Monday, August 04, 2008

Gangsta Gangsta

John McCain is at the top of the list. Ta-Nehisi Coates makes a good point:
Consider this incredible quote from McCain henchman Rick Davis:
"Only celebrities like Barack Obama go to the gym three times a day, demand ‘MET-RX chocolate roasted-peanut protein bars and bottles of a hard-to-find organic brew—Black Forest Berry Honest Tea’ and worry about the price of arugula."

I read those words, and thought only of generic gangsta rappers ranting about "Keeping it real." All cultures have their essentialist brutes, and if anything radiates from Davis's statement, it's rank thuggism.

Of course, when Black people do it, it's a cultural pathology.

5 comments:

schiller1979 said...

Rightly or wrongly, the same sort of "limousine liberal" tag was put on John Kerry. I don't think there's any reason to say that that sort of attack would only be made against a black candidate.

David Schraub said...

The point isn't that the attack would be made only against Black people (though see the comment I wrote on the other post regarding how otherwise neutral critiques can overlap with racist tropes and thus get both effects). The point is that whereas Black speakers (mostly hip-hop artists) talk about the need to be "real" (stay street, don't snitch, don't act White, whatever), it's seen as a pathology, whereas when White Republican folks do it (don't eat fancy food, don't learn foreign languages, don't live in a city or coast), it's considered normal politics.

PG said...

I'm just wondering why John McCain's staff wants Obama to eat shit and die. Judging by some of Obama's family, he carries genes that make him susceptible to obesity and heart disease. With that family history, it's especially smart to exercise frequently and eat healthfully. Why was it good for Bush to be in shape but bad for Obama to be?

It all seems of a piece with the McCain strategy to make aspiration a bad thing. I wish that I had the self-discipline to go to the gym regularly and avoid high-chemical and fatty foods. (Though I have sworn off Hostess cupcakes lately. Anything with "cream" that you don't refrigerate ain't right.) Evidently McCain is looking to win with the part of the voting population that is proud of being a fatass slob and threatened by a president who isn't.

Joe said...

Rank thuggism is a good description for Republican electoral politics in general. Because obviously we need to be rank thugs to fight off the elitists, much as it is with terrorists.

schiller1979 said...

OK, David, I was reading you wrong. I see what you're saying.

It's an appeal to the redneck vote. I see being redneck as a cultural pathology, but maybe other white people don't. I'm not sure.