Once upon a time in America, especially in 'the South,' there was a term used that we no longer hear much. It seems to have finally fallen away. Progress, I guess. But it lived for a good hundred years after Emancipation and died a slow, bitter death, if indeed it really is dead. The term was "nigger lover" and it was the harshest imprecation one (usually southern) white man could hurl at another. "Nigger lover!"
Think about it. What does one say back to something like that? To deny it is to acknowledge that it's a valid term, and that it's a bad thing. "Nigger lover!" It's the word that caused Ty Cobb to snap, in the 19 teens. After ignoring verbal abuse from a deranged fan for six innings one day, Cobb 'snapped' and leaped into the seats and pummeled a paraplegic (as it turned out) after he heard "Nigger lover!". How dare that guy?
What did it even mean? In the minds of the dimwits who would use such a term there were two kinds of people. White people and "niggers." Remember the 'n word' was used quite casually by a large segment of the population for that hundred years. And "niggers" needed to 'know their place.' (Hence the term 'uppity' for the ones that didn't.) A "nigger lover" was anybody that wasn't sufficiently 'down' with the idea of White Supremacy. "Nigger lover!"
I've never been called that and I don't remember ever reading or hearing the term except historically. But there's a new term I'm seeing and hearing a lot, just lately, one that I HAVE been called. The term is "Obama worshiper." It apparently means someone who is not sufficiently 'down' with the idea that President Obama is an America-hating, reverse-racist, terrorist-sympathizing, America-apologist, secret Muslim, intent on turning the U.S. into a Marxist-Socialist-Islamo-Fascist state, with gay marriage and abortion on demand for all. Which makes me one, I guess, since I don't accept any of those things as being grounded in reality, much less even remotely true.
Kind of weird, too, since the idea of actually 'worshiping' seems to me like some relic from our dark and distant past. It seems to me that any being actually worthy of being worshiped would not want to be (It would lack the requisite vanity) and any being that demanded it would not merit it (but only want it for its own ego-gratification.)
Obama worshiper! And I'm hearing this from otherwise normal people too, who work and play and eat and sleep and live and love just like you and me. They just have this one blind spot. Somehow they can't see, can't even allow for the possibility, that the rest of us see a man trying to do a very difficult job in a very difficult, even hostile environment and doing a pretty fair job of it. Nothing more. No worship. No 'Lord Barry.' Just a president that looks different from the previous forty-two who isn't pursuing a right-wing agenda (as we knew he wouldn't).
I was asked in the summer of '08 if I thought America was really ready for a black president. I said, of course. Why not? Was I wrong?