen, and Somalia"

All of those places were in a state of revolution before America got involved. Well, with the exception of Mali, in which case America has not gotten involved, so not sure how that argument holds up and it's one I'm pretty familiar with in internet cafes.

All of these instances of meddling in other countries affairs are due to the war on terror. The US was already a global hegemonic power before Barack Obama was elected and had declared a war on terror, specifically against anyone affiliated with al Qaeda. To go on believing that the administration is responsible for arming al Qaeda in Syria or for assisting in terrorism in any of these other countries, well, that leads down a long dark paranoid path of conspiracy, the light at the end belonging to Alex Jones... Don't stay blind in that light searching for a truth that confirms your preconceived notions.
Stay with the path of real history and knowledge. It is the only one which is truly illuminating.

:/ said...

Wow for some reason this random photo was in my Google images search and I just wanted to say that painting looks VERY homoerotic...

Dirk Voorhees said...

You are wrong on just about everything. Not everyone's view is based on race. I don't like Obama for his policies, he hasn't helped the blacks and continues to ruin the economy with bad decisions.