We're starting to see some of the first glimpses of the GOP strategy against Obama for the November election, and it isn't pretty. As Talking Points Memo summarizes (Youtube video -- relevant section starts at about 2:30 in), the real attack is going to focus on four falsehoods:
-- Obama is a Black nationalist
-- Obama is a crypto-Muslim
-- Obama has ties to terrorists
-- Obama is anti-American
Socially conscious Asian Americans should find this litany very familiar. For "Black nationalist," read "clannish and cliquish." For "crypto-Muslim" read "dog-eating, foot-binding male chauvinists." For "ties to terrorists" read "spies for communist China." For "anti-American" read "perpetual foreigners who can never be real Americans."
Obama may have succeeded in downplaying racial issues thus far in the campaign, but this summer and fall, he will be up against nothing less than the full arsenal of racial animus and oppression that constrains the Asian American experience. Our experience should warn us about just how durable and insidious these attacks can be. Let's hope he overcomes, and in doing so, shows us all the way forward.
Addendum (10/1): Jeff Yang has similar thoughts.
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