I debated whether to even post this garbage, as I find it utterly revolting/sickening/disturbing/etc. So, my thinking at first was, why give it any publicity at all? On the other hand, this is something that really happened, just this past weekend, not far away (in Centreville, Virginia), and apparently it hasn't been reported on anywhere else. So, it seems that either I post the photos or they will likely never get out there for people to see. Anyway, here they are (one on the front, one on the "flip").
A bit of background: these cell phone photos were taken by someone as they left the KORUS festival at Bull Run Park (why does this seem so appropriate?!?) this past Sunday. The photos were then forwarded to me, the lucky (???) blogger. As you can see, what the photos depict is a chair - apparently a reference to the bizarre, rambling Clint Eastwood "dialogue" with "President Obama" in an empty chair at the Republican Convention a few weeks ago - strung up in a tree by a rope. The chair features, ever-so-creatively, a sign that says "Nobama." Get it? No Obama="Nobama." Hahaha.
In short, this appears to be a crude metaphor for the lynching of President Obama. Obviously, it's beyond grotesque (it also boggles my mind that this was allowed to be put up, let alone to stay up, at a festival presumably visited by thousands of people - wtf?). Also, I'm not sure if there's any real connection here, but the chair is right next to a very large "Allen for U.S. Senate" sign that you can't miss. Let me just emphasize: I wasn't there, don't know how long the Allen sign was sitting there, who put it there, whether or not they saw the metaphoric lynching tableaux, etc. So I definitely don't think we should leap to any conclusions here (even knowing about Allen's extensive history of racist behavior - the noose in his office, the severed deer head in a black man's mailbox, the apparently habitual use of the "n word", the infamous photo with the racist Council of Conservative Citizens, the "macaca" incident, etc., etc.)
Anyway, I asked my friend Eric Byler, co-founder of the Coffee Party and director of superb film "9500 Liberty", who did such great work in the northern Viginia Korean-American community (along with his Korean-American partner Annabel Park) in 2006, what he thought of this. As always, Eric had some fascinating thoughts, which he told me to feel free to share. So, check out the "flip" for excerpts from our conversation, with bolding added by me for emphasis.
...the Republican platform is a parasitic relationship between economic elites and social conservatives. Economic elites don't want to enter the 21st century because the 20th century was so lucrative for them. They prefer the old ways. Social conservatives don't want to enter the 21st century because the 20th century affording them white racial prestige, patriarchy, etc. They both prefer the previous century.
But our job as Americans is not to play into the divisions that the ruling class scripts for us. The calamitous policies that have been enabled by this parasitic relationship (mistakenly seen as a symbiotic one) are hurting American families and hurting America's future competitiveness. These policies are hurting conservative families too...People who are insecure about their future can be bolstered with hope, or scapegoats. It's not just the political parties that vie to influence which that is. We the People also have a responsiblity.
We know that the profiteering class would prefer that we all scapegoat each other. That's why they pay for media products designed to incite conflict over racial, cultural, religious, gender, and sexual orientation issues...
...Remember when we thought Macaca was so horribly racist? Compare that to the things thought leaders on the right are saying now...Our culture has shifted in the wrong direction since 2008 because the profiteering class decided that their only hope was to destroy the people's love of democracy. For that, they needed the most hateful people in the nation to take center stage (the Tea Party). That's why they spent so much money producing Tea Party content for their "news" channel...
I think these extreme measures show that they are worried. They see the writing on the wall. Demographic shift and social media undermine the advantage for those who can afford to purchase media propaganda. Look at what the profiteering class is facing right now. If Obama is allowed to turn this country around, the majority of voters alive in 2016 will remember that the last four administrations like this: Bush - yuck; Clinton - yay!; Bush 2 - huge yuck; Obama - yay! How are they going to get back into the White House, ever?
They couldn't afford to allow Obama to succeed. They knew, of course, that doubling down on the Southern Strategy would exacerbate the demographic issues they are facing...That's why they took these two drastic measures: (1) Citizens United/SuperPAC madness and (2) 3 years of Tea Party reality TV (both very expensive, but both worth it, considering the alternative if America succeeds under Obama).
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