A Plea to Young, White, Male Obama Supporters

Please think before you act.

  • McCain’s camp links Obama to terrorists – two white 20-somethings firebomb a McCain sign
  • McCain supporters repeatedly say and do racist things, including today’s plot to shoot him and several black students – one 20-something hangs a manequin dressed like Palin from his roof

(JackAss 2.5 MTV)

Your actions are neither ironic nor helpful. Worse, they will ultimately not impact you or your livelihoods as the hatred on the conservative side always falls back on racism and misogyny; two things young, white, heterosexual, males, have nothing to worry about.

I am asking you to remember that an election is neither an episode of JackAss or Punked. There are real consequences to your behavior particularly when it mirrors arguments that are categorically untrue or worse takes the teeth out of an argument about lynch imagery, which is so clearly there, because you had to go hang a Palin dummy. You are blunting the truth of bigotry on the right, reinforcing their erroneous arguments, and increasing the likelihood of violence amidst a campaign, McCain’s, that has already stirred up enough hatred, xenophobia, racism, threat, and violence, on its own.

Petty violence, symbolic or otherwise, has never been a useful tool of critique and simply illustrates the ignorance of those who resort to it. If you cannot think your way through why, then consider Obama’s call for a “different kind of politics” where fear and loathing are met with hope and reason.

If you are considering doing something childish in the next 8 days, stop it. Stop it now. If you are one of the 90% of white heterosexual males who support Obama and have not done anything offensive or stupid but know someone who has, & yes this includes sexist jokes about Palin or racist reverse psychology like “vote for the white half” signs, turn to them, look them dead in the eyes, and say “Stop it! Stop it NOW!”

Honestly, no black person should have to pay for your privilege laden ignorance masquerading as hipster critique; and we both know that women and people of color are the ones who will ultimately bear the burden of your actions, not you.

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