By Parker Whitley
As American political discourse spirals into the abyss, the complete and total destruction of racial harmony seems assured. The amity that has existed among equally intelligent whites and people of color is threatened to its very core. Anyone with his or her ear to the ground hears daily the drumbeat of “no no no” to the Presidency of Barack Obama from a cadre of allegedly loyal Americans, most of them elected Republican officials.
President Obama may have been re-elected with stunning numbers, but there are hardened Neanderthals in the Republican Party who still can’t accept that he is the titular leader of the Free World. It’s almost as if the white Protestant bigots and wealthy virulent haters of the Know Nothing Party of the mid-1800s have returned to Earth as zombies of racial destruction.
The Know-nothings were men who hated immigrants, hated Roman Catholics, hated anything that went against the British roots from which they were descended. These Anglo-Saxon sycophants are now being mirrored by a group of political thugs who seem not to have read American history. Or, if they read it, learned nothing from what they read.
Forget the rudderless simplicity of the Tea Party, a joke at the beginning of its stay and a bigger joke now. The Tea Party’s silliness will seem like a fond memory compared to what could be coming down the road. There are any number of Republican goofballs who could head a revitalized Racist Party, but it seems to me that the key candidate would be one of three United States Senators.
First there’s Senator John McCain, the wizened old, hair-challenged coot from Arizona who often seems off his medication and growls like the codger on the block who yells at kids to get off his lawn. His loathing of United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice during the run-up to her not being nominated Secretary of State was so obviously rooted in sexism and racism that he came across as an angry slaveholder demanding that his slave woman wash his feet. Senator McCain has been milking his prisoner-of-war status for so long, he may have been imagining that Rice was one of his North Vietnamese captors, also not white.
Then there’s Rand Paul of Kentucky, a prissy grammatical lunatic with creepy clenched hair who sees conspiracies wherever he turns, and who comes across as the dumbest college graduate in the history of American education, and that’s saying something. Senator Paul, desperately trying to overcome his daddy issues, sounds like a deranged fringe philosopher whenever he discourses on gun control because, as you know, a semi-automatic assault rifle in every home will help keep the deer population out of suburban backyard gardens. Senator Paul wants to make sure American society doesn’t revert to using spears for weapons, or for killing children in an elementary school, because spear chucking is the traditional way for natives to defend their homes in Africa and kill their fellow Africans.
And then there’s Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, that Atlantic Coast state where the first shot of the American Civil War was fired. The pride of the Confederacy. If the south rises again, the planning for it may well begin at Senator Graham’s kitchen table. Pudgy and puffy, Graham’s incessant nasally whining makes one wonder how his family can stand listening to him at the dinner table. A little brighter than Senator Paul, but not by much, Graham has made an almost sexual fetish of being obsessed with finding out what happened in Benghazi, Libya because he believes he’s holding a Watergate-like rope with which he can lynch President Obama.
Lynching, of course, was the punishment of choice for the white male ruling class against black males and of males who are only sort of black. As for women of color, if they weren’t lynched, they were beaten, thrown into metal boxes, or raped. Sometimes all three.
The perfect choice to lead the new Know Nothing Party, the new Racist America Party, whatever you prefer to call it, is Senator Lindsey Graham. Senator Lindsey Graham may not think he’s a racist, but he plays one on TV.
It’s possible that Senator Graham thinks Africa is just one giant voodoo land, populated by black people, who communicate with drums. He seems to be under the delusion that because President Obama is half-black or half-Kenyan, or whatever it is that makes the GOP toss and turn during their nightmares, on the night four American members of the diplomatic corps died in Libya, the President had his ear to the sky listening to the drumbeats coming out of the Dark Continent. Chances are any number of Republicans confuse the Congo with Cairo.
Rushing headlong into a sea of negativism, Republicans conveniently forget the fact that what occurred in Libya was a fluid situation. They forget the fact that there were riots in the streets. They forget the fact that even in today’s digital wonderland, getting a fix on what’s happening thousands upon thousands of miles away in a country under duress with limited communication is a tough row to hoe. Senator Graham has been watching too many Jason Bourne movies. In battling what he sees as President Obama’s government, he may also be comparing himself to Will Smith in “Enemy Of The State,” caught up in a technological web of intrigue, but that would be a stretch considering that Smith is black.
Senator Graham’s and the GOP’s reluctance to accept defeat -- the racist, sexist, homophobic, chauvinistic, ageist, jingoistic Republicans were trounced in the 2012 Presidential election -- may rise from their dream of a return to what they see were the glory days of America. Those days when as many women as possible could be jammed onto a factory floor -- some of them teenagers -- so that 146 could be burnt to a crisp in a fire. Those days when black people didn’t even think they could drink from the same water fountain as a white person, let alone actually drink from one. Those days when a ruling elite of wealthy white civilians bought and sold every sitting office in city after city and state after state. When the Devil whispers in Senator Graham’s ear, it’s quite possible that he’s whispering: mandingo and cotton, mandingo and cotton, mandingo and cotton.
If you look hard at Senator Graham’s eyes and listen closely to his words as he ponderously pontificates on Benghazi, you see and hear hints of the fascist way of doing business. The hallmark of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s brutal reign was the Kangaroo Court. Who needs evidence when you can badger and belittle and whine like a bratty little child? If only Little Lindsey would take his ball and go home. America could give a sigh of relief.
Senator Graham is parlaying his loathing of President Obama, his hatred of the fact that a person of color is in the Oval Office, and his delusion of greater glory for himself into a game of political brinkmanship. The Senator and a number of his jealous and petulant and poorly-advised fellow travelers (including Rupert Murdoch and Rush Limbaugh) are playing games with the nomination of former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense. These timewasting sheep are tossing about manufactured code phrases that Hagel is “mean to Israel” and “soft on Iran” and that he “didn’t like gays in the military,” which is a hoot considering the GOP’s fractured rainbow stance on that issue, but everyone with an ounce of intelligence knows the real reason for the roadblock is to stick it to the Man. Well, in this case, stick it to the Black Man.
The Republicans do not seem to comprehend that they are on a collision course with extinction. If they did, they wouldn’t be playing the games they are playing in the Senate. When a candidate is elected (or re-elected) President Of The United States, he gets to name the members of his cabinet. How do the Republicans get to name members of the cabinet? Elect a President, that’s how.
Aside from the inherent racism in all of this, which is patently unAmerican and despicable, there is another tragedy at play here. Members of the Republican Party, led by Senator Lindsey Graham, are seriously close to committing treason. They are stabbing America’s military personnel in the back.
The United States is still involved in two wars, both of them begun by Republican George W. Bush. That he didn’t have much of a plan at the start of each war and never had the courage to finish the job seems to have escaped Republican plutocratic thinking.
Having a Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon is vital to the well-being of the American military and to the safety and protection of the nation. Senator Graham and his pack of craven cowards have created a snake pit where they hiss and spit and jockey for position for future elections, especially the Senator. Rather than stand like a man and get a backbone and run on his record of legislative laziness, the Senator wants to re-invent himself for South Carolinians as the guy who stood up to the Black Man.
In stonewalling on Hagel, Senator Graham is threatening the security of the American people. He is a traitor to the nation, a shallow, meanspirited usurper of the values and mandates of the United States Constitution.
All he’s lacking is a white hood.
Parker Whitley is a free-lance writer and political junkie, who enjoys commenting on culture and the world of politics. Parker resides in Buffalo and Paris.