When it comes to exploiting an isolated occurrence in order to stigmatize and downgrade the past, present and future of an entire racial group, no one does it better than the Daily's op-ed columnist of choice, Leonard Pitts Jr.
His Sept. 24 column turns on the sighting of a racist anti-Obama bumper sticker in south Florida. Pitts seizes the opportunity to dredge up past white hatred and "prerogative," and to place a white racist gloss on opposition to President Obama in 2012. For this he quotes the guilt-ridden satirist Randy Newman: "I'm Dreaming of a White President." As for the future, whites will inevitably be excluded from public office by galloping non-white demographic gains - one of Pitts' oft-repeated, if not cherished themes. Finally, Pitts uses the bumper sticker sighting to suggest that denial of racism by whites is "self-delusion."
Pitts tops it all with the story of a little black boy, Jacob, who touches the president's hair to see if it were really just like his own. Reading between the lines: someday, when demographics permit, little Jacob and a changed America will fulfill "new dreams" by ensuring that presidents have such physical characteristics! Question: are we heading toward a society whose citizens elect leaders not for policies and qualities but for the way they look? I had hoped just the opposite.
This column's hypocrisy and hatred force one to ask whether racism is exclusively a white domain; Pitts seems to champion a pay-back negritude, a tribalism no better, really, than that practiced by the KKK, a vision that does not bode well for the harmonious and virtuous society most Americans want. These Americans would surely include millions of whites who voted for Obama in 2008. Were they duped?
By the way, the Daily's editorial page manager, perhaps inadvertently, outdid himself by crafting this summary headline over the Pitts byline: "Again, the same old hate"!