Last night, while listening to first Giuliani and then Palin sneer at Obama for being a "community organizer," I nearly lost my everloving shit with fury–not just because, on its face, it shows a deep contempt for an engaged citizenry (back to treating activist like a dirty word again), but because, beneath its surface, it was an ugly racist dog whistle.
Ezra succinctly explains the subtext:
When Giuliani sneered about community organizers on the "South side" of Chicago, it's pretty clear what he's saying: Barack Obama spent his time rabble-rousing among black people. It's no different then when the RNC called him a "street organizer." It's fairly clear what they're trying to evoke. No reason anyone should help them mask it. A community organizer can be a PTA member or a Christian Coalition lieutenant. But that's really not what Palin and Giuliani are getting at. Obama organized poor black people. That's change you can fear.Not just change you can fear, but change you should fear, if you're a white American with any sense. Not only are there Arabs trying to kill us, Mexicans trying to invade us, and Chinese trying to take over the world, but now there's a goddamned black community organizer from the South Side of Chicago who wants to run the country; it wasn't enough we were getting it from all sides—now we've got an inside problem, too!
All of which is buried, naturally, in every speech at the
Thanks to Shaker Late to the Party for dropping the link to Ezra's piece in comments.
[Obama Racism/Muslim/Unpatriotic/Scary Black Dude Watch: Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen, Eighteen, Nineteen, Twenty, Twenty-One, Twenty-Two, Twenty-Three, Twenty-Four, Twenty-Five, Twenty-Six, Twenty-Seven, Twenty-Eight, Twenty-Nine, Thirty, Thirty-One, Thirty-Two, Thirty-Three, Thirty-Four, Thirty-Five, Thirty-Six, Thirty-Seven, Thirty-Eight, Thirty-Nine, Forty, Forty-One, Forty-Two, Forty-Three, Forty-Four, Forty-Five, Forty-Six, Forty-Seven, Forty-Eight, Forty-Nine, Fifty, Fifty-One, Fifty-Two, Fifty-Three, Fifty-Four, Fifty-Five, Fifty-Six, Fifty-Seven, Fifty-Eight, Fifty-Nine, Sixty, Sixty-One, Sixty-Two, Sixty-Three, Sixty-Four, Sixty-Five, Sixty-Six, Sixty-Seven, Sixty-Eight, Sixty-Nine, Seventy, Seventy-One, Seventy-Two, Seventy-Three, Seventy-Four.]