It’s quite sad how everything critical of others in this country somehow worms its way into being a discussion about race. Not that there aren’t problems with race in this country, but not EVERY problem is about race.
So why the anonymity? Perhaps because the poster is ultimately a racially charged image. By using the “urban” makeup of the Heath Ledger Joker, instead of the urbane makeup of the Jack Nicholson character, the poster connects Obama to something many of his detractors fear but can’t openly discuss. He is black and he is identified with the inner city, a source of political instability in the 1960s and ’70s, and a lingering bogeyman in political consciousness despite falling crime rates.
The Joker’s makeup in “Dark Knight” — the latest film in a long franchise that dramatizes fear of the urban world — emphasized the wounded nature of the villain, the sense that he was both a product and source of violence. Although Ledger was white, and the Joker is white, this equation of the wounded and the wounding mirrors basic racial typology in America. Urban blacks — the thinking goes — don’t just live in dangerous neighborhoods, they carry that danger with them like a virus. Scientific studies, which demonstrate the social consequences of living in neighborhoods with high rates of crime, get processed and misinterpreted in the popular unconscious, underscoring the idea. Violence breeds violence.
Obama, like the Joker and like the racial stereotype of the black man, carries within him an unknowable, volatile and dangerous marker of urban violence, which could erupt at any time. The charge of socialism is secondary to the basic message that Obama can’t be trusted, not because he is a politician, but because he’s black.
I could become highly annoyed by this entire diatribe. But then I check who Philip Kennicott. You can only expect an off the wall analysis like this from the Culture writer for the Post.
It’s like asking is the game of pool about solids vs stripes, skill vs skill, or the white ball beating all the other balls off the green, earth-like table until dominance is established by eliminating the black ball.
Dude, it’s about PBR and 50 cent games with friends. Relax a little.