The Brett Kimberlin Saga:

Follow this link to my BLOCKBUSTER STORY of how Brett Kimberlin, a convicted terrorist and perjurer, attempted to frame me for a crime, and then got me arrested for blogging when I exposed that misconduct to the world. That sounds like an incredible claim, but I provide primary documents and video evidence proving that he did this. And if you are moved by this story to provide a little help to myself and other victims of Mr. Kimberlin’s intimidation, such as Robert Stacy McCain, you can donate at the PayPal buttons on the right. And I thank everyone who has done so, and will do so.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Jackie Robinson Theory of the Obama Presidency

Ever since Obama has become president there has been a hyperracialization of every issue of mere politics.  The climax came for me when I went to the Tea Party protest down at the Capital.  I’ll post more on it later, but when I got home I started hearing claims of some kind of racial incident.  You can recognize intellectually that politicians are liars, but to hear them lying about you is another matter, a real baptism.  And it made me try to understand where this was all coming from.

Now some of it is pure hucksterism.  There is no two ways about it.

But there is also an honest, albeit mistaken, belief that this is a racial issue.  And I think I figured out why so many liberals have been seeing it that way.  I call it the Jackie Robinson Theory of the Obama presidency.

Let’s go back to Jackie Robinson.  I take it as a given that you know that he was the first black player in Major League Baseball.  But he was also something else: a test case.  He was brought into the league first because they believed that he had the disposition, class, and intelligence to keep what was important in mind.  So when Ty Cobb dug his spiked cleats into Robinson’s leg, Robinson couldn’t grab a bat and give Cobb the beating he richly deserved.  [Deleted due to woeful lack of knowledge of baseball history.  -A.W.]  He had to take it, play through the pain and never give back what they threw at him.  It was unjust, but at that time it was necessary, and he got that.  It wasn’t about him, it was about his whole race.  As we celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ, we can take a moment to recognize another man who suffered unjustly and did not strike back.  What more in the name of love, right?  And maybe that doesn’t merit a tribute song by Bono, but with his quiet courage, and dignity, Robinson opened the door so that people of all colors could play baseball together.

So is Obama the “Jackie Robinson” of the presidency? In the sense that he is the first black man to come into this position, undeniably. But what about in the second sense, that he is a test case?

I would bet that the majority of the conservatives, the Tea Partiers, etc. would absolutely say “no.”  I could be wrong, but that is my sense of it.  We simply don’t believe Obama has to prove anything about black people, or that his conduct reflects on anyone but himself.  Obama is a terrible president, and that’s just him.  It doesn’t shake my faith in the equality of the races, and it doesn’t make me one bit less likely to vote for a black person next time.

But in the minds of many liberals, I think they believe he is a test case. They think that if Obama is a bad president, that this means we will never elect a black man again, or that whites might take it to imply something about all black people.

So they are rooting for him to succeed not simply because they like his policies, but because if Obama turns out to be seen as a bad president they think it will set race relations back. And if you say you oppose his policies, if you say he is a terrible president, if you say, like Rush Limbaugh, that you hope Obama fails, in the mind of such a liberal that becomes a racist thing to say, because the only correct thing to want is for Obama to be seen as one of the best presidents we have had. Because he is Jackie Robinson, in their mind, in every sense of those words.

That requires a very pessimistic understanding of race relations, and it makes you wonder why they feel that way.  I think I have said this before on this blog [update: yes, I did, duh on me], but I have observed that many people fall into the fallacy of believing that everyone is like them.  It’s a common mistake to assume that everyone is basically alike and thinks like you. So on one hand, it is sometimes hard to get a truly post-racial white person to understand that racism really does exist.  But the converse of that is that those people who struggle with racism, but consciously want to oppose racism, believe that everyone else is having the same struggle.

So you take two liberals who have accused the Tea Partiers of being mainly racist.  On one hand, there is Chris Matthews, who said during the State of the Union that for an hour he forgot Obama was black.  That means the rest of the time he views Obama it never leaves his mind.  He is a racist who consciously wants to be against racism.

And then there is Keith Olbermann.  In his now infamous rant on the Tea Party he started off by saying that all white men, without any exceptions, have a little prejudice in their heart they have to struggle against. That is itself a racist comment.  And doesn’t it fit my template exactly?—a liberal who doesn’t want to be racist, having to struggle with it, and imputing that same struggle to his entire racial and gender class?

And then he went on to say that there were no white people in the Tea Party crowd.  That was objectively untrue.  But I don’t think he was consciously lying. Rather instead, those non-whites were “invisible” to him in a Ralph Ellison sort of way.

Now I am not saying that this explains 100% of this phenomenon.  Like I said in the beginning, some of this is just hucksterism.  And I think some of the time some liberals think that Obama is so objectively awesome that no one could possibly dislike him for rational reasons.  It’s stupid, but it surely exists.  But this one element, the “Jackie Robinson” element, I think is undeniably there.

Update:  I have been informed, embarrassingly, that Ty Cobb didn't even play at the same time as Robinson, and it appears to check out.  Well, like I said, I am not a baseball fan.