If Der Stürmer were still around today, and it held a contest for the funniest, most outlandish parody of Jewish paranoia, the paper's readers would, no doubt, blush at the idea of writing something that resembles Lee Siegel's deconstruction of Mitt Romney's "meticulously cultivated whiteness."
January 14, 2012What’s Race Got to Do With It?By LEE SIEGEL
Jon Moe/Associated PressMitt Romney, a Republican presidential candidate, with his extended family in 2007.
He is nearly always in immaculate white shirt sleeves. He is implacably polite, tossing off phrases like “oh gosh” with Stepford bonhomie. He has mastered Benjamin Franklin’s honesty as the “best policy”: a practiced insincerity, an instant sunniness that, though evidently inauthentic, provides a bland bass note that keeps everyone calm. This is the bygone world of Babbitt, of small-town Rotarians. [ . . . ]
He knows that he offers to these people the white solution to the problem of a black president. I am sure that Mr. Romney is not a racist. But I am also sure that, for the many Americans who find the thought of a black president unbearable, he is an ideal candidate. For these sudden outsiders, Mitt Romney is the conventional man with the outsider faith — an apocalyptic pragmatist — who will wrest the country back from the unconventional man with the intolerable outsider color.
Note that the Romney family photo is included to evoke horror and loathing amongst New York Times readers. Displaying remarkable restrainght, Siegel refrained from associating Romney with the John Birch Society and George Wallace until paragraph seven. Subtle.
It's worth pointing out that Romney "got jiggy with it" back in 2007, to no effect. It seems that in 2012, he's just going to be himself.
Not to sound paranoid . . . but do you ever get the sense that there are people out there who despise all forms of White identity, even the most benign, Romney-ish variety?