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Story pick: Satan (sometimes) wears a flag pin

By Theresa Vargas

From the title, the Jon Stewart-esque tone of the article is set: “White America Has Lost Its Mind.”

We know early on that we are in for a mix of sarcasm and exaggeration that will point at some truths in our society – ones that probably couldn’t have been so easily conveyed in a straightforward manner.

And that’s what we get with this Village Voice cover story: a humorous look at American politics and race relations since President Obama took office. Of questions over whether Obama was born in the United States, the author Steven Thrasher writes:

But the more you shook your head at it, the more it seemed to have taken root deep in the lizard part of the white nervous system. Obama is not an American. He says he's Christian, but he has a Muslim-sounding name. He's not black, he's not white. . . . Is . . . is he even human?
Today, Newsweek has found, nearly a quarter of Americans believe that Obama is a Muslim, with barely 42 percent of the nation accepting his claim that he's a Christian. CNN finds that a quarter of Americans also believe that Obama was "probably or definitely" born in another country.
Harris found in an online poll that 14 percent of Americans believe in their hearts that President Barack Obama is the antichrist, with nearly a quarter of Republicans saying so.
At least in this form, however, Satan (sometimes) wears a flag pin.

Politics aside (some people will agree with the slant of the piece; others won't) where the story is successful is in the humor, which is one of the most difficult types of writing to do – and do well.

By Theresa Vargas  | October 6, 2010; 11:02 AM ET
Categories:  Story Picks  
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