Last night Clint Eastwood mocked President Obama. A white man with gravitas and a public persona ridiculed a black man in front of 30 million viewers. This was a historic event.
In the United States there is a taboo against white comedians or indeed any white public figures from publicly ridiculing black men and women. There is good reason for the taboo. It resulted from centuries of racial tyranny during which the norm was blacks being routinely humiliated publicly by whites. In today’s PC America, however, the opposite is true. We have overcompensated. It is considered bad taste and in some places, outright racism for white comedians to ridicule blacks in any way. Blacks can ridicule whites as this is seen as a sign of racial progress, and it surely is. But whites do not dare “go there”. This has created a pseudo-mutual, patronizing, climate that is not healthy for real race relations.
If any cultural factor contributed to the ability of President Obama to survive the 2008 campaign with Hillary Clinton, despite his radical intentions, this was it. Bill Clinton said the Obama team played the race card on him. Indeed the entire popular and political media played the race card by falling to subject Obama to the same ridicule that all other candidates are forced to endure. Ask Sarah Palin.
Democratic operatives and Progressive activists know about this taboo and they exploit it. They are trying to destroy Clint Eastwood today, because they understand what is on the line. If this taboo goes away, much will change in American politics and culture.
This factor, more than any other is what is keeping President Obama’s personal popularity reasonably high despite that fact that he has been a terrible President by all objective analyses. The popular entertainment media has failed to criticize him. That changed last night. Clint Eastwood told Americans it is OK to ridicule a black guy. This will be a serious blow to President Obama in the short term but it will be a positive turning point for race relations in the United States going forward.