One thing about the Joe Wilson outburst is that it's bringing race and the racism Obama facies into the sunlight for all to examine. I don't know that the outcome of this will turn out positive, but it's real interesting in any case.
Certainly, it's giving Republicans every chance they want to defend the Confederate flag and other symbols of treason. We know now that Joe Wilson is a neo-Confederate. He is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, one of the most racist organizations in the country. He was one of only seven legislators in South Carolina to vow to keep the Confederate flag over the state capitol of that state, a venerable tradition that goes all the way back to 1962.
Attacks on Wilson for his boorish behavior have upset fellow wingnuts. Increasingly, his defenders are also upset that his history as a supporter of treason in defense of slavery have come attack. Take Iowa congressman Steve King. King is really upset because, you know, Obama hates white men. As a white male, I should feel oppressed let me tell you... But anyway, here's King's own words on the matter:
“Instead of marching forward and following the principles of Martin Luther King Jr., [Obama] has set up a political system of delivering political favoritism to minority-serving groups. It divides Americans, and it insults us,” King said.
“There’s been legislation that’s been brought through this House that sets aside benefits for women and minorities. The only people that it excludes are white men,” he added. “Pretty soon, white men are going to notice they are the ones being excluded.”
Yeah, well. Now King's defense of oppressed white men extends to Joe Wilson:
“He is an officer and a gentleman and everyone who knows him knows that…being a son of the South puts you in a different position when it comes to the Confederate flag. It means something entirely different to the people who have ancestors who fought in the Civil War on the south side of the Mason-Dixon line. So I think Maureen Dowd is trying to whip this up and I also know she’s trying to put race into it. I didn’t know what race she was talking about when I first read her line on that.”
A son of the South does put you in a different position when talking about the Confederate flag. Just ask such sons of the South as Martin Luther King, Fred Shuttlesworth, Ralph Abernathy, John Lewis, and, I don't know, every single other black person who grew up there. Not to mention a not tiny group of whites who reject the racism the Confederate flag stands for.
But Wilson, King, and others want a race war. They want power back and they think that stirring up racism is the way to do it. I'm not sure that they won't succeed.
Via Andrea Nill