Saturday, September 15, 2012
Smirking Mitt Walking Away from a Lynching
Mitt Romney's entitled, privileged, and self-righteous smirk when caught in a lie about President Obama and Libya has spawned an Internet meme. On this website, Romney has been depicted walking away from the Hindenburg, civil rights protesters, burning homes, and homeless people. The image, what it represents about his humanity and calculating coldness, both stands in for Romney, while also telling us something about the values and ideas we are reading onto him by virtue of his actions.
Mitt Romney is a sociopathic racist. His Southern Strategy 2.0 is proof of this fact. Romney's repeated lie that Barack Obama, "apologized" for the killing of Ambassador Stevens in Libya, and for the attacks on the consulate, are evidence of a profound lack of human empathy. He will do anything to win the presidency; Romney will double down on his post-truth campaign--even if it means misrepresenting reality while four Americans have recently been killed--even when the facts are still forthcoming.
The Tea Party GOP is a de facto party for "white people's rights." As such, Romney's campaign is dependent upon stirring up white racial resentment in order to defeat the country's first black president. All of his "real America," Birther-like appeals are direct signals that black and brown people are somehow outside of the American political tradition. By definition, a black man cannot and should not lead a "White" republic. Romney's lies about Obama as a thief and "welfare king" who steals from good white people in order to give money to "lazy" and "parasitic" blacks is a direct function of that big lie.
As I have pointed out many times, the Tea Party GOP are direct descendants of the "polite" racists in the John Birch Society (in fact, one of the elder members of the Koch family, the group that funds and supports the Tea Party brigands, was a founding member of the aforementioned organization). They would not kill a black person directly. Instead, these polite racists would watch the lynching, buy the postcards of the destroyed and defiled body, and cheer a spectacular act of violence that reinforced the color line and fueled whiteness as a sense of community, belonging, and exclusion of the Other.
Romney would have been there too, looming in the shadows.
Romney, and other white businessmen like him, both profited from, as well as encouraged Jim and Jane Crow because it was the "rational" thing to do. Romney's type would create racial animosity in the workplace or on the factory floor if it suited the economic logic of divide and conquer where black, brown, and white folks were put against one another in the interests of Capital and greed. Mitt Romney (much unlike his father) is also the very same type of man who would use what was then called "blockbusting" in order to scare white homeowners with a rumor that blacks would soon be moving into the neighborhood--and that any white person who wants to salvage the wealth and equity held in their property had best sell soon.
Romney's smirk, and his cold indifference, are a perfect embodiment of the cowardly and callous racial logic that many white Americans exhibited during the dark days of Jim and Jane Crow. In the Age of Obama, Romney, the Tea Party GOP, and the other assorted members of the rogues gallery that is the New Right, are playing to the worst part of the American (white) collective consciousness. One of "those people" is in "their" White House. Most would not actively do him any harm, but they would certainly not look the other way as Barack Obama is symbolically and (politically) immolated.
In a role befitting a man of his temperament and nature, Mitt Romney would, and is, simply handing the white racial reactionaries on the Right a lighter and some kindling, while he turns, then walking off with a smirk on his face.
It ain't personal. It is only business.