I understand that there are lots of non-racist, reasonable people out there who think that Hillary Clinton or John McCain would be a better president than Barack Obama. I disagree, but I’m fine with them.
This, on the other hand, is despicable.
It lacks the sole redeeming virtue of most racist filth: laziness. Probably even the best of us can indulge in racial stereotyping in an unthinking, offhand way. But the piece of trash who took the trouble to import a man’s family picture into Photoshop or whatever and carefully vandalize it with a set of calculated, known lies is in a class to himself for sleaze.
What goes through the head of a person who does this? The cleanest, most innocent explanation is the troll’s thrill: he doesn’t expect to be believed, or to influence the election, but he gets a charge out of the anticipation of making people mad. That’s childish and stupid, but not fundamentally different from other kinds of trolls.
Or is this rapist of group portraits so monumentally deluded as to imagine he’s helping Obama’s GOP rival win? (The gratuitous dig at the Clintons rules out the vandal’s being a Hillary supporter, I think). In his neo-Nazi, Stormfront, KKK mental atmosphere, does he imagine that there is anybody in all America who is ready at this moment to punch the card for Obama but will change his mind upon seeing Obama’s family slandered as jailbirds, fugitives and crack addicts? Does he not understand that the kind of person who would fall for this hoax would never vote for Obama, or any black man in a million years, while the majority of decent people, on seeing this travesty, are if anything more likely to vote for Obama out of sympathy for a victim of such disgusting tactics?
Or is he just the kind of “nationalist” that Orwell so beautifully pegged all those years ago: “those who rewrite history do probably believe with part of their minds that they are actually thrusting facts into the past. . . . [T]hey feel that their own version was what happened in the sight of God, and that one is justified in rearranging the records accordingly.” Did this moron believe that by spreading these lies, he could somehow make them true? That he could look into the face of a total stranger, dislike his victim’s color, and with a few mouseclicks and keystrokes transform his entire life history into one that accorded with a set of asshat prejudices?
Some people would look at this picture and laugh it off. Maybe they’re right to do so. I’m not sure why it evokes such a deep anger in me. Maybe I have just such a set of repellent personality traits as the vandal has, locked away somewhere below the crocodilian protion of my brain, and the anger response is subconsciously intended to keep those traits buried where they belong.