Secret Mojo Dumbs It Down for You

July 21, 2006

Oppressed President goes to the NAACP to make his voice be heard

Filed under: Politics — secretmojo @ 3:25 am

In Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Tom Stoppard flips the cast of Hamlet on its head. He promotes two of the most innocuous bit parts in all of Shakespeare to the existential zero-heros of his play, and relegates the angst-saturated Dane to the muffled background, only to appear when R & G (or is it G & R?) deign to take notice of him.

I couldn’t help but think of Rosencrantz (or was it Guildenstern?) when Bush peeked his head in at the NAACP convention, doing his “Please baby baby please” routine to a group he’s ignored for the past five years. He played zero-hero in the white world, strumming guitars while New Orleans drowned, only to invite New Orleans onto his stage when it suited his theater: photo op with firemen, posing with a black child, running his billionth “damage assessment” from the air. So this rare appearance, even if drawn from a sincere change of heart (yeah, right), plays as ridiculous as Guildenstern flipping that coin again, or like another round of The Questions Game.

No doubt, he casts himself as the main character through which all the world should be viewed. Indeed, Tony Snow explained why the President felt the need to speak at the convention: “the President wants to make his voice heard.” His voice heard? Must be hard for a prez to get any air time nowadays. But make his voice “heard” is what he did: in a rather absurd near-apology, Bush said, “I come from a family committed to civil rights”—without the comedic disclaimer “and even they wouldn’t do this for me.”

What a buffoon, of no use whatsoever to the NAACP. Comparing and contrasting his party (certainly not himself) to Lincoln’s, telling of his travels to Memphis, explaining his extremely perceptive understanding of lingering racism, and acknowledging African-American distrust of his party (not him), and more me, me, me, me me, he proved that he was just another zero-hero, braving a world full of strange events that keep happening to him, despite his deep moral convictions. Even when protesters interrupted his self-stroking “moment of conscience,” he displayed once again that he was both the bringer of pain, and the deliverer of happiness: “Don’t worry,” he said to NAACP board chairman Dr. Julian Bond, “I’m almost done.”

Thing is, George, you never started.

But what does that matter, when journalists haven’t enough balls to demand what the difference between this and last past five “schedule conflicted” years were, and accept the response of “I think the President wants to make his voice heard” without bursting in laughter? What does it matter when we are delivered “George with a View” articles, whose slant is obviously the political awkwardness the poor President must endure?

The real issue, as Kanye West said so clearly he had to be censored, is, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Well, does he?

Did Scot McClellan really defend the Prez by saying, “The current leadership of the NAACP has certainly made some rather hostile political comments about the President over the past few years. And I think it’s important to recognize what has been said by some of the current leadership”?

Really, is there anything this president has displayed besides indifference and contempt until the last drop of shit hits the fan, and he is forced to deal with all the uppities? Did he go to the NAACP to amplify his often-silenced voice, or to put the breaks on an approaching 0% approval rating from African-Americans? Ever wonder why it’s consistently awkward for Bush, yet pleasant for Clinton, anywhere there’s a disproportionate amount of black people?

One thing is certainly true: Bush desperately wants more votes for his party, even if some votes may be darker than the other.

And I’m sure I’ll read many more articles that explore George’s struggle to come to terms with that.

* * *

To find out what the NAACP has been doing while George was out, you can visit naacp.org. To learn about non-deadbeats who have made a difference, you can pick anyone from this list. For a guide to politicians who aren’t afraid to be “committed to civil rights,” you can click here. For an issues-oriented interview show that’s not afraid of black people, you can click here. To discover the gaps in Bush’s awareness, go here. There’s plenty of information out there; you don’t need the President’s consent, or a journalist’s good will, to find out about it. George has never been the main character on this matter; don’t let his quintennial appearances (and the consistent press silence) convince you otherwise.

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