Obama Derangement Syndrome: Yes It’s Racist

ObamaDevilHere’s a sort of follow up to two earlier posts about subconscious racism and Obama Derangement Syndrome. Ira Rosofsky writes in Psychology Today:

Pollster Stanley Greenberg and political operative James Carville, last year, reported on a series of focus groups with older, white Republicans in Georgia. They were on a quest to understand the hardcore opposition to Obama. Is it racist?

They concluded no. They admonished us to “Get over it.” The animus to Obama, they claimed, is “based in the same unwavering, bedrock conservative principles that have always led them to oppose liberal policies. Some of their subjects even claim to be post racial-“proud” there is an African-American president.

I have my own informal focus group, and I’m not buying it.

I work as a psychologist in nursing homes, and I talk daily to the older salt of the earth. The other day I assessed the cognitive status of an 87-year-old male member of the Greatest Generation, and realized yet again how enmeshed racism is in our cultural DNA.

He seemed reasonably reasonable, only his toe dipping in the pool of mild dementia. He still recognized everybody. Could name all his grandchildren, outline his work history, and share anecdotes about the war. So what if he couldn’t exactly remember exactly which day it was in October. He remembered it was October. I dare you to try to keep track of the day of the week if you are in an institution and don’t find the newspaper on your doorstep every morning to begin your day. Not as easy as you think.

Read more here.

Pollster Stanley Greenberg and political operative James Carville, last year, reported on a series of focus groups with older, white Republicans in Georgia. They were on a quest to understand the hardcore opposition to Obama. Is it racist?

They concluded no. They admonished us to “Get over it.” The animus to Obama, they claimed, is “based in the same unwavering, bedrock conservative principles that have always led them to oppose liberal policies. Some of their subjects even claim to be post racial-“proud” there is an African-American president.

I have my own informal focus group, and I’m not buying it.

I work as a psychologist in nursing homes, and I talk daily to the older salt of the earth. The other day I assessed the cognitive status of an 87-year-old male member of the Greatest Generation, and realized yet again how enmeshed racism is in our cultural DNA.

He seemed reasonably reasonable, only his toe dipping in the pool of mild dementia. He still recognized everybody. Could name all his grandchildren, outline his work history, and share anecdotes about the war. So what if he couldn’t exactly remember exactly which day it was in October. He remembered it was October. I dare you to try to keep track of the day of the week if you are in an institution and don’t find the newspaper on your doorstep every morning to begin your day. Not as easy as you think.

Then I asked this standard question:

“Who is the president of the United States ?”

“That n*gg*r.”

And there you have it. Hitting me like a slap across the face in the privacy of the consultation room I uncover the racism left out of the polite society of focus groups.

Sure it’s anecdotal, but I believe it.

One of the effects of a little dementia is that it disinhibits. It’s like you’re in that movie where they put the spell on you, and you are compelled to say whatever’s on your mind.

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Being not always recognizable as a Jew, I get my share of anti-Semitic outbursts too.

I have to believe that the n-word, and its more gentile variants, is on the minds if not the tongues of older Georgians, younger Georgians, and millions of other Americans.

I’m not saying it’s the whole stew of Obama derangement, but it’s surely a condiment.

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  • Dan

    Yet somehow I never heard my hardcore opposition to Bush explained by being a self-hating white male. Racism is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Dan

    Yet somehow I never heard my hardcore opposition to Bush explained by being a self-hating white male. Racism is in the eye of the beholder.

    • Laws456

      Bullshit. Maybe you aren’t racist but much of the opposition to the “liberal” w/the conservative legislation (healthcare) is based on racism. It’s just the way it is. Thankfully most of these folks who teach this type of hate will soon meet their makers.

      • Dan

        *reads post*
        *rereads post*

        Are you trying to be ironic or make liberals look bad?

        • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

          I’m pretty sure some racism is in the mix somewhere. I hated the Bush admin for 7 straight years (I admit I withheld judgement the first year…just to be fair, until 9/11 and the bungled response made it clear that dissent was the only rational choice.) In all of that time, hatred of Bush policy and personalities notwithstanding, I didn’t need fantastic crutches to rationalize my dislike. I didn’t think of him as a plant from the NWO, as a reptilian overlord, a Manchurian candidate, or anything other than the son of a very wealthy family that spent a fortune keeping him employed and elected no matter how many times he screwed up.You and I didn’t need anything more than the legitimate choices Bush admin officials made…and that was enough to draw our ire. The really madcap shit rolling off the right’s tongues these days suggests that the hate is deeply personal. Somehow Obama manages to be all ills…a Muslim/Kenyan/Black Activist/Radical Black Christian/NWO Operative/Nazi/Socialist/Antichrist/Communist/Dictator/CIA Plant…all at the same time.Frankly…I don’t think he’s talented enough to manage all that at once. He’s just a generic Chicago politician with a silver tongue who is in over his head and won’t rock the boat the way people wanted him to. But at the end of the day…SOMETHING has made him a deeper issue for a portion of populace…and suspecting that it might be different if he were white is probably a safe bet.

          • Andrew

            Very well put.

