Why #Eastwooding Was Racist

via Wikipedia

Apparently, no one among the RNC attendees or the pundits pontificating thereupon ever read Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel, Invisible Man.  When Clint Eastwood decided to make President Barack Obama invisible, he re-instituted the social invisibility Ellison described and all African-Americans lived then as many live now.  Mr. Eastwood managed to deny President Obama’s right to exist and be seen with a brilliant piece of staging.  While the pundits laugh at him as the embarrassing old uncle, I tremble with the evil brilliance of his act.  I doubt Eastwood even read the book.  He may not fully realize the racism of his actions.  Nonetheless, he denied our first African-American President of his face then put foul language into his imagined mouth in a manner that would make the most despicable member of the Ku Klux Klan dance with glee.


About elizabethlewispardoe

Mater: de Facto et de Jure
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5 Responses to Why #Eastwooding Was Racist

  1. jm says:


    Excellent observation and analysis.

  2. Melissa Harris-Perry is the one pundit willing to put Eastwood in context with Ellison:

  3. Ben says:

    Yo – I agree that Republicans use racial coding all the time, but yours is a pretty simplistic reading of “Invisible Man”. The narrator’s invisibility is emotional, social, political, socioeconomic, racial, and sexual – it’s not just “white man makes black man invisible.” The narrator’s invisibility allows him to “pass”, view the world from different perspectives, and develop himself. Invisibility is both forced on him by society but it is also a personal choice that allows him to grow powerful. So if Eastwood is referencing “Invisible Man”, it’s really a compliment to Obama, who also happens to adore that book.

    • Ben, You are of course correct about the multifaceted outcomes of invisibility. I was thrilled by the way Melissa Harris Perry handled it, which I posted above. My shock was that no one confronted head on the undeniable racial components of invisibility, which is deeply tied to our history of racism in its origins even if Ellison demonstrated unexpected positive outcomes from his invisible status.

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