Note: This is a weekly feature by Nezua, TMC MediaWire Blogger
Nobody said becoming a post-racial nation would be easy. The United States has its first black president, but as the son of a Kenyan immigrant, his citizenship and legitimacy are still being questioned. In the meantime, the White House is advancing programs like the 287(g) agreement, which have been linked to racial profiling and civil rights violations. It’s a form of oppression made possible, perversely, by the very administration that many hoped would combat such injustices.
Not that the issue of race ever really went anywhere, but the topic is front and center in the news again since the June 18 arrest of Henry Louis Gates, a Harvard professor who was picked up by police in his own home. Eric Kleefeld of Talking Points Memo runs through the “racially-charged attacks that have circulated against [President] Obama” since his comments on Gates’ arrest. Kleefeld notes that this rhetoric has been a regular focus of the Right’s attacks against Obama since “the phony rumors of a tape of Michelle Obama defaming whites.”
But that’s old news. Today’s paranoiac can tune into the strange campaign spearheaded by CNN’s Lou Dobbs known as “Birtherism,” which is the belief held by a very fringe element of the Right that President Obama was not born in the U.S. and is ineligible to hold office. Dobbs has been obsessively documenting the fact-resistant Birther debate, supposedly because the group needs representation and a voice in the media. The Washington Monthly‘s Steve Benen reports on Dobbs’ response to criticism from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow: Lou is now calling Maddow names like the “Teabagging Queen.”