Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Fear and Loathing in the USA

Edward Said - ©2005Robert Shetterly-

In looking forward to James Crossley's new book, and the little teasers via his blog, I can't help but reflect upon the rhetoric used in the 2008 presidential election, and wonder what poor Edward Said is doing in his grave (restless I suspect). Even worse I can not imagine what it would be like to be a U.S. Muslim, in particular during this political climate. The advertisements that bombard my "swing" state are replete with simplistic binary statements, that are designed to invoke fear of the "other" and in some cases out right hatred. Even the Daily Show, which had a segment of interviews canvassing Palin/McCain supporters about what they thought of the possibility of an Obama presidency was quite disturbing (even if these were just the edited outtakes).  I was glad that McCain during a speech corrected someone in the crowd about Obama, saying that he was a good family man (does this imply though that Muslims are not), but I do not think he has done enough to stop this kind of innuendo (especially when his running mate seems, to me, to be fueling the fire).  The sad thing is that nobody seems to care, as if electing a black man to the presidency mitigates this type of bigotry.  I think Colin Powell said it best when he said America is better than this, but if the proof of the pudding is in the eating, I am not so sure how we Americans fair?  

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