With China’s Hu Jintao: As usual, Barack’s the only one bowing.
Let’s take a look inside Lefty’s mind, shall we? CCHQ has cracked the code. Much is made of President Obama’s apologies and compulsion to kowtow before the world. I personally don’t like it, but I also think perhaps too much is made of it. I don’t agree, for instance, that Obama is bowing before his Chinese or Saudi “masters” when he kowtows to the likes of Hu Jintao and King Fahd. In fact, I now believe the opposite is true.
Pull my finger, Whitey: No bows for Canada’s president Harper.
Here, Obama doesn’t kowtow, but instead practically jams his finger in Harper’s face. I don’t think Obama was intentionally trying to be rude, even though that’s what it looks like. The image is deceiving. But neither is Obama trying to be deferential, and that’s a fact. It’s also key. With Harper, he doesn’t feel he has to be deferential. You see, Harper is a white male, and therefore an equal; while Hu Jintao is a squinty-eyed Chinaman, and “inferior.” Hu belongs to that exalted and romanticized category of lovable fuzzballs known as “the Other.”
Tampa Bay Mayor, Iorio, qualifies as “the Other.”
Asian women too count as lovable little fuzzballs. White Libs view “the Other” as historical victims of the White Male Global Establishment™ who are in need of special protection and deference. Thus, when a Lib approaches the Other he doesn’t do it as he would a peer member like President Harper. He approaches with an added sense of caution, deference, and sensitivity due to one he perceives as injured. He’s terrified of causing offense to the historically battered and bruised the Other, and he uses every opportunity to reassure the Other that he recognizes and understands his/her special status.
This serves a dual purpose– it both “uplifts” the Other, and, more importantly, the bowing demonstrates to those with the eyes to see just how sensitive and finely tuned is his worldview. Libs take great pride in their perceived understanding of all things culture, and they want others to know. But–as you can see from the pictures above–it’s not a mutual understanding between the two parties because the objects of these self-conscious attempts at “deference” are caught just as flatfooted as the rest of us are. Notice they aren’t bowing to him in return. Rather, it seems to me they’re slightly puzzled and bemused by Obama’s awkward attempts at ritual humility.
The irony in how Obama’s kowtowing has been covered is that–far from bowing to “his masters”–he’s actually bowing to his inferiors. It’s an overt sign of “humility” that lowers him to their level, betraying a subconscious belief that he is a superior, and therefore must go out of his way to demonstrate that he isn’t. It’s a mix of both compassion and condescension. In a word, it’s White Guilt. And White Guilt compels the Liberal to prove he does not see the Other as inferior, the way all those nasty and racist Republican rightwingers do. So he bows, literally and figuratively lowering himself to an equal status. But this only betrays his own sense of superiority, for which he feels guilty. All this has succeeded in accomplishing, therefore, is to reveal (for those who have the eyes to see it) his own ever-so-soft and subtle racism.
But Barack Obama’s black, you say? Well, yes and no. He lives with one foot in each world, not fully a part of either. Based on his upbringing, it’s more accurate to describe him as “Third Culture.” Ideologically speaking, however, he’s a Liberal, and White Guilt has more to do with ideology and worldview than it does race. Also, he’s bowing as the American President, not necessarily as an African-American. As such he’s on a higher tier than the rest of humanity, which means he’s looking down from above. Lowering himself before the Other, therefore, is practically an obligation. It’s an obligation he doesn’t owe to white male presidents like Harper of Canada who he actually does see as an equal.