I snagged the above image awhile ago from some right-wing forum (sorry, can't remember which one). I'm including it here because it illustrates a white-wing -- I mean right-wing -- meme these days, one that's sure to get more play in response to Obama's Nobel Peace Prize.
The common conservative complaint encapsulated by that image is that people who criticize Obama for any reason are automatically labeled racists. I think that complaint is demonstrably groundless. It seems obvious that while racism surely helps to motivate many of Obama's critics, there's plenty to criticize Obama for that has nothing to do with his race. It's also obvious that those who criticize his policies rarely get labeled racists simply for doing so.
I suspect that this claim -- that you just can't criticize a black president in these politically correct times without getting slapped with a "Hi, I'm a racist!" name-tag -- is more of a backstage complaint among Obama's conservative critics. As in, something they tell each other, more than something they say a lot in public, and during debates with whatever constitutes "the left."
Another conservative claim that I think will arise in the next week or so -- a criticism that I think is racist -- is that Obama only won because of his race. That the Nobel Peace Prize has become the Affirmative Action Prize. I've certainly heard that specious claim often enough (actually, far more than often enough) as a supposed explanation for Toni Morrison's receipt of the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature.
As with the common conservative complaint about being labeled a racist simply for criticizing Obama, I think this Affirmative Action Card will probably be played more frequently behind closed doors than out in public. After all, whenever you say such things about Obama out in public, people automatically jump up and call you a racist, right?
But wait, waddya know, some conservatives are already saying that in public. Here's a writer named Eric Erickson, writing this morning at a blog called Redstate: "I did not realize the Nobel Peace Prize had an affirmative action quota for it, but that is the only thing I can think of for this news."
Wow, that was fast. It also demonstrates the incredibly limited range of Erickson's thought process (that's the "only thing" he could think of in response to this news?).
At Baudrillard's Bastard, Ortho Stice also predicts more of this psychopathological response -- that white people will "say Obama does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize and he only won because of his race." And over at Racism Review, Sociologist Jessie Daniels is predicting that "this amazing news will prompt a torrent of racist backlash."
Yes, more of all that does seem likely. Of course, those spewing that torrent will swear all up and down that their denunciations are anything but racist.
Are you hearing or seeing any other examples yet of a racist backlash to today's big news for Barack Obama?
By the way, here's his five-minute acknowledgment speech. What happens to the arguments of Obama's critics when he agrees with them that he doesn't deserve the Prize?