At a recent rally, Sarah Palin was reading through one of her scripted attacks on Barack Obama when someone in the audience yelled out, “. . . and he's a nigger!” Palin looked momentarily flustered, paused, stumbled over a word, then soldiered on bravely as though nothing had happened.
I'd like to think that you or I, if we'd had the microphone at such a moment, would have stopped, chastised the woman in the crowd for her remark, perhaps asked security to have her removed from the hall, reminded everyone that we didn't approve of such language and didn't want the support of those who use it. But of course Sarah Palin and John McCain do want the support of people who use the n-word — that's the whole point of their rhetoric painting Obama as a not-quite-American other. They just don't want people to shout the word out at them when the TV cameras are rolling — they want at least a cosmetic firewall between themselves and the dark thoughts they're summoning up in people's hearts.
Bad witch, Sarah.
But with Halloween so close now, let's not forget that there are good witches, too . . .
Trick or treat?