of the first black President in the history of the United
States has become very real over the past couple weeks. So
much so that we are now beginning to see both Barack Obama’s
opposition (in both parties) and the media engage in a very
vicious and mean-spirited word-smithing that seeks subtly
to unearth some of the worse memories in American history,
for the purposes of invoking fear and lunacy on the eve of
an historical occasion.
warfare is a big part of politics. Who has the most money,
the most endorsements, the most votes, the most delegates,
the most “momentum” plays large in positioning, or re-positioning
candidates. Those who hold psychological advantages have a
different type of swagger than those who don’t. When the obvious
advantages are not apparent, candidates seek to create some
not so obvious ones to justify their existence.
advantage we’ve witnessed in the last six years of the Bush
administration is fear. The
politics of fear, fear of “what might happen in a post-911
environment” got a highly unpopular President re-elected.
This time around, “fear” is a two-edged sword. White people’s
fear is what might happen if Obama is elected the first African
American President of the United States. Black
people’s fear is what might happen to Barack if he’s elected
the first Black President of the United States. For the most
part, white fear is largely unfounded, based on historical
xenophobia rooted in perpetual stereotypes of black inferiority
of which some whites cannot seem to rid themselves. For the
most part, black fear is solidly founded, based on historical
tragedy rooted in America’s lunacy of lynching, mobbing and
targeted assassinations that have deferred African American
equality dreams and full investiture in American society.
has been made of Hillary Clinton’s recent assassination comments
stated while comparing her decision to stay in the race with
historical races that ran through June. As haphazard and nonchalant
as she (and the media) tried to make them appear, it was the
type of word-smithing that is rooted in a racial codification
that signals endangerment and the threat of supremacist pathology
of times past. Hillary’s inference that the only way she can
win is if “something happens” to Obama, and to wave the lunacy
flag, “Remember RFK” as if to say “Remember The Alamo” is
psychological warfare at its most blatant. Clinton’s verbiage
is not proper, just cogent in promoting fear.
McCain’s codification, while not as damning as Clinton’s,
is not much better. To suggest that Obama’s “inexperience”
doesn’t make him suited for the Presidency, infers that Obama
is not “smart enough” to be President. It’s on record that
McCain has a real distain for what he touts as Obama's lack
of experience, but experience is just one criterion for a
leader. Both Clinton and McCain have very heavy “negatives”
that most acknowledge are problematic across the electorate,
yet they run even with Obama. Largely because some white people
can’t get over their “inferiority complex” as it relates to
black people - any black person - and their fears play against
supporting an obviously superior candidacy in Barack Obama.
McCain dismissive statements combined with Clinton and Huckabee’s
impolitic statements (both know threats against Barack life
are real) send subliminal messages to some lunatic that thinks
they are being patriotic or standing up in some other symbolic
way to save “the American way” of life. Assassination has
played an all too real role in American history and to even
infer that one is possible sends the wrong “signal,” if we
say times have changed. Or sends a “right” signal to some
lunatic waiting for a cue.
games some people are prepared to play with America’s political
future are limitless (as we saw in the aftermath of the 2000
election). Psychological warfare and racial cueing are not
mutually exclusive. Both seek to find weaknesses to exploit.
One in human frailty, the other in human fears. Both can produce
we can’t let people play with and some assertions for staying
the race are unacceptable. Not if you’re waiting for someone
to be killed just so you can win.
BlackCommentator.com Columnist, Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad, is a national columnist, managing
director of the Urban Issues Forum and author of Saving The Race: Empowerment Through Wisdom.
His Website is AnthonySamad.com.
to contact Dr. Samad.