In the Chicago Sun-Times on October 29, Andrew Greeley said that Barack Obama simply cannot beat racism to become president of the United States. He's consumed by all the talk of racism during this campaign and he sees it everywhere he turns. Of course, Greeley is right. There is a lot of talk of racism. But he isn't right about where it's coming from. You see, Greeley is claiming that racism is the sole reason that anyone wouldn't support Obama and he worries that racist talk is coming in torrents from Obama's opponents. The truth is, though, that the only people talking about racism is Obama and his most earnest supporters. People like Greeley.
Greeley and Obama's other supporters claim that anyone that opposes Obama is a racist. But the reality is that Obama's opponents are not talking much of or worried about the fact that Barack Obama is a black man. Obama's supporters, however, are acting just like the worst example of a McCarthyite in the respect that they see "racists" under their bed at night, around every corner, and in every dark closet. Greeley and his ilk see racists lurking everywhere... whether they exist or not.
In fact, in his fevered imagination, Greeley thinks that racists fill both parties and that they had marked Obama for destruction at the very outset saying that, "his rivals perceived that they had to destroy him." He marks the early battleground as the "haters on the Internet" and then claims that the Democrat Party itself took up the anti-Obama bigotry.
"South Pacific" is a morality play for our time. Sarah Palin is the Ensign Nellie Forbush -- an All-American girl as racist, this time a racist with her eye on the White House. She can stir up crowds to shout "Kill him!" at the mention of the presidential candidate of the other party a couple of weeks before the national election.
Playing the race card explicitly merely guarantees what I have thought from the beginning -- racism in this country precludes the possibility of a sepia-colored man becoming president. However, the last-ditch attack on him guarantees that McCain and Palin will be blamed as the candidates who were content to hear crowds calling for the death of Obama.
Get the scene. The McCain/Palin ticket wins in November and soon afterwards mobs of wild eyed bible-toting evangelicals will burn stacks of books in giant bonfires. Sound ridiculous? Well, that is exactly what Andrew Greeley is laughably claiming in his latest Chicago Sun-Times column ominously titled, "Next Chapter for radical right: Burn books." Years ago, Greeley sounded somewhat sane but lately he has gone off the deep end such as his claim in June that it is racist not to vote for Obama. Greeley's latest sanity-challenged screed presents a bleak future of crazed book-burning evangelicals taking over the country. Try not to laugh too hard as you read Greeley's rantings (emphasis mine):
Apparently, the Chicago media have decided that the meme for the 2008 general election is going to be that anyone who doesn't vote for Barack Obama is a racist because this is the second editorial (that I've seen, anyway) in Chicago stating such a theory. Last week the Daily Herald voiced the assumption and this week it's the Sun-Times with the volatile Andrew Greeley taking up the cause of ridding the world of racism one Obama vote at a time.
Beginning with some meaningless banter where he throws around the names of a few Greek philosophers to sound erudite, Greeley then voices the fear that if Obama loses in November it might prove we are a racist country. "Sen. Barack Obama's victory, we are told by the cheering sections,"Greeley writes, "was a great victory for the American dream. Racism may well be in retreat... What if Obama is defeated? The whole world and most African Americans will scream 'racism!'" Greeley follows that with enough evidence for us to realize that he believes that the charge would be justified. He informs us that any vote against Obama has been thus far based on "bigotry," "racism," etc.