The President Obama attackers are getting extreme in our alleged “post-racial America” these days, as with this Colorado billboard’s political ad.
These used to be sent around by folks with such extreme views just in emails to each other but now they are going public, almost mainstream.
Here President Obama is imaged as highly stereotyped terrorist, gay man, criminal, and undocumented immigrant. Notice the white racist framing in its extreme version, with stereotyping of Muslims, Latinos, and African Americans.
It is often hard to be an American these days, with the world watching us spew forth this kind of viciousness–that keeps accelerating in a land whose rhetoric still speaks of liberty, fairness, and justice. This is supposed to be satire, but like racist joking it is a very thinly disguised way of letting much of an individual’s or group’s racist framing, and probably a white fear of an increasingly diverse America, out into the open. The painter put his name to it, but the owner of the billboard is hiding behind anonymity. Old tricks from the racist bag, this billboard’simages and language (DemocRats) are reminiscent of certain anti-Semitic attacks on Jews in 1930s Nazi Germany and elsewhere–who were sometimes stereotyped as dangerous “rats.”
UPDATE: They took the attack billboard down in Grand Junction, Colorado.