Tim Thomas – Feb. 3rd, 2012
“Shabby, immature, unprofessional, self-centered, bush league…” This is how the Boston Globe described Boston Bruin goalie Tim Thomas’ “individual decision” to boycott the traditional White House congratulatory visit.
As if British Columbians needed more proof that Thomas is an objectionable dolt. His supercilious gloating during last year’s Stanley Cup almost made me want to riot.
But Thomas’ snubbing of the White House went beyond sticking out his lower lip and saying, “ I don’t like the government.” It was his giving another voice to the burgeoning legion who disrespect the office of the president because of who is in it.
Is Tim Thomas a racist? I don’t know, but his petulant decision was pre-approved by right wing nutters whose aversion to their president is expressed with an unhealthy anger and personal disrespect that transcends political dissidence.
They act and speak in a thinly veiled code, emboldening each other and appealing to a long simmering racist element:
“He (Obama) doesn’t share our American values…” (He’s black.)
Michelle Obama’s crusade to encourage a better diet for kids is described as “uppity” (she doesn’t know her place.)
Newt Gingrich calls Obama the “food stamp” president; not so subtly implying that those of colour are lazy and exist mainly on government handouts.
They call him “Obama”, never “President Obama.”
The ridiculous birther cult still refuses to believe that Obama is a real American. Epithets still call him “Kenyan” and one of five Americans polled still believe President Obama to be muslim.
At a recent Tea Party rally, a woman was cheered for her placard, which said “ The Zoo has an African Lion, Washington has a Lyin’ African…”
South Carolina good ‘ol boy Congressman Joe Wilson shouted, “you lie” during President Obama’s State of the union speech.
Rocker loony Ted Nugent, while waving a machine gun at the cheering crowd at a recent concert, repeatedly screamed, “Obama should suck on this!”
Tim Thomas’ White House snub was childish. The White House recognition was ceremonial, not political, and athletes have for decades, joined their teammates in attending, regardless of who inhabited the White House.
But Tim Thomas’ action wasn’t just an individual decision; it was him publicly joining the crazies, and speaking in the increasingly disturbing code of Tea Party bigots.