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Ambiguously racist wheat pasting
This morning, I was leaving the gym and getting myself together and thinking about how it is looking more and more likely that Obama will be the Democratic nominee. As I've said before, he's not my guy but if he gets it I'll volunteer some voter i.d. time for the guy in the Fall. You bet! Anyway, I'm getting dressed and folding up my gym clothes and I started looking down the road and it occurred to me that it could be pretty dangerous to be the first black President of the United States.
It was one of those ah-ha moments, and the more I thought about it, the more I felt absolutely sure that there are people in this country who will be pushed around the bend if Obama gets sworn in come January. That's definitely not to say he shouldn't do it, but I'm sure his family is worried about him.
Well, it turns out that I forgot to pack a belt today, and I really needed one. So, as I was having these thoughts, I also decided to stop by the Gap Outlet to grab one on clearance. After locking up my bike outside the store on Chestnut, I turned around and I saw the two wheat pastings posted above. The big one you will recognize. The smaller one, atop it, you probably won't [Click on the image for a close-up of the smaller wheat pasting].
Now, I'm not 100% sure what to make of it, to be honest. I've been in this whole liberal business long enough to have seen anti-racist posters/pastings/fliers designed to provoke conversation/thought in such a way that they almost seemed racist. Since I can't figure out what the heck the propagandist here means by "...next," I'm sort of scratching my head on this one.
I only say that as a cautionary comment, though. I'm 90% sure I understand the message of this wheatpasting (not Obama's -- though I get that too, I'm writing about the one on top of it). It always stuns me when I see openly racist graffiti or other sorts of vandalism. Someone had to care enough to go out and make it. In fact, they had to care enough to go out and do it in a predominantly black city. I'm not going to lie... if I was a white supremacist, I'd be scared out of my mind to put something like this up in Philadelphia.
Someone did, though, and I think this sort of thing is worth putting up here to remind us all, at least in part, what we're about. It's easy for us living in our progressive bubbles to forget how deep the hostility is in some communities. It's still real. There are people out there who really, really hate the idea of a black man running this country.
This Too Will Pass -- for the guts in your cerebrum.