After Macaca: Virginia’s Next Youtube Moment
by Tasha Oren — University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
October 31, 2007 – 03:01
Forget Iraq. For those surprised by the effectiveness and overwhelming dominance of the gay marriage issue in motivating the hate vote, Lou Dobbs’ bloated populism on CNN, the defeat of the “Dream Act,” and the current spate of local “anti-illegals” measures introduced in Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia should serve as a heads-up to The Issue for the coming election.
In Virginia, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the harshest local measure yet against undocumented residents. Now, with the board up for reelection in November, local activists went live with Liberty 9500, a Youtube channel integrated with other Web forums and blogs. The “real-time interactive documentary” features footage from the battleground, from short documentaries to public hearings and personal testimonies. The chance for another Macaca moment is slim, in the face of rhetoric that no longer bothers to dress up its bigotry. But the networked site is an instructive field manual for what’s coming in ‘08.