Welcome to Wonderland

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In Tim Burton’s recent film version of “Alice in Wonderland,” the adventuresome heroine finds her world turned literally upside down.

Seems that when she first comes to her feet after falling down the rabbit hole, she is actually standing on the ceiling in Wonderland. Then, after taking her bearings for a few seconds, she falls to the ground and begins to try to make sense of the mixed-up world of the bulbous-headed Red Queen. Her adjustment occurs quickly, but it is worth reminding ourselves that no matter how normal everything looks from that point on in the film, Alice’s world has been fundamentally transformed — down is up, and up is down.

That’s kind of the same position a lot of us were in after going through the rabbit hole of the 2008 elections and finding ourselves in the equally mixed-up world of the pointy-headed Black President.

Can I call Barack Obama a black president? Not without offending someone, even though it is just a play on the “Red Queen.” This is indeed a measure of just how mixed up our political world is. By actually noticing the color of his skin, I run the risk of being declared presumptively to be a racist.

But wasn’t it Eric Holder, Obama’s attorney general, who said we were “a nation of cowards” for shying away from a direct discussion of race?

“If we are to make progress in this area,” he said last year, “we must feel comfortable enough with one another and tolerant enough of each other to have frank conversations about the racial matters that continue to divide us.”

In that spirit, how about if we talk about the mess that Eric Holder’s Justice Department made of the voter intimidation case that had been filed against members of the New Black Panther Party?

If you ever saw the videotape of the three thugs who were standing outside a polling place in Philadelphia in November 2008, there was never any question that they were trying to scare white people (known as “crackers” to the Black Panthers) into not voting.

The Justice Department official who was pursuing charges against the three black men, however, was told to drop the case. In fact, the official, J. Christian Adams, said he was ordered by the Justice Department to ignore all cases involving black defendants and white victims.

Curiouser and curiouser.

It is almost as though words have taken on a new meaning. Justice now apparently means racism. As Adams said in his testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights last week, “We abetted wrongdoing and abandoned law-abiding citizens.” The reason? Just because of who is white and who is black. It reminds me of one of those Logic 101 problems that are used to teach students how easy it is to be fooled by false syllogisms:

Some victims are black.

Some oppressors are white.

Therefore all blacks are victims.

Of course, it’s not correct, but that doesn’t matter. In the court of the pointy-headed king — er, I mean president — as in the court of the Red Queen, the trick is to believe what you are told, whether it is true or not. It’s not correct, but it is politically correct.

Alice was stubbornly insistent that she could only believe in things that were real, not things she was told to believe because they were convenient. “There’s no use trying,”Alice said. “One can’t believe impossible things.”

But some people can, unfortunately.

As the Red Queen proclaimed, “I daresay you haven’t had much practice... When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why sometimes I believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast!”

The past two years, we have been getting a lot of practice in believing impossible things. “Debt is wealth. Weakness is strength. Aliens are citizens.” You may not like it, but that doesn’t matter. Your world has been fundamentally transformed. Welcome to Wonderland.

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