So as most of you who had off from work yesterday (read: not your dismal author) are aware, yesterday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. What this basically translates into meaning, is the day conservatives trip over themselves trying to co-opt what King fought for as somehow consistent with their own views –often minimizing the civil rights leader’s agenda as one of strictly formal equality, with indifference to both concerns of equity and justice- while attempting to ignore or obscure their ideological forebears’ role not only in the systematic oppression that King gave his life fighting against, but in attempting to blame King and the civil rights movement for every possible societal ill, imagined and real alike, up to and including blaming King for his own assassination. It’s important to read through that stuff, and realize that when I say “ideological forebears”, I’m not talking about about people all that far-removed from present-day politics. Rather, things like this represent the infancy of movement conservatism, by and large.
The other thing that happened yesterday, was, well, you really should just see it for yourselves:
If you’re like me, and viewing that with the context of “Hey Martin Luther King, Jr. Day,” then you likely found that display absolutely revolting. As in, to the point of literal physical symptoms. Yes, it’s South Carolina, a state that has never stopped fighting the Civil War, and basically one giant hotbed right-wing racial resentment, and YES, it’s a GOP debate in a year where Republicans have already been indordinately extreme, but… holy fuck. The dogwhistles have long since dropped to such a low register that they’re just plain ol’ regular whistles, and even while they cease to even pretend to veil their attacks on minorities, they accuse Blah and brown people of being the REAL racists (or at least uncritical and ignorant) for realizing what this virulent crap actually means in terms of their own plives, and voting against these cretins. And criticizing candidates for employing this this vulgar, overt bigotry is, as ever, considered “playing the race card” (see those wonderful youtube comments).
Also, you still have some lingering glimmer of faith in humanity, or perhaps even for American electoral politics circa 2012, let’s here it from Rick Perry, apologist for corpse-desecration:
USA! USA! USA!
Oh, also, the Golden Rule got boo’d, too, apparently, because Exceptionalism.