Will color be an issue in this election in a way that it wasn’t last time? I only ask as two bits of upsetting election material passed my attention this week. The first shown above is floating about the internet. It’s a bumper sticker with a clearly racist slur against Obama. Americans are very keen to publicise their political allegiances on their car bumpers or tail-gates, with garish, usually priggish stickers. The British by contrast plaster the back windscreens of their cars with adverts for National Heritage sites and wildlife parks, and then cannot see out to reverse.
But, as I cannot easily trace its provenance or substantiate it as a other than a possible fake there is always the chance it is a spoof or deliberate smear.
The second above is slightly more worrying as it can be stood up. The picture credit goes to Fox Atlanta, and the story itself carried by the likes of HuffPost. It’s a restaurant sign that uses its billboard to use the word “Nigger” in reference to the President. I won’t dignify the restaurant concerned by naming it, suffice it to say its identity can be confirmed fairly easily. To those outside the USA, the use of this term is hugely, hugely, offensive and in many ways socially far less acceptable even than the use of the “c” word in relation to women. So offensive is the word that as you can see Fox felt they had to grey it out, so it’s not some slip or miss-used term, it is clearly designed to be as utterly offensive as possible.
It bodes ill for the election race and hopes of balanced measured debate. Those who hoped for thrashing out the problems that beset America and the World on the actual issues are likely to be disappointed, as the campaign shows signs of degenerating into a shouting match with every ill that besmirches America being paraded for all the world to see.
Copyright David Macadam 2012.