If you were on tenterhooks wondering whom Snoop Lion (nee Dogg) was voting for in this election, wait no longer: He’s supporting President Obama and he’s letting us know why. (It should be noted that this was not Snoop's original work, but in the plagiarizer’s defense, the original author doesn't seem to mind.
Though it’s possibly absurd to ascribe much cultural significance to anything on Instagram, this list is an interesting reminder of how different a role race has played in 2012 versus 2008. Snoop’s upload seems like less of a commentary on Obama’s blackness than Romney’s whiteness. While race is still an issue this year, there have been no controversies over whether or not the president is “black enough,” no New Yorker covers depicting Michelle Obama as a militant, no concern over the Bradley effect.
When the conservative site Daily Caller re-released a 2007 video of Obama telling “black ministers, including the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, that the U.S. government shortchanged Hurricane Katrina victims because of racism,” it felt almost like an attempt to remind the electorate that Obama is black, so far had the issue slipped from the central debate of this campaign.
Romney and his family, however, have become shorthand for a very specific kind of whiteness, at once hopelessly privileged and deeply uncool. It is a perception of racial identity distinct from that of the more working class oriented (and often more explicit on the subject of race) Tea Partiers with whom Romney shares the Republican Party.
It is instead an identity inextricably linked with his wealth and power. On this week’s episode of New Girl, for example, one character’s preppy whale belt and tucked in shirt is all it takes for him to pass as the sixth Romney brother, “Tagg.” In the popular imagination, Romney’s is the whiteness of the corner office, of John Hughes villains, of dressage. So Snoop might not be that far off. The reason many voters don’t like him might be because, “He reminds me of every boss I ever hated.”