Archive - Mar 19, 2013

Don't Tread On One Two Three

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Memo to Alex Jones and Big Hollywood: YOU ARE RIGHT TO BE CRANKY.

This is a story about pro wrestling, xenophobia, racism, nativism, and general right-wing fringery. Which would not be particularly shocking, except that, for the first time ever, wrestling's decided these are the traits of heels.

See, recently, the WWE re-introduced Jack Swagger, who'd previously done a sort of latter-day Kurt Angle schtick, as an opponent for Alberto Del Rio. And since people like cheering Alberto Del Rio these days, they decided to give Jack Swagger a rabid, anti-immigration Teabagger gimmick, complete with Don't Tread On Me flag, "We The People" sloganeering, and a bearded redneck manager (Dutch Mantel going by "Zeb Colter". And the rabid, anti-immigration Teabaggers are NOT PLEASED.

As Fox News' slacker younger cousin, Fox Nation, explained:

"Appearing on Monday Night Raw last week, Swagger and Colter were booed by the crowd as they overzealously talked about the Constitution, the scourge of illegal immigration, and “true patriotism.” Other promotional videos of the two show them talking about freeloading immigrants and welfare recipients in front of the Gadsden flag, which has become symbolic of the Tea Party movement."

That's odd. I thought conservatives were proud of how much they talked about the Constitution, the scourge of illegal immigration, true patriotism, freeloading immigrants, and freeloading welfare recipients. Maybe they're mad because of the booing? Let's ask a contributor to Alex Jones' crazy-ass Infowars.com site, shall we?

"This is part of the divide and conquer tactic of cultural subversion to manufacture racial division and to characterize the Tea Party, conservatives, libertarians, opponents of uncontrolled illegal immigration and constitutionalists as racist, extremist radicals who should be pushed to the fringes of the political discourse."

Wow, that's a short memory. Any student of recent history understands that the forces that make up the Tea Party were at the fringes of the political discourse until an unlikely series of events and a drastic uptick in presidential melanin brought them INTO the political discourse in the first place.

Of course, that's not what's happening here. What's happening here is that Vince McMahon has realized something that the Teabagger Nation will never admit, and that some Republicans are starting to realize. Brown gets you green. WWE has a significant Latino audience, and so they craft their message to appeal to that audience.

And if your message is "brown people are probably illegal immigrants sucking my tax dollars away in welfare", well, good luck spinning that.

And if this is happening in the pro wrestling world, where, to this day, it's almost impossible to be a Middle Eastern wrestler without playing an evil sheik? Well, they're going to have to make like the Ultimate Warrior and learn to like the fringe, because they'll be spending a shit-load of time there for the foreseeable future.