As I wrote in the June 10, 2012 TheTentacle.com column (“No Best Man”), my right-wing Republican friends did not talk about their presumptive candidate Mitt Romney; but President Barack Obama came in for a good hiding. Since they were friends and colleagues, I said “there was no trace of racial basis.” I was proven wrong shortly.
Two weeks after that, on June 24, the headline above my words was “Returning to McCarthyism.” The column was about the bigoted feelings against the Irish immigrants primarily for their Roman Catholic faith, transferred to homosexuals who started to emerge; now residing in Muslims. The prejudice has stayed strong and constant for African Americans.
That Mr. Obama swept all before him in 2008 is less a tribute for him, but a testimony for how citizens felt frightened four years ago. They’re still scared. An Associated Press Washington story was featured in Saturday’s Frederick News-Post; the headline: “Most laid off U.S. workers take pay cuts in new jobs.” The report continued: “Only 56 percent of Americans laid off from January 2009 through December 2011 had found jobs by the start of this year, the Labor Department said Friday.”
Barack Obama is blamed for not solving in four years the crises generated by George W. Bush and Richard Cheney in twice that long: especially the trillion-dollar war in Iraq and Afghanistan and bankrupting the treasury by requiring high-income people to pay less in taxes.
As I have noted, the president was never ever given breathing room. Every measure he proposed to alleviate the economy’s woes was contested bitterly on the other side of the Capitol’s aisle. It seemed the right-wing was intent on punishing the people for mistakes, which most of us had nothing to do with.
The week before Labor Day two films produced the state of extreme bigotry in the current campaign: “They Came to America,” which was shown at Frederick Community College’s Kussmaul Theatre, hosted by Sheriff Chuck Jenkins and Board of County Commissioners’ President Blaine Young, who is credited for creating Frederick’s Tea Party. With a family coming over in the late-17th century, all but the early English colonists are immigrants to me.
And in my Friday appearance on WFMD’s Morning News Express, Bob Miller brought to my attention the film “2016: Obama’s America,” produced by the Academy Awards producer of “Schindler’s List,” and starring Dinesh D’Souza, writer of the best-selling book with the same title. Because the author-narrator is approximately the same color, he can be presumed to give insights into Barack Obama. Wrong!
Mr. D’Souza cites the background he shares with the president, including their birth year and Ivy League education; but the India-born GOP stalwart points out his membership in conservative organizations at Dartmouth, which is notorious for producing extreme right-wingers. His job at the Ronald Reagan White House didn’t give him more liberal views.
Furthermore, the first hour dwells on Mr. Obama’s “foreignness” with very heavy emphasis that his life lacks “American-ness.” There’s seemingly endless time spent with the president’s half-brother in Kenya, trying to establish how feels abandoned – much to the young man’s confusion. I walked out of the theatre after this so-called interview.
The film was shown at the Regal Westview Stadium 16; the theatrical chain makes it available all over the country, whereas “They Came to America” was consigned to the community college, as I said. It was not a big house, holding only 114, with some empty seats up-front. The audience could be described as middle-age; no teens or children aboard. A Republican friend attended with me: she pronounced herself several times surprised why the movie on immigration was not in a regular theatre. She had seen “They Came to America” the night before.
My question was how the small crowd knew about the show-times; there were no ads and it was not listed on the Internet. I keep up with the movies, to review for WFMD. But if Bob hadn’t mentioned “2016: Obama’s America” at the end of my Friday broadcast, I would have known nothing about the right-wing propaganda fiasco.