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If Robin Hood was Black he would be called a Thug---instead of a Hero

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Stealing from the rich to give to the poor, Robin Hood and his Merry Men are a permanent part of popular culture. Set in England during the reign of King Richard the Lionheart, the adventures of Robin Hood follow the noble thief as he woos the beautiful Maid Marian and thwarts the evil Sheriff of Nottingham...wikipedia

Long before Noam Chomsky's linguistic views became so well known, Re'gis Debray's treatises in mediology pointed out to the rapt student movements of the 60s how symbolic memes are fertile material for political and racial abuse.

Take Nicolas Maduro, a poor mestizo bus driver who has attempted to safeguard Venezuela's oil and resources from foreign predation. He's adjudged a thug despite a lot less evidence (actually, none) of thuggish behavior than the non-indigenous past leaders of Venezuela whose names remain obscure because they stole only from the poor and served as rack-jobbers for foreign investors. To account for this bias, Debray would point to Maduro's visage as a dog whistle calling into focus how race is entangled with hypocrisy in the center of america's political psyche.

It's embedded in the reason why a clean-shaven, fair-complexioned head of state who indiscriminately jails the left and steals from the lower classes with the blessings of the US while enriching himself in the process, is respected in the MSM. Whereas a mustachioed, darker-skinned figure who in defiance of the US claws back from the rich is unanimously labeled a "thug" across all MSM from CNN to Fox.

Few americans will questions the veracity of this. Fewer still will ever recognize the real thugs of history. Who would ever call Queen Victoria a ruler with more blood on her hands than any single individual in the past millennium a thug? No, she will always be thought of instead as the star of a long-running PBS series offering encouragement for women ascending the power ladder. Or call Winston Churchill a man responsible for the slaughter of tens of thousands of Egyptians and Hindus in cold blood a thug. No, he will be known as an Oscar winning leading man in a film ratifying the noblesse oblige of the West.

But for MSM is Maduro of Venezuela or Evo Morales of Bolivia rulers whose nations are roped in and quartered by savage economic blockades and besieged on all sides by CIA agent provocateurs and foreign military advisors thugs? Yes, and everything they do that even hints of impropriety is paraded before an American public pre-determinately jingoistic from birth ensuring their indictment. MSM is only too eager to repeat this meme until it becomes an undisputed fact in the public mind.

The reason this disparity of perception that race and social class infer on public figures works so well may be that its roots go so deep they are now untraceable. The fact that we cry hypocrisy for example when an indigenous leader claiming to support a popular struggle dines in a "fancy restaurant" or is alleged to have squirreled away enough money for a golden parachute in the event of a coup while ignoring parallel behavior for a Richard Nixon or a Bill Clinton underlines a racial bias so durable that even hypocritical behavior is permissible for whites only.

For too many americans, grasping the moieties of race is easy: the black kid in the hoodie is a thug, the white kid in the hoodie is just an underprivileged teen. Because such an acquired perception completely suppresses any thought of fact finding, the mixed-race Latino leader stealing from the rich must be a thug and the euro stealing from the poor is just a faded image not even subject to the court of public opinion. When confronted with this double standard, bigots have found a handy riposte: "the race card." Because its use is ubiquitous across the twittershpehre when no sane response to an accusation of racism is forthcoming, the race card has become an acceptable defense to mask any subtext of prejudice. Try it out and see for yourself.

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film business professional I have worked in the motion picture industry since 1988, when I produced and directed DOMINOES: PORTRAIT OF A DECADE, a (more...)
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