Forget the ongoing, relatively successful “secret Muslim” smear campaign, forget the drumbeat mention of his oh-so-exotic middle name — an iteration on a theme, meant to court the “Bubba vote,” that, ironically, should highlight the value of his judgment in opposing, from the beginning, the quagmire of this war in Iraq — this, above, is the sort of racist spam email flotsam that Barack Obama has to contend with in his campaign against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.
You very rarely see these sorts of racists — or, let’s downgrade, even, and say pepetuators of hurtful and/or merrily ignorant prejudice — depicted in films. You occasionally get the oafish, derisible KKK characters of Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, or from the same movie the outlandish federal agent played by Rob Corddry, whom everyone else (audience inclusive) is meant to recognize, and treat, as a fool. Yet whither the entirely nice, not uneducated folks who forward along stuff like this? I get that there’s no gain to this sort of painful highlighting — why risk alienating minorities in the context of films that may be manifestly “about” something else? — and yet as a society we ignore reality in our art at our own continuing peril.