MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Fox "News" sears the red-hot poker of racism into the heart of white Americans who emotionally need a scapegoat for the nation's economic collapse - and the erosion of the US Empire.
If some people wonder why racism still has such a strong appeal, remember that the poor and merchant-class whites of the Confederacy were as racist as the plantation owners. Having slaves to look down upon as sub-human creatures allowed even the poorest of white sharecroppers and indentured servants to feel a privileged psychological sense of social position in comparison to blacks.
That is why there is no way other than racism to view the unrelenting attack on the invitation of the rapper Common to the White House. In his usual brilliant takedown of Fox, Jon Stewart nailed the absurdity of the obsessive Fox vitriol, but danced around the motive: the stoking of racism in viewers who might otherwise start thinking about how the plutocracy is picking their pockets.
In a documentary done some time ago by Robert Greenwald, he detailed just some of the overt racism on Fox "News" over the years. But most of the insidious and dangerous fanning of the flames of race is done through coding on Fox, such as in the fusillade on Common and Obama. Coding race was inherent in the Fox nurturing of the "birther" movement, and in most of its cheerleading for the Tea Party.
It's no wonder that so many Republican officials, in particular, have been caught making racist remarks or sending racist emails. It was no surprise to receive a tip from a BuzzFlash reader that, recently, a Republican West Virginia candidate for governor referred to President Obama as "Sambo."
Republicans and the right-wing media echo chamber have never let their foot off the gas pedal of Dick Nixon's "Southern strategy." They know that emotional appeals to the core sense of identity of insecure whites in America's social structure put up an incendiary road block to an appeal to facts and reason.
There's no way to soft sell what Fox is up to: they promulgate the vision that America is a white nation, and that "taking back America" means wresting it from the control of a black man.
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