African American History Month Is All About George W. Bush:
Everywhere we look these days, we get glimpses into the terrifying narcissism of the Bush administration and of the President himself. Tomorrow the Rude Pundit will deal with the White House's own review of its Katrina response (preview: hey, surprise, surprise, they need to do shit differently). And, really, you can go look at any White House speech and, even in the most obviously not-about-you situations, Bush makes it all about him. Take, for instance, yesterday's "celebration" of African American History Month, just in time for the last couple of days of February.
After the usual blah-di-fuckin' blah intros, filled with anxiety-inducing tics and winks that are part and parcel of any Bush performance, the President stated the obvious, "Generations of African Americans have added to the unique character of our society. Our nation is stronger and more hopeful as a result of those contributions." Then he listed a bunch of black people who everyone's heard of, reminding us, one presumes, that Dizzy Gillespie, Jackie Robinson, and Thurgood Marshall were, indeed, black.
And then, done with the obligatory here's-some-Negroes-you-should-know educational section of the address, Bush moved on to, the Rude Pundit shits you not, all the crap he's done to make life better fer the black people. Said the President, "The reason I worked so hard for the No Child Left Behind Act is because I believe that every child can learn, and I refuse to accept a school system that doesn't teach every child," spinning the program's poor at best, destructive at worst, record into a positive.
Speaking of children, Bush generally speaks to audiences as if they're a bunch of diaper-soiling toddlers who need it all explained clearly and repeatedly, and, of course, that takes on added laugh value when it's a mostly black audience and Bush says something like, "One way to ensure the promise of America reaches all of our citizens is to encourage ownership. We want people owning something. One way to help people realize their dreams is to encourage African Americans to own their own businesses" before touting the "successes" of his Small Business Adminstration.
And in the ultimate we-whities-are-just-like-you-darkies moment, Bush thanked the "many African Americans who are defending our ideals as members of the United States Armed Forces."
How bizarre it must have been for the gathered audience, including that noted friend of the black people, Dick Cheney, listening to the history of African Americans reduced to a list of mostly entertainers and the achievements of George W. Bush. But, then again, the President's attitude toward the whole event is perhaps best summarized by his closing remarks. For after the citations for the President's Volunteer Service Awards were read, Bush ended, no, not gracefully, not with words for peace and justice and equality to triumph, but with the resolve of a man who wants to watch women's curling on the Olympics, saying, "That's it. Thanks for coming. God bless. Appreciate you all." Done and done with the Negroes until next February demands his attention.