Bob Owens's piece at Pajamas Media elicits nothing but a hearty "amen" from me since it's something I've been circuitously trying to point out for sometime now, via the fact that Obama and I have nearly the same origins but diametrically opposite political views.
Is Barack Obama black enough to be president of the United States? Is he too black? Does he belong to a church that is too radical? Is he too unpatriotic? Too Muslim? Is he too...Somali?Bob goes on to list some of the whisper campaigns which have erupted--some which are more serious than others. (The fact that Obama has ties to infamous terrorists William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn--husband and wife--most assuredly falls into the 'more serious' category.)
These are but a few of the tangential charges leveled against Barack Obama in what could be dubbed "the politics of personal distraction."
But Bob might as well be talking to the wall in some cases. Being in my unique position has reinforced an old lesson, one magnified countless times since the inception of this blog back in 2003: there are some people who are unable to separate what matters from what doesn't. There are some who cannot separate what an individual does from what he/she is.
Several people I know have observed that the amount of available information seems to have varied directly with the amount of crazy/stupid/willfully ignorant people. I wonder if this is true. It could be that the amount of said people remains static, but because of the Internet, we "normal" people have more access to such people. Or it could be that the explosion of information coupled with generally poor formal education (including mine; Known Unknowns) produces people who don't know how to interpret information--don't know how to separate the bull from the bull byproducts, as it were and don't want to know (Unknown Unknowns). In this way do conspiracy theories gain adherents.
At any rate, I’m not above considering the fantastical and the improbable if given enough verifiable evidence as to the truth of the matter(s). All too often, however, people aren’t willing to wait around for evidence of the truth to come out. In their impatience, they will make up their own “truth.” I’ve seen some of it regarding Obama’s and Ochieng’s African lineage—that our tribe—Luo--is composed of mostly Muslims (false), that this same tribe is forcible circumcising both men and women (Luos historically do not practice circumcision or FGM). And, as a result I’ve been the target of bigotry and some racism from so-called allies on the Right, likely prompting Lefties to taunt me with “we told you so” (and thereby making an analysis error of their own).
As I said the other day, those who are able need to learn to separate what is proven from the apparitions found in nightmares. An additional wall needs to be built between what’s proven and one’s ugly little prejudices; to stop elevating those prejudices into virtues and stop pretending that those prejudices are anything other than personal shortcomings.
(Thanks to Donald Rumsfeld)