    • Honuman

      well, the way I see it, all the ravings of the lunatic right about Obama raising taxes, him being a socialist, bigger government, etc all can be debunked easily with logic. Obama has actually lowered taxes, the only socialist thing he’s done is attempt to reform healthcare and the bill will assuredly be changed in time anyway, Bush expanded government more than Obama has and Bush got us into a war on false pretenses spending 12 billion/month for it for 6 years he was in office and now longer. All the arguments the right use on Obama can easily be applied to the Republicans too. So if it’s not about principals or policies, what else can it be? It would be ignorant of you not to consider racism as a possibility here. There is a real hatred for blacks, Jews, Asians, etc in this country. It’s a fact. Maybe not as much in the big cities but in alot of other parts and seeing Obama in office probably did deeply scare a certain portion of the population.

  • Anonymous

    Bullshit. Maybe you aren’t racist but much of the opposition to the “liberal” w/the conservative legislation (healthcare) is based on racism. It’s just the way it is. Thankfully most of these folks who teach this type of hate will soon meet their makers.

  • Dan

    *reads post*
    *rereads post*

    Are you trying to be ironic or make liberals look bad?

  • Marklar_Prime

    This is why they chose a black man to become president at the Bilderberg meeting. We get the same neocon policies as Bush but any word of condemnation can now be shouted down as racism.

  • http://twitter.com/Marklar_Prime Marklar Kronkite

    This is why they chose a black man to become president at the Bilderberg meeting. We get the same neocon policies as Bush but any word of condemnation can now be shouted down as racism.

  • Honuman

    well, the way I see it, all the ravings of the lunatic right about Obama raising taxes, him being a socialist, bigger government, etc all can be debunked easily with logic. Obama has actually lowered taxes, the only socialist thing he’s done is attempt to reform healthcare and the bill will assuredly be changed in time anyway, Bush expanded government more than Obama has and Bush got us into a war on false pretenses spending 12 billion/month for it for 6 years he was in office and now longer. All the arguments the right use on Obama can easily be applied to the Republicans too. So if it’s not about principals or policies, what else can it be? It would be ignorant of you not to consider racism as a possibility here. There is a real hatred for blacks, Jews, Asians, etc in this country. It’s a fact. Maybe not as much in the big cities but in alot of other parts and seeing Obama in office probably did deeply scare a certain portion of the population.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I’ve noticed much the same…in the sense that the older the people I talk to about politics happen to be…the more virulently their anti-Obama sentiments tend to get. Back down the scale…the young ones may disagree with the politics, but the deep personal demonization is almost absent…except with unmedicated schizophrenics. It isn’t just a political divide…because the level of almost seething outrage and contempt goes far beyond the merely political…and there can be only one other explanation…not only does he not think like them…he doesn’t look like them either. It may seem childish and overly simplistic…but the psychotic overreaction against him IS childish and simplistic. I have a hundred problems with the current administration…almost as many as with the last administration…but ethnic slurs and vague implications about his origins or intentions aren’t anywhere on my menu.

    It would probably help if our media didn’t act an enabler…dragging the lowest elements into public discourse and treating them as respectably as the highest.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I’ve noticed much the same…in the sense that the older the people I talk to about politics happen to be…the more virulently their anti-Obama sentiments tend to get. Back down the scale…the young ones may disagree with the politics, but the deep personal demonization is almost absent…except with unmedicated schizophrenics. It isn’t just a political divide…because the level of almost seething outrage and contempt goes far beyond the merely political…and there can be only one other explanation…not only does he not think like them…he doesn’t look like them either. It may seem childish and overly simplistic…but the psychotic overreaction against him IS childish and simplistic. I have a hundred problems with the current administration…almost as many as with the last administration…but ethnic slurs and vague implications about his origins or intentions aren’t anywhere on my menu.

    It would probably help if our media didn’t act an enabler…dragging the lowest elements into public discourse and treating them as respectably as the highest.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I’m pretty sure some racism is in the mix somewhere. I hated the Bush admin for 7 straight years (I admit I withheld judgement the first year…just to be fair, until 9/11 and the bungled response made it clear that dissent was the only rational choice.) In all of that time, hatred of Bush policy and personalities notwithstanding, I didn’t need fantastic crutches to rationalize my dislike. I didn’t think of him as a plant from the NWO, as a reptilian overlord, a Manchurian candidate, or anything other than the son of a very wealthy family that spent a fortune keeping him employed and elected no matter how many times he screwed up.You and I didn’t need anything more than the legitimate choices Bush admin officials made…and that was enough to draw our ire. The really madcap shit rolling off the right’s tongues these days suggests that the hate is deeply personal. Somehow Obama manages to be all ills…a Muslim/Kenyan/Black Activist/Radical Black Christian/NWO Operative/Nazi/Socialist/Antichrist/Communist/Dictator/CIA Plant…all at the same time.Frankly…I don’t think he’s talented enough to manage all that at once. He’s just a generic Chicago politician with a silver tongue who is in over his head and won’t rock the boat the way people wanted him to. But at the end of the day…SOMETHING has made him a deeper issue for a portion of populace…and suspecting that it might be different if he were white is probably a safe bet.

  • Hadrian999

    it wouldn’t shock me at all if it is racism, it definitely isn’t the reasons given by the tea party, all the things they say they are mad about have been going on for decades, why the total hissyfit now? I myself am a big critic of his but in all honestly I don’t see him doing anything new.

  • Hadrian999

    it wouldn’t shock me at all if it is racism, it definitely isn’t the reasons given by the tea party, all the things they say they are mad about have been going on for decades, why the total hissyfit now? I myself am a big critic of his but in all honestly I don’t see him doing anything new.

  • Andrew

    Very well put.

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