High-Tech Lynching


A friend posted this video and I watched it because in the absence of Rick Santorum getting any traction, I'm trying to fall in love with Herman Cain so as not to have to support Romney.

Ordinarily it's my policy when perky little tyrants with no more audience than I behave like buffoons to let it pass without comment, but the more I think about this video the angrier it makes me.

It's not just that MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell is horribly smug. It's not just in a time of war and economic crisis he thinks it's pressing to ask a candidate for the office of President whether the loud-mouth redneck who sings the Monday Night Football jingle should have been fired for doing his loud-mouth redneck schtick.

It's that I've just watched a supercilious white man barrage a decent, hard-working and successful black man with a line of questions suggesting that he --the black man-- is insufficiently grateful to white people for giving him what he earned by hard work.

You know how in movies set in the Jim Crow era there is always a scene where the black man of sterling character and superlative education who's had to work three times as hard for what he has (the kind of role played by Denzel Washington) has to endure some white trash goon who isn't half the man he is in morality, wisdom or understanding forcing him to beg for something that's his by right? You know how painful and humiliating that is to watch and how much such a scene raises your hackles about the injustice of racial discrimination and how much you despise the tiny little man who gets his jollies humiliating a black man just because he can?

That is exactly my reaction to this video -- and this is real, and not set in the 1950s. The racism Lawrence O'Donnell displays here is vastly worse than that buffoon Hank Williams Jr. making a thoughtless analogy. Every question is designed to put the uppity Cain in his place, being sure he knows he owes everything he has to the suffrage of The Man.  Disgusting, vile, ugly. Why is Williams the one who was fired?