My Big Stupid (still racist) Country and its Incomprehensibly Stupid Politics

Joseph Glatzer

Obama rushes to quell racial uproar he helped fire

NANCY BENAC, Associated Press, July 24, 2009

This headline in a nutshell represents the incomprehensible stupidity of the American “news” media.  The Associated Press specializes in stories of stupidity, sensationalism and “controversies” but this one really takes the cake.

The article’s misleading title would lead you to believe President Obama called John McCain a jive turkey cracker or that he gave the Reverend Jeremiah Wright a terrorist fist jab on the White House Lawn while urinating in a United States Flag diaper.  This is not exactly what happened.

Actually, the stupid article in question doesn’t ever say what happened on the night in controversy.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Studies at Harvard University.  On the afternoon of July 16, he came to his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, only to find his front door jammed.  He tried to pry it open to let himself in, and a (presumably white) neighbor assumed he was a burglar and called the police to report a robbery.

Gates showed the arriving officer proof of residence, but the officer refused to believe a black man could actually live in that neighborhood.  Gates called the officer a racist, was handcuffed in his own home, and was then taken to jail and charged with disorderly conduct, a charge which was later dropped.

President Obama said the officers “acted stupidly” in the situation.

I smell a fake cable news / AP controversy!

“The fact that this has garnered so much attention, I think, is testimony to the fact that these are issues that are still very sensitive here in America,”

Obama said.

So…the fact that the “media” hopped lazily onto a statement Obama made (not about these police officers being racist pigs) but that they “acted stupidly”, and created a fake controversy which woke some white supremacists from their racist slumbers says something about progress we’ve made on racial sensitivity?

“Hours earlier, a multiracial group of police officers had stood with Crowley in Massachusetts and said the president should apologize.

Obama fell in line.  Knowing his place, he whistled Dixie and shined the shoes of the kindly po-lice officer:

“Obama, who had said Cambridge, Mass., police “acted stupidly” in arresting black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., declared the white arresting officer was a good man and invited him and the professor to the White House for a beer..”

First Black President or Uncle Tom in Chief?  You be the judge.  But, don’t forget: we live in a glorious Post Racial Society, so the cop couldn’t have been a racist pig.

Unbelievably, it gets even stupider (and more racist):

“A Republican congressman from Michigan, Thaddeus McCotter, said he would introduce a House resolution calling on Obama to apologize to Crowley.”

In case you can’t understand sarcasm, I think it’s pathetic that we live in a country where a black president has to apologize to a white police officer who harassed another highly distinguished black man.  How did this country get so backward on race?

I guess it’s been that way since the very foundations of American hegemony.

This country was built on the genocide and enslavement of native Americans, and the blood sweat and tears of black slaves kidnapped from Africa.

This is without mentioning the anti Asian immigration bans of the early 1900’s, the internment camps for the Japanese, the legally sanctioned Apartheid conditions imposed on blacks up until the Civil Rights Act of 1968, and last but not least: the internment and torture of thousands of Muslim men as well as the genocide of between 500,000 and a million Iraqis (

Why are none of these topics on the media agenda?  Maybe, because they require actual research, actual controversy, and cause uncomfortable feelings that are harder to sell ad space to American Idol viewers with?

What kind of stupid country do we live in when this manufactured garbage gets constant coverage, drowning out coverage of an issue of life and death for many Americans, health care reform?  Is a fake controversy more important than substantive and informative coverage on the stakes of reforming America’s health care “system” ?

“I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but nobody’s been paying much attention to health care,” the president said.

What does it say about a country that lets 22,000 people in one year die because they don’t have health insurance, yet celebrates celebrity gossip like the story highlighted above and where Michael Jackson’s brain ended up and if John is cheating on Kate plus 8? (

What’s going on in this society we live in?  Is everyone just hopelessly brainwashed?  Do people know that they actually do have the power to change things if they just took off their Snuggies, put down the remote control to the idiot box, and took to the streets?