Forbes Embraces Birtherism Lite | The American Prospect
Adam Serwer takes apart Dniesh D’Souza’s article about “Obama’s Kenyan Anti-Coloinalism” and calls it for what it is - racism. I disagree with the title ‘birtherism lite’ because this is the heavy version complete with intellectual dog bells and dog whistles designed to appeal to the Newt Gingrich crowd, cushioning their unease about a black president by giving them some third rate, first year big poli-sci words to hand their white hoods on.
Sometimes it’s best to think of racism as intellectual laziness. That is, it reflects a failure to evaluate people for who they actually are, because its easier to slip them into a familiar, predetermined category that doesn’t upset other related conclusions a person might have come to as a result. For whatever reason, elements of the right have chosen not to evaluate Barack Obama based on his actions or his policies, but through the kind of post-modern literary interpretation that wouldn’t make it through the vetting process of a freshman bong circle at Wesleyan.
African self-determination is seen by many in the West, particularly conservatives, as a tragic in comparison to the idealized “stability” of white rule. “Kenyan anti-colonialism” manages to say at once, Obama is a black, incompetent despot who is out for revenge against whites, and who will destroy the country in the process. This is profoundly racist on its face. Yet it’s the cover story in Forbes magazine.
All of which to say is there’s no need to parse the ethnic origins or political philosophies of Obama’s parents to understand the ideology of Barack Obama. He is a center-left Democrat who supports mainstream Democratic policies. But some conservatives don’t want to talk about policy. They are unable to engage an argument with liberalism on substantive terms, they know only argument by epithet. They want to talk about the fact that our blackety black president is blackety black. It has been two years since a black man was elected president of the United States, and for a group of conservatives clinging to their cultural superiority, this was a moment of apocalyptic existential crisis, a moment that refuted all they had come to know and understand about themselves, about black people, and about this country. D’Souza is writing for them, the same kind of audience he has always written for.
How do you shame the shameless?