The President is an effigy, the original sin is real

Filed in Gather News Channel by on January 4, 2010 0 Comments

BBC News has posted a story about President Obama being hanged in effigy.  The perpetrator here had a particular eye for locale as the effigy was hung in Plains, Georgia, home to former President Jimmy Carter.  This is part of a dismaying, but not surprising, trend in racist depictions of the President and the First Lady.

There was a portrayal of Obama surrounded by the usual hate-monger’s accoutement, when applied to the image of a black person, of fries, ribs and watermelon.  There was also a notorious one of Obama as a witch doctor and I’ve mentioned the racist portrayal of Michele Obama.

It should be surprising that people could be this open about such sentiments.  However, the perception of that degree of power held by someone perceived as black (technically, Obama is biracial) has probably put the bigot meters to 11.  Added to that is all the birther nonsense of Obama ostensibly having been born abroad and being a secret Muslim.  This makes it easier for such persons to perceive him as not “one of us”.

Also noteworthy is that Obama is perceived as black (reinforced by appearance and having a black wife) with all the American historical baggage the follows such perceptions.  However, his black heritage isn’t tied in with the black experience in America as his father was Kenyan.  Thus, perceptions of Obama are skewed by an American history regarding race (with slavery being the American original sin) that he doesn’t actually share.  This highlights the extent to which race is a social construct.

About the Author ()

Leave a Reply