Radical Leftists, in Context

I just got off the phone with the recalcitrant brother who is rapidly becoming the radical leftist among his group of friends.  I can’t tell you how funny this strikes me, but apparently knowing your Bible and a little bit about Malcolm X makes you a commie in his world.

He’s down there in Georgia trying to drum up support for Obama (there is no talk among his peers of voting for Clinton, the idea is so preposterous to them, for what it’s worth) but his peers are all afraid that Obama will “let the Muslims into the country” and the recalcitrant brother said that he blew their minds when he told them that there were white Muslims.

He also reports that many of them feel like a vote for Obama would be wasted because none of them believe he’ll live to serve out his whole presidency.

I was listening to NPR last night and they were talking to the guy who wrote the Washington Post story about the racism that Obama workers have encountered when out there drumming up support for Obama and the reporter was talking about how this is a kind of underreported story.

The interviewer asked him about the destroyed campaign headquarters and why that didn’t make more national news, why the Obama camp wanted to downplay it.  And I forget what he said, basically something like they didn’t want to make a big deal out of it.

But I was thinking back, too, to back when African Americans were so wary of voting for Obama and were still throwing their support behind Clinton and the sense I got, at least among folks down here, was that they didn’t believe he ever could serve as president, that he would be killed either before he got into office or while in office.

And remember that that was one of the reasons Colin Powell’s wife asked him not to run.

I think that the Obama campaign has been trying hard to pitch a message that is something like “Yes, we are all different, and yes, we have our disagreements, and, yes, there is racism in America, but it’s not like it was, and we can all come together.”

Shoot, even I was arguing that the West Virginia vote wasn’t about racism.

But, I don’t know.  I talk to the recalcitrant brother and it reminds me that these divisions are still fresh and ugly and potentially violent, that there are folks who saw the assassinations of King, Kennedy, and X* as effective means of making their political points.  And I think it’s reasonable for other folks to be concerned about that.

But you don’t want to give into fear, I guess, too, right?

I don’t know.  To me, that’s why it’s so important to speak out about the racism that has permeated this whole race, because there are people out there who believe that assassinating someone is an effective form of political protest and then there’s a larger group of folks whose racist beliefs help aid and comfort and reassure the first group that it’s okay to take that step.

Well, I’ve gotten off course.

My point was originally just that it’s funny that the recalcitrant brother is by far the most conservative person in our family and yet is somehow the most radical person in his peer group.

*None of the recalcitrant brother’s friends–black or white–believe Malcolm X was killed by black men.

2 thoughts on “Radical Leftists, in Context

  1. I find it interesting that so much of the racism is coming from the democrat base.
    Who do you think those phone bank volunteers are calling?
    Ans: Registered Democrats.

    I mean, we all accept that republicans are a bunch of biblethumping racists, but I thought you libs were all full of love and understanding.

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