The “Calaca Obama” cartoon seen below is frightening on several levels. First, “calaca” is a colloquial term for “skeleton” in Spanish. Calacas — human skulls representing joyous dead figures in “Day of the Dead” celebrations — are supposed to suggest that even the dead deserve a celebration of their lives. Next, we need to understand in Guatamala, “calaca” means death and there is no mistaking graves for happiness in that cultural context. Finally, for those who have no idea what a “calaca” is — we all recognize a skull is not a living soul and so we must wonder what insidious semiotic is being spent on us in the name of Barack Obama. Halloween is tomorrow in the USA, but do we really want to be making disconnected, editorial cartoon, attributions of death against Barack Obama any time during the year?
Hanging political figures in effigy is a protected right of free speech, but when you hang a Black man in effigy, the history of the event, and the hatred of action is too embedded in our nasty national conscience to go unnoticed and unattributed. Obama was recently hanged in effigy on two American university campuses: George Fox University in Oregon a month ago, and at the University of Kentucky last night.
I heard a caller on the radio the other day call Obama a “Quadroon” — a “one-quarter Black” child of Mulatto and White parents — when we know his mother was a White woman from Kansas and his father was a Black man from Kenya.
What’s the point of calling Obama a “Quardroon” instead of “Mulatto” or just “Black?” Is it an attempt to try to further label him as foreign and different and “all mixed up” so we can’t trust where his true loyalties are hidden?
The power of Barack Obama is that he is every one of us.
Barack has the magnitude and grace and intelligence that many of us are lacking in our daily lives — and for some people that innate elegance is dangerous because it is appealing and unconditionally loving.
Because of death threats against him, Obama asked for Secret Service protection earlier in his presidential campaign than any other contender for the office in the history of America — and his request was granted, because the Secret Service knows Obama’s kindness is a threat to the angry-ugly and the furiously malformed.
Killing Obama has been fodder for artists and bloggers and even legitimate newspapers — and I wonder now if that sort of willy-nilly wondering about assassinating Barack Obama leads the unstable among us to act out their darkest wishes — or does confronting the dark side bring light to disinfect infected thoughts?
In Denver, at his outdoor convention rally, two men were arrested for plotting to kill Obama with a sniper rifle.
During Obama’s debate with John McCain at the University of Mississippi, the KKK declared they would be attending the debate — but not in costume — so people would have to guess their true identities in the audience.
This week, two Skinheads were arrested for plotting to assassinate Obama and chop off the heads of 14 Black children — all while wearing white top hats and matching white tuxedos.
Should we be discussing the possible assassination of Barack Obama?
Or is that topic so verboten, and in such bad taste, that it should never sustain appropriate inquiry and analysis into the evil in us all?