I'd like to take as my text for today's sermon an item from the newspaper. Columnist Maureen Dowd was fulminating on a fairly small incident. Seems a person had shouted at President Obama during a speech, "You lie." Dowd reports that she distinctly heard, "You lie, boy." That, she says is clear evidence of racism. It's not that she's basing her tirade on a non-existent subtext which she only, like dogs with whistles I guess, can hear (No, I'm not calling her a dog. Pay attention). It's that she heard a racist slur. Now, if her mind heard the "boy," it's still a little stretch to make it racist, unless -- here's the kicker -- she is inclined to view all comments as racist.
What I get from this is that Dowd, like many people, cannot view Obama as a person. They can only see him as an African-American. Which is racist, isn't it.
I admire President Obama, and I feel for him as he gets sucked into the reality show that is Presidential Politics. On the other hand, I think he has an extra layer of protection around him that former presidents haven't had, and that's the inclination of people like Dowd to view any criticism of him as racist. I've mentioned this before. I call it the Spike Lee defense (You dare criticize my movies you racist?)
It wouldn't be so bad if Dowd were writing for Mother Jones, National Review, or some other rag that has predictable content. It's that she gets coverage for her rants in national syndication. Envy alert here.