The substance of this manufactured controversy is absurd. The speech was reported on at the time and was open to the media. Last night on Hannity, he and Tucker Carlson breathlessly showed clips of Obama saying all sorts of outrageous things, like maybe we should focus on building infrastructure in poor areas that are under-served instead of building another excess highway in the suburbs. Apparently Hannity, Drudge and the rest of them have never spent much time around normal Americans. They obviously don't know any of my coworkers who had to travel 2 hours both ways from the south side just to make it to their minimum wage job. Any person with any decency knows its more important to extend the red line in Chicago than to build another highway in the collar counties.
Anyway, that's a rabbit trail. What's the larger point? On Monday I wrote this, and it's applicable now:
I think the discomfort is not because social history is literally going to reduce attachment to our country, but because some people do not want to face the alienation that has been there all along. My sense is that there is among some white people a deep resentment about having to be reminded of our national failures. They are proud of their country, patriots to their core, and they can't imagine why everyone does not feel the same way.Hannity, Drudge, Carlson, et al are besides themselves because they have Barack Obama on tape showing anger about racial injustice. In the minds of these execrable men, drawing attention to racial injustice is itself the injustice. Acknowledging the influence of race is itself racist. They are so far removed from the agony of real life, so far from North Lawndale, so far from the daily "quiet riot" Obama spoke of, that they cannot fathom why everyone does not think exactly like them. Privileged white males to the core.
I'm glad to see a video like this. I sure hope Obama was angry, and I hope he's still angry. If you're not angry about racial injustice, I have trouble trusting you. If you're not angry, I'm not sure how to relate to you. I understand that many of us have not had the experiences necessary to open our eyes. I can respect that. But these men take it upon themselves to explain the truth to millions of people. They have audiences of millions, and as such their responsibility is heavy. Yet all they know to do is demand that everyone see the world exactly as they do. These men are not necessarily bad, nor are they necessarily stupid, but they have to be one or the other.