The anger all but boiled off the page, and one marveled at the frustration, desperation, and primal rage so barely contained.
He remembered a frantic Autherine Lucy, as she was pelted with eggs and slurs as she dared become the first black student at the University of Alabama. The echoes of jeers hurled at the Little Rock Nine haunt his fevered memory and come alive as his poisoned pen seeks revenge. He recalls — much more recently — the sullen, dim-witted fury of Klansmen listening to David Duke shriek about white power in Metaire, Louisiana, as he ran for the governor’s office (and captured 55% of the white vote) in 1991.
Colbert I. King, Washington Post columnist, looks out his window and sees Klansmen again … in the faces of SUV-driving mothers, cherubic children, in the pained gait of Korea and Vietnam veterans who once again see a need to serve their country, and in homemade signs that read “I’m only 11…why am I paying your mortgage?”
In King’s March 27 column — “In the faces of tea party shouters, images of hate and history,” — the former deputy assistant editorial page editor of the Post is consumed by the very intense and visceral hate he would project on others.
Cherry-picking solitary slogans he finds offensive out of thousands of posters and blindly accepting charges of racism without a shred of evidence, King indulges in his own bigotry and basks in the hatred of a caricature he has created about an Other he refuses to know.
For not sharing his desire to spend someone else’s money, King libels your friends and neighbors as heirs to a craven ideology.
King’s cowardly refusal to engage anything more substantial than a strawman is a common shortcoming among the would-be intelligentsia. A day earlier in the New York Times, columnist Paul Krugman labeled the majority of Americans opposed to ObamaCare as “right-wingers” and “extremists” dedicated to “eliminationist” rhetoric, obliquely asserting that the controversial legislation was only opposed by would-be terrorists.
Quite purposefully and without shame, he turns a deaf ear to the cacophony of assassination fantasies his compatriots fetishized during the previous eight years.
The very next day, another Times columnist took up the gauntlet, smashing fury upon the unassuming mothers and grandparents that form the core of a grassroots effort to stand up against an overreaching government. Charles Blow echoed King and Krugman before him, asserting that the tea party rage must come from the deep-seated insecurities of “extremists.” Blow must have smirked with glee as he conjured up a comforting stereotype, which led him to blurt: “It’s enough to make a good old boy go crazy.”