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April 16, 2008

Fuzzy, Sensitive White Guy Decodes Racist Words [Cuffy Meigs]

In today's LA Times, hirsute/pale journalist David K. Shipler informs us that calling Barack Obama an "elitist" means something entirely different:

"Elitist" is another word for "arrogant," which is another word for "uppity," that old calumny applied to blacks who stood up for themselves.

Shipler goes on to racially decode other words and phrases used to describe Obama, including "out of touch" and "not ready." He even goes so far to say that complimenting Obama's oratory is actually a grave racist insult:

When Clinton mocked Obama for the supposed emptiness of his eloquence, the chiding had a faint historical echo from Thomas Jefferson's musings in "Notes on the State of Virginia" that "in music they are more generally gifted than the whites with accurate ears for tune and time," but "one could scarcely be found capable of tracing and comprehending the investigations of Euclid."

This slander that blacks had more show than substance was handed down through later generations as a body-mind dichotomy, with physical and mental prowess as opposites. Overt "compliments" -- they've got rhythm, they can dance, they can jump -- were paired with the silent assumption of inferior intellect.

So, the next time you're about to say, well, anything negative about Obama, think twice. The pasty, woolly dude who once delicately called working-class Rustbelt caucasians "white n*ggers" is watching your every move.

(h/t: Roger Clegg)
Cross-posted at Perfunction

PS: Ace finds another example of elitist=uppity at Huffpo:

Let's cut to the chase, as they used to say in Hollywood. What the elite-mongers are actually doing is calling Obama an uppity ni**er and he knows it. What they are saying is "How dare this black man who was raised by a single mother on food stamps and managed to make his way through Harvard pass judgment on those poor whites who didn't have his good fortune in being born black and poor?" Why can't he be more like that decent Colin Powell who took his orders from Bush and spread his lies before the United Nations and then went home to choke on them? Or more like Condi who does a little tap dance with the truth every time she is called before Congress to testify about her egregious failures of judgment? That's the way decent black folks are supposed to behave in government these days.

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posted by xgenghisx at 03:16 PM

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