The Pilot Newspaper: Opinion
A couple of weeks ago, an anonymous staffer at the allegedly liberal TV network MSNBC took to Twitter to mention an ad that was scheduled to run during the Super Bowl: “Maybe the right wing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new Cheerios ad w/biracial family.”
“Shoving multiculturalism down our throats when we know it fails … awesome,” groused one neo-segregationist on the popular site Reddit.
(You can tell the right-wingers by their code words, particularly their hatred of multiculturalism and obsession with things being “shoved down their throats.”)
“Why are we celebrating race traitors and their ugly monkey children?” posted another, sounding exactly like some of the comments posted about Michelle Obama and her daughters on right-wing sites like Breitbart.com
and RedState. YouTube had to shut its comments section down because of the flood of racist, hateful comments made about the video.
Let me tell you, folks, when you get too nasty for YouTube’s notoriously vile comments section, you have reached a new depth. We are talking the Marianas Trench of awfulness. “Sinister,” “an abomination” and “disgusting propaganda” are just some of the ones that can be printed here.
So it wasn’t that bold to predict a backlash from those persistent voices on the right who use conservatism as a cover for their bigotry and hatred. However, let us not forget one of the right’s most sacred beliefs: pointing out that racism exists, has existed, or even might exist is worse than actual racism.
Rather than distance themselves from the people who attacked the original ad, people like RNC Chairman Reince Priebus demanded an apology from MSNBC and said he was ”banning” all RNC staff and “Republican surrogates” from appearing on the network, even though MSNBC had apologized for and deleted the offending tweet within three hours.
The rest of the right-wing noise machine followed suit.
So, predictably, MSNBC head Phil Griffin went into full grovel mode, assuring the poor babies whom the tweet had offended that “the tweet last night was outrageous and unacceptable,” and that the person responsible had been sacked.
(After which Fox News, in a show of solidarity, fired frequent commentators Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin and Bill O’Reilly for all the nasty things they’ve said about liberals. Ha ha! Just kidding about that last bit.)
So the Super Bowl came and went, and sure enough, there didn’t seem to be nearly as much uproar over the new Cheerios ad. Probably because this time, right-wing rage was directed at Coca-Cola for an ad showing happy, smiling people — white, black, Latino, Asian, even a brief shot of a gay couple roller-skating with their child — over a sound track of “America the Beautiful” sung in a variety of languages.
The tag at the end of the commercial was “America Is Beautiful,” which you’d think no one could object to. You’d think that, but you’d be wrong. Right-wing reaction was predictably apoplectic.
“Coca-Cola is the official drink of illegals crossing the border,” tweeted Fox’s Todd Starnes. Despite the fact that nothing in the ad said anything about immigrants not learning English, the hashtag #speakamerican took off on Twitter, as in this message from someone calling himself @RealTrueCon: “#Characters in these Cola commercials, from Mexicans to Indians, learn to #SpeakAmerican already! Or better don’t be in ’em.”
(Of course, unless you’re speaking Cherokee, Navajo or any one of a plethora of Native American tongues, you’re not really “Speaking American,” are you?)
Then there was this from those right-wing stalwarts at Breitbart.com
: “When the company used such an iconic song, one often sung in churches on the Fourth of July … to push multiculturalism down our throats [sound familiar?], it’s no wonder conservatives were outraged.”
Actually, it’s never any wonder when conservatives are outraged. The only surprises come when you try to figure out what trivial thing is going to set them off next.
To be a right-winger in 21st century America is apparently to go through life like a raw exposed nerve, just looking for something, anything, to trigger another explosion of incomprehensible rage.
It must be exhausting for them. Glad I’m not one.