OCEAN BEACH, CALIF. After watching John McCain’s performance tonight during the second of the Presidential debates, with this one in a town hall meeting setup, I have to wonder:
Is John McCain a Racist?
There were at least two things John McCain did tonight, that on the surface, seemed just awkward, but when considered together, led me to wonder whether this war hero hasn’t really conquered the demon of white supremacy in his own head and soul.
First,when answering a young African-American man’s question about what the bailout would mean for him, McCain, at one point, looking right at the guy, said, “you may have never heard of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae before all of this,” referring to the current financial crisis. It was a very condescending and dismissive comment to make, especially to someone who just asked a question about the economy. Of course, many people have heard of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Like home owners. Anyone who has ever bought a house. Many African-Americans own homes. It was an elitist comment, filled with assumptions of bias. John McCain must have thought that this young Black man couldn’t possibly know anything about buying a house.
Second, when McCain ended up accusing Barack Obama of voting for a energy bill that benefitted the oil companies, McCain, looking mischievous and off to the side, rhetorically asked the audience who they thought voted for the bill? Without looking at him, McCain, then in a sneer, “that one,” referring to his opponent Senator Barack Obama – just a few feet away. “That one!”
A few of the post-debate talking-heads on TV noticed these awkward moments, as well, especially the left-of-center ones, like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow. This reference to an opponent by a presidential candidate as “that one” does not even acknowledge that the other guy is a human. It is a label of objectification, not even a pronoun, something reserved for things, pets and objects. And it is a type of reference used by a racist in referring to a non-white person.
And during the first debate in St. Louis, McCain would not even look at Barack Obama. Not for the entire debate.
Put these moments together and you have a picture of a man who is just not comfortable with campaigning on the same stage and on equal footing with a black man. In other words, you have a candidate for president of the United States who cannot deal with people of color. The answer to my question, then, must be ‘yes’, as John McCain is of the old school, from the old, racist military officer class, part of the elite, with fathers and grandfathers as vice-admirals. Why, John McCain – you old racist!