Monday, August 03, 2009
No More Mr. Nice Right-Wing
Somebody in LA is putting up posters of Barack Obama in both "white-face" and "black-face with the same kind of red lipstick look as Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight.
Of course, the picture portrays Obama in terms of blackface minstrelsy. Minstrelsy was an entertainment form in which white performers corked up in blackface to imitate stereotypes of African-Americans as lazy, buffoonish, and deeply appreciative of slavery. In representing Obama this way, the anonymous sources of this poster are saying that Obama and, by extension, all African-Americans, are slaves by nature and that Obama's occupation of the White House is something that goes against a beneficial natural order.
But that's not all.
The picture also reveals the racist intent of the right-wing's constant accusations of Obama being a "socialist." That's because the picture uses the word "socialism" both above and below the red square framing Obama's minstrelsy face. By associating the word "socialism" with this heavily racialized image of Obama, the people behind the poster are revealing that the "socialist" label was always a substitute for the "n-word."
Given that I hadn't really thought of that, I owe these people a favor.