Just a couple of glimpses at the passing scene...
I see that President Obama has just released his first radio ad targeted exclusively at black listeners and appealing to racist revanchism.
The Grio reports:
The Barack Obama re-election campaign Tuesday will air its first radio ad targeting African-Americans, campaign officials confirmed.
The 60-second ad, entitled “We’ve Got Your Back,” appeals to black voters’ nostalgia about the election of the nation’s first African-American president, calling for those voters to stand with the president again in November....
The ads are being placed nationally by Fuse Advertising, an African-American owned agency based in St. Louis, Missouri, which also was contracted by the Obama campaign in 2008.
The Grio doesn't mention it, but a little research on my part revealed that these ads are being almost exclusively targeted at urban and college stations with a predominantly black audience.
Set to a '70's style R & B score that could have come straight out of a blaxploitation movie like Shaft or Superfly, here's the ad:
“Four years ago we made history,” a male announcer says. “Now it’s time to move forward and finish what we started together. We have to show the President we have his back.” The chorus repeats 'We have your back' and 'Mistah President we have your back' as the spot is inter-cut with audio from President Obama’s speeches:
"We can't afford to spend the next four years going backwards."
"I'm running to make sure that, by the end of the decade, more of our citizens hold a college degree than any other nation on earth."
“I refuse to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut by kicking children off of Head Start programs; asking students to pay more for college; or eliminating health insurance for millions of poor and elderly and disabled Americans on Medicaid.”
The message, as it will resound to many blacks? Aside for the usual class warfare screed, he's telling them that he expects solidarity so that the presidency 'doesn't go back to Whitey'. And that's exactly how it will be perceived by a significant number.
Riddle me this...what do you suppose the media would be saying if Mitt Romney ran a radio ad targeted almost exclusively at Mormons saying 'it's time one of us was in the White House and I need you to have my back'? Or if he issued an ad targeted at Caucasians saying, 'it's time the White House was back in white hands again, and I need your help' ?
If you examine this ad, that's only a slightly more blatant version of what's being said here.Subtext is everything.
Hopefully people will see this as yet another attempt by President Obama to divide Americans and ride those divisions into power.
The second item, small but telling.
A white student in Riverside, California had a 4.25 grade point average and entered himself for a number of merit scholarships.
He won four small ones, and one of the ones he won was $1,000 from the Martin Luther King Senior Citizens Club. Now the Club didn't specify that only blacks were allowed to enter, only that African Americans were “encouraged to apply. ” However, school counselors were verbally informed that the scholarship was for strictly for black students.
Apparently there was some blow back after 17-year-old Jeffry Warren was announced by the Club as the winner, because Warren promptly returned the scholarship and the Club announced that it will change the language on next year’s application to clarify who is eligible.
Now, I wonder how they're going to do that. Blood tests of some kind perhaps? Racial classifications, like Hitler's Germany? The Elizabeth Warren standard, based on facial features and family lore?
Obviously, the Martin Luther King Senior Citizens Club was far more interested in the color of Jeffry Warren's skin than in the content of his character. And there's some irony for you.
Imagine the uproar if someone put together a White American scholarship and told school counselors that others need not apply. Imagine the headlines if a student who identified himself as black won such a 'white' scholarship and was told to return it based on his or her race.
Like I said, racism is alive and well here in America.