Both the Washington Post and Huffington Post have recently condemned the anti-Obama street art display near the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, which taunted Barack Obama on his birthday with racist references.
Interestingly enough, the same media organs, notorious for their unwavering support of this president, had neglected to cover a series of recent better-executed and more tasteful anti-Obama displays by American street artists in Augusta, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, and Silicon Valley.
Granted, the American anti-Obama artists didn’t give the media an opportunity to cry “racism.” Is that why the U.S.-based artists weren’t deemed worthy of a story? In defense of the pro-Obama journalists, it’s a lot harder to defend their protégé when the charges are not race-related. The prank in Moscow, however, was a smorgasbord of monkeys, bananas, and dog whistles — everything the left-wing media requires to reinforce its own narrative: all criticism of Obama is based in racism. “They just hate him because he’s black.”
As usual, their anti-racist sanctimony has once again blinded the media to the real story.
To describe the Moscow display as merely “racist” would be just as parochial and myopic as to describe the Islamic Caliphate in Iraq as a threat to gender equality in the workplace. Both statements would be somewhat true, but they would also reveal the superficiality of an obsessive-compulsive mind focused exclusively on pet-peeve issues. They might have just as effectively scorned the unhip cut of the Nazi uniforms as the Germans advanced across Europe.
Of all the problems with the Obama-mocking display, racism is probably the least disturbing. Trust me as someone who comes from the former USSR: those “patriots” don’t hate Obama “just because he’s black.” They hate him because in their minds he represents the “vile” America — including its “stupid” people, its “horrible” history, its “materialistic” values, and its “unfair” economy.
Make no mistake, the insult was directed at the United States — a country they love to hate for a whole lot of reasons — outlandish reasons without a doubt, but among which racism won’t even make to the top hundred. More precisely, the actual object of their hatred is not as much the America we know, but an ugly, far-fetched and perverted depiction of it — something that Putin’s jingoistic propaganda has been creating and planting in people’s heads for quite some time. If this attack on Obama was indeed an act of citizen activism, that would be the best evidence of how successful Russia’s state-run media machine has been.