I won't be watching the Winter Olympics this year, because unfortunately the Jamaican bobsledding team was eliminated from that competition.
Anywhoo, tonight I want to talk about names. Yes names. It seems that the voice of the wingnuts, Glenn Beck, is at it again. This time he is making a federal case of the president's name. Apparently Mr. Beck really has issues with the name Obama, especially when my man had such a nice Christian name like Barry and ditched it. See folks, it's like this: If you are a true A-merry-can (especially one who was called to lead the rest of us) you just can't go ditching your A.-merry-can name for something so un-A-merry-can. I think they call that "nativism". But Beck and his friends are good at that. (And they call me the racism chaser.)
John Knefel over at True Slant sums things up pretty well:
"Respected race theorist Glenn Beck has made the world a better place, as he is want to do, by — wait for it — stoking White, nativist fears about our crazy black man president and his crazy black man president name. Beck, to his credit, has found what works — stoking White, nativist fear — and he has stuck with it. No point in reinventing the wheel, or, in Beck’s case, the Hood. Welcome to Barack-gate 2010!
The earnest folks over at Media Matters noted yesterday that on Beck’s ham radio program, Let’s Get Racial!, the tolerant host voiced his displeasure with this “Barack” (!?) Obama character, specifically this “Barack” (WTF!?) part of his name:
[Barack Obama] chose to use his name Barack for a reason — to identify, not with America — you don’t take the name Barack to identify with America. You take the name Barack to identify with what? Your heritage?" The heritage, maybe, of your father in Kenya, who is a radical? Is — really?"
Hmmm, "race theorist". Is that what what they are calling guys like Beck these days?
Anyway, we always knew that some folks in A-merry-ca were uncomfortable with the president's name. Mr. Beck is just now confirming it for us. And he thinks he really got his O ness with an Aha moment by uncovering what Knefel is calling "Barack-gate 2010".
"Beck has already devoted time on his show to focusing on the super-important-Arabian fact that Obama’s middle name is Hussein, but apparently the fascination with the president’s name hasn’t quite worn out yet. So, okay, let’s pick this xenophobic rant apart.
'[Barack Obama] chose to use his name Barack for a reason — to identify, not with America–'
I’m going to stop you right there. Beck bravely posits here is that there is some set of things called “American,” and that the name Barack, a resoundingly African-sounding name, is not a member of that set. This catalogue of ”American Things” is, presumably, set in stone. WOP-y names such as Giuliani and filthy-mick names such as O’Brien have always been as American as apple pie, whereas weird names like “Barack” will never be.
'You take the name Barack to identify with what? Your heritage? The heritage, maybe, of your father in Kenya, who is a radical?'"
Well let's just go ahead and give Mr. Beck the Peabody Award for excellence in journalism right now. What an idiot.
Having said all of that, I know what I don't want to see; civil rights groups crying a river because Beck is on the radio saying what his listeners want to hear. Please get over it. The Glenn Becks of the world aren't going anywhere, so focus on mobilizing people to vote and to become more involved with the political process. Let them know that the best way to get back at Glenn Beck and other xenophobes like him is to put more people with funny sounding names or who look different than he does into office.