Media Hypocrisy 2.0 and 'Post Racial America' in the Age of Obama

Right and left wing journalists are have joined together to criticize and call for the firing of MSNBC commentator Martin Bashir for his remarks about Sarah Palin. He said she should be subject to the same kind of treatment that slave owners conducted against their slaves. Bashir referenced the dehumanizing brutality depicted in the film Twelve Years a Slave, specifically when slave owners punished slaves by defecating in their mouths.

Bashir has apologized to Sarah Palin and her family for his comments. MSNBC has publicly criticized him and indicated that they are reviewing what kind punitive administrative action will be applied against him.

Ordinarily, one would think that Bashir's apology to Sarah Palin and her family would be enough. What is surprising is the "piling on" by liberal, principally white, journalists in their criticism of Bashir.

I DO NOT CONDONE Martin Bashir's remarks about Sarah Palin. However, taken within the context of the aggregate number of racist remarks about President Obama depicted on placards, written in blogs, and spoken on radio and TV since his election, Bashir's comments, in and of themselves, do not justify the current outpouring of criticism by so called liberal journalists and a few black conservative talking heads.

The motion picture Twelve Years a Slave is but a small open window into the history of our nation, and into the 24/7 brutality and degradation of slaves during the institution of slavery in our country. Its consequential legacy has been generation after generation of white racism and often-unspeakable degradation and humiliation of subsequent generations of African-Americans, including instances occurring in this century.

For those who read this blog and respond that I am playing the "race card": My response is that I only "play" the card from the "deck" that has been historically and repeatedly dealt to me and millions of other African-Americans of my generation.

Accordingly, taken within the context of this irrefutable historical experience, the outcry of criticism against Martin Bashir because of his remarks about Sarah Palin have a certain character of hypocrisy and disingenuousness.

I suggest that those who have been so quick to criticize Martin Bashir come, attend and participate in the 15-week course, "From Slavery to Obama," available at the College of Arts & Sciences, University of San Francisco. They should also read the books The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness by Michelle Alexander and Between Barack and a Hard Place by Tim Wise. Both books are part of the readings required in the course.

Hypocrisy 2.0, to paraphrase Tim Wise, seems to be a contagious virus that has affected the otherwise balanced judgment of liberal white journalists.