Sarah Palin is fulfilling her role of a VP candidate attack dog as she steps up her attacks on Barack Obama. However, the question is, "Is Palin playing with a deck of race / fear cards in a covert suggestive manner?"
Associated Press (AP) writer, Douglas K. Daniel, in an article released today, "Analysis: Palin's words may backfire on McCain," alludes to the possibility. He reports Palin, in a speech aimed at Republican donors in Englewood, Colorado, yesterday (Saturday), proclaimed, "Our opponent . . . is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country." The terrorist to whom she was referring is Professor William Ayers and his association with the 1960's - 70's Weather Underground.
Daniel writes that Palin's speech is, "A deliberate attempt to smear Obama. . . . McCain's ticket-mate echoed the line at three separate events Saturday."
This morning, on the talking-heads television political shows, there was a hord of Republican "spokespersons," some of whom I never heard of and the majority being white, dutifully mouthing the same talking point. Is this the October surprise McCain has referenced since the Republican National Convention? Is this all he has?
Has McCain and Palin's handlers nothing constructive to put forth that addresses the problems every American is facing, or will face, due to the financial mess our entire country, most of Europe, the far East, and South America are facing, or beginning to face. Even the Middle Eastern Arab countries, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, etc., are "whoaing-up," ** by tightening their cash out-flow.
** Sorry, I'm trying to get "folksy" like Palin. "Whoa!" is the command a farmer would give to the mules, when farmers used mules, as he pulled the reigns hard for them to stop. "Whoa-up," is the command he gave to indicate to the mules to prepare to stop, as he gently pulled the reigns back. So, he would first command, "Who-o-o-a up" then, "Whoa!" Will the Middle Eastern countries ultimately cry, "Whoa!" and stop investing in American enterprises? How about China? Either possibility is a far more fearful prospect than anyone with whom Obama has, or may have, associated.
Palin also has changed her primary tune. Now, her mantra is, "This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America. We see America as a force of good in this world. We see an America of exceptionalism." Hey! What happened to the corrupt, broken Government / Washington / America - we are going to fix - crusade? Note that she never says, Washington, D.C.
I object to her use of the collective pronoun here since WE own the Government buildings in Washington, D.C., and WE are the Government. Has she never read the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution? She and McCain, alone, can't fix anything relating to America. The American collective WE must join together to do that.
As to William "Bill" Ayers. He is a white man, once a member of the Vietnam-era Weather Underground, an organization which claimed responsibility for a dozen bombings between 1970 and 1974. It was, indeed, a terrorist organization acting against the American Government. However, the former Weatherman, himself, was never convicted of any crime, and now holds the position of distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
He and Obama are not, and never have been, "pals." Obama was all of eight years old during the time of the Weather Underground. The two met years later when they both worked in some organizations in Chicago to help the poor, while Obama was a Community Organizer there. When Obama first entered local politics, Ayers hosted a fundraiser for him.
Later, when Republicans associated Obama with Ayers and Ayers' history in the Weather Underground, Obama denounced Ayers' behavior, as he has done with the radical Christian Evangelical minister, Jeremiah Wright. Obama has made it crystal clear to any intelligent individual that he does not condone any of Ayers and Wright's present, or past, radical beliefs or actions. For more, see Article.
So, is there a fear-of-black-men card in Palin's false associations? Obliquely, there could be. Palin seems to be trying to pull old fears about black males, and prejudices again black males, into the forefront for her listeners, who might subsequently associate any such fears they might have with Obama. If a black man, or any other individual, can be connected with a primal fear, the connector has a potent weapon.
Think about the movie, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. There was "black male phobia" when the movie was made and there are still pockets of such ignorant behavior in America, especially in the South.
Therefore, Palin's reasoning could be: Obama is a black male (hold on, I'll get to the white part), so she mistakenly accuses him of being a man who is different from Americans (not white), and a man to fear (he's black). The misleading notion here is that Obama is a black male.
He is 1/2 black (father) and 1/2 white (mother). Thus, his official racial classification is by-racial, or Mulatto. But, Palin isn't educated enough to understand cloaked nuances. She says whatever her former G.W. Bush speechwriter writes for her, understand or not.
She is too undereducated and downright stupid to do otherwise, and she is moving McCain and the Republican anti-Obama "talking heads" into the same "stupid" column with her. She is doing so with the vitality and excitement McCain falsely sees as a counter balance to his declining mental and physical faculties. In reality, she is a reminder of them to many Americans.
Yes. I wrote Palin is downright stupid, but I have not called her Alaskan trailer park trash - - yet.
If McCain's campaign is subtly trying to play the "race / hate card" with this tactic, it will fail. If it does, his handlers will then move on to Obama's former relationship with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, also of Chicago, and try that one. Trust me, that tactic will fail, too, because I am sure that most voting Americans are way past such asinine associations and racial bigotry.
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The author of this blog holds three academic degrees, including a M.A. in Communication, specializing in behavioral communication.