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Steve Likes to Curse
Writing, comics and random thoughts from really a rather vulgar man
Hitchens on the evolution of American race politics 
Monday, September 20th, 2010 | 03:37 pm [commentary, politics]
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So in this month’s Forbes magazine, Dinesh D’Souza tries to set the record straight on Barack Obama. He’s not a socialist, D’Souza says. Of course not.
It’s obvious that Obama is an anticolonialist who wants the American federal government to accumulate as much wealth as possible, in order to destroy the traditional power structure within the United States and thus reduce its ability to exploit the developing world and harm the environment.
Well . . . yeah! No shit? Haven’t I been saying that for . . .
Obama received his father’s spirit while weeping at his grave, you know.
D’Souza has had a semi-regular side gig the last few years playing the Washington Generals opposite Christopher Hitchens on the debate circuit. So it’s fitting that Hitchens would respond to D’Souza’s insane analysis of our president’s motivation, and use it to examine the broader subject of race politics in America, thusly:

For Dinesh D’Souza to label Obama the equivalent of a Kenyan Mau Mau was one thing, but for former Speaker Newt Gingrich to endorse the analysis with such dispatch was quite another. What will they do for an encore?


[. . .]


The man who did actually become the first black president has been unusually forbearing when it comes to the race card, and he was originally very fortunate in those who played it against him. As Obama asks in his memoirs, who would have predicted that the Republicans in Illinois would have run a black man against him in the Illinois Senate race—an out-and-out extremist named Alan Keyes, who denounced him for not being the descendant of slaves and therefore not “truly” black! When the terrain shifted, and it was a question of Obama’s being too much of an African-American, or in some critiques too likely to be a Muslim, it was originally from Hillary Clinton’s camp that most of the innuendoes came. (“Not as far as I know,” was her tooth-gritted reply to the question about whether her rival was a Muslim.) Long before Glenn Beck had accused the president of being motivated by hatred for white people, the Hillary camp had been circulating the rumor that Michelle Obama was on tape with a speech denouncing “whitey.” It’s true that Rahm Emanuel later vetoed the appointment of her chief propagandist Sidney Blumenthal to a job at the State Department, but by that time Obama had rewarded one of his chief taunters with the job of secretary of state.


The vagaries of the race card have, if anything, only increased since then. A huge number of liberals have already decided that in some way Muslims constitute a race of their own, or at any rate that criticism of their religion can be construed as “racist.” (The fact that the Quran contains many racist observations about Jews will mean that this card can and will be used to turn an almost infinite number of tricks. Still, I predict that liberals will regret handing Muslims such a handy alibi for any criticism of their faith.) And if there is anywhere in particular where Obama could have learned the dangers of the same card, it could well be—as described in David Remnick’s biography—from his father’s bitter experience of Luo-Kikuyu tribal fratricide in Kenya, which led to the murder of the country’s most promising politician, Tom Mboya, at the dawn of independence. Aside from a minor and avoidable gaffe on the occasion when Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was clumsily arrested at his own front door in Cambridge, Mass., Obama has done little or nothing to raise the racial temperature and has endured a pelting of vulgar defamation with remarkable patience.


Check out the rest of this Hitchens column at Slate.com.
Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 | 03:57 am (UTC)
I haven't been a fan of Hitchens for as long as you have, but I certainly have come to hold him in high regard.

I want to say something here in light of his illness, but I just don't know what exactly. I do know that the uncertainty of his future makes me pay a little closer attention to what he is saying.

He's a good teacher. There's something for everyone in his work; left, right and anyone in between. His stuff is the kind of thing that makes you go, "pppttthhh, that's not true!" But, deep down inside, you know he has a point.

Not many left like him. None that I can think of, really. There are those who write for the left now, and there are those who write for the right now. I can't think of anybody else, besides Hitchens, who can truly cross the border anymore, without losing something in the way of reputation, can you?

It all does make you kind of want to elbow God, and say, "Can't we keep this one a little longer?" Even if Hitchens himself would make you question the gesture.

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 | 01:13 pm (UTC)
Agreed 100%, and very, very well said.

If I thought there was a God, Hitchens is someone I'd most definitely be praying for. He should live a long and productive life, not just for the sake of himself and his family and friends, but for all of us.

Humanity will be diminished as a race just a bit when Hitchens goes, which hopefully won't be quite as soon as we fear.
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