Part I: Tim Wise Meets the Buzz Saw Called Black Twitter
I can't even begin to explain how offensive this analogy is and how insensitive those making it are. During a time that the African-American community is grieving the loss of Trayvon Martin making this comparison is simply wrong. If this is their comparison, then by definition, not only is President Obama a murderer, but Al-Awlaki is a martyr as surely as Trayvon Martin is.
Not only does the comparison show these left-wing pundits to be heartless as well as soulless, but these comments highlight a level of narcissism that is breathtaking to behold. However, it is not altogether surprising since zealots so frequently demonstrate the qualities of narcissism. By that I mean, they believe in their cause so fervently that they are tone deaf to the opinions, causes, and even distress of others. Any dissenting opinion or questioning of the zealot's belief is met with derision and often cruelty. In particular I'm addressing tweets made by Tim Wise and political journalist David Sirota (his own description)* with one caveat. I've never seen Wise indulge in the childish behavior that is the hallmark of Sirota on twitter.
I assume Tim Wise has made comfortable living off educating white people on their own racism, which is not to say what he has written or spoken of in speeches and discussions is not worthwhile. However, in an ironic display of white privilege, Mr. Wise has joined forces with David Sirota by echoing his contention that President Obama can easily be compared to George Zimmerman as one who profiles people and then kills them. What's astonishing about Wise's claim is that it comes from a white man who earns a living off his and others' belief that he understands the African American community. In fact, his status, an open-minded white man, bestows upon him the privilege to address the racism in other whites. His contention that President Obama is like George Zimmerman undercuts his status as the enlightened educator of white bigots and racists because it shows an insensitivity to the African-American community, great disrespect for the President, and derision toward the President's supporters. His contention raises a couple of ugly stereotypes--black man as thug and African-Americans as robotic followers, comparisons frequently made by the right wing.
For example, Wise, who has long denounced the use of drones, tweeted a warning to those who support President Obama that they are less than credible if they try to defend the President's drone policy. Of course, this definitive statement effectively shuts down any debate with him over the use of drones. Whether Wise likes it or not, there is an argument for the use of drones. He, and I, for that matter, may not agree with it, but it deserves a hearing and debate. That would seem to be a more constructive approach to take rather than to tell the opposition "shut up, idiots."
Wise's stance is not dissimilar to those liberals who adopted the hash tag of "Stand with Rand," a man who is not only blatantly racist but holds views that are an anathema to liberals. By supporting David Sirota, whom I believe to have an unquenchable hate for President Obama, it is nothing short of endorsing Sirota's race baiting. In my view Tim Wise's comments about President Obama's use of drones and the comparison to George Zimmerman undermine anything he has written or said before. It demonstrates that his "drone zealotry" has nullified rational thinking in one who has been able to approach the topic of racism among whites effectively.
Wise exemplifies the piety that so many zealots adopt, a self-righteous view that prohibits any kind of rational discussion about the topic. Wise, like so many on the far left, simply dismisses those who
support President Obama. Maybe he hasn't used the word "Obamabot," the term that conveys the President's supporters as so-called mindless, brainwashed, ignorant followers, but that message is just beneath the surface of his tweets regarding drones; therefore, his opinions are worthless to me. Needless to say, I won't be reading Tim Wise's words any longer, not because I'm calling for a boycott. In my opinion, the underlying honesty and trustworthiness in his words were wiped away when Wise betrayed the very community he purportedly understands and supports.
In last month's dust up between Wise and what has now become known as Black Twitter, tweeps castigated Wise for his support of Sirota's comparison of George Zimmerman and President Obama.
Although he claims to be a warrior against racism and violence, his words do not reflect his concern about racism. In fact, the zeal with which he attacks President Obama belies a belief that so many white men have about an educated, intellectual, well-spoken Black man. No matter if a black man he has those qualities, he still needs a white man to help him lead.
Mr. Wise, check yourself first.
Author's Note: Obviously I wrote this weeks ago but didn't post it. Much thanks to my twitter buddies @Butterose, @bron_two and @Beulahmo for encouraging me to go for it.
Heartfelt thank you to @ribletsonthepan, whose words sparked this post.
*Part II: The Unbearable Lightness of Being David Sirota. (Coming soon)
Tim WiseAl AwlakiTrayvon Martin David Sirota