Today In Racism

Okay, let’s take a little quiz:

• Rick Santorum did not say:

“I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.”

No, he is pretty sure that what he said was:

I don’t want to make bleaugh people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.”

Oh, that makes all the difference!

Racist, or no? Yeah I think so. I’m with Max Read on this one: there is no other word Rick Santorum could possibly have been intending to say other than “black.” And continuing to perpetuate the incorrect notion that there are more black people on welfare than any other ethnic group is racist. In fact, in terms of sheer numbers, the majority of welfare recipients are white. This is a no-brainer: there are more of us out there in the population. Do the damn math. When the economy sucks, people seek government assistance. That’s why it’s there, idiot!

• Newt Gingrich promised to personally visit the NAACP convention and lecture African Americans on how they need to get off food stamps and demand paychecks.

Racist or no? Um, yeah! Thank you, white man with the $1 million Tiffany’s line of credit! Thanks for lecturing black folk on how they “should” live. Nice little stereotype you’ve got there, all those lazy black folk taking Hawaiian vacations on their food stamps instead of working for a living. It’s also bullshit, but whatever. And while we’re at it, is Newt planning to say anything to all the white folk on food stamps? Or is his finger-wagging reserved just for brown folk?

• Kansas House Speaker Mike O’Neal was forced to apologize for forwarding an e-mail that mocked Michelle Obama’s hairstyle and referred to her as “Mrs. YoMama.”

Racist? Probably. It was certainly disrespectful to the First Lady, offensive and most assuredly inappropriate from an elected official.

• Over at the NHL, Florida Panthers enforcer Krys Barch just got suspended for a game after a linesman caught him making a “racial slur” at the Montreal Canadiens’ P.K. Subban. What was Barch’s comment to the Jamaican-Canadian (i.e., brown-skinned) Subban? Barch asked if Subban “slipped on a banana peel” after a fight on the ice.

WTF? That’s racist? C’mon. Context, people, context! You can say the word “banana” around black people. Portraying black people as apes, which has been done throughout our history as a means of dehumanizing and oppressing African Americans, is the uncool, racist part.

Got that?

As an aside, I will be sooo glad when we get to the “post-racial” part of the American experience. Perhaps not in my lifetime, but some day.

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17 Comments

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17 responses to “Today In Racism

  1. deep

    Sometimes the problem is with white people being totally clueless. I had used the phrase “Nappy Hair” for years thinking it meant dirty hair. It wasn’t until that Imus thing blew up that I found out it specifically mean African-American hair, and apparently in not a good way.

    I had no idea. Who knows how many people I offended without even realizing it.

  2. dolphin

    I actually don’t think the Santorum clip really sounds like he was saying “black people.” It was just stumbling over his words. It’s possible that he started to say black people and then caught himself but, to my ears, it’s not even altogether clear that that was the case. Let’s just say of all the thousands upon thousands of reasons to oppose Santorum, that one doesn’t rank that highly for me.

  3. Allow me to be the first to call bullshit on clueless and speech impediment. This is the Southern Strategy, which has become the National Strategy, plain and simple. It will get worse before it gets better.

  4. Lemmesee; is it possible that Li’l Rikki, who hatez him some folks that don’t fuck for JESUS and teh babeez could ALSO be a racebaiting piece of shit? Sorry, I shouldn’t ask such easily answered questions.

  5. It is no better now in America than it was in the 1960s…just less lynchings and less discrimination. Check out yesterday’s column in the Knoxville News Sentinel by Pam Strickland, “Bias Colors Stories of Two ET Women”. (And I can personally share truths about one young black office professional being DENIED serivce at a ‘trendy’ donut shop in West Knoxville…and a truth about a very good friend being “let go” as a receptionist at a large business here in 2006/07 because “my customers do not want to be waited on by a black woman”. Or check out writer Charles Blow’s article on FB about black hatred in today’s GOP/TEA campaigns. It is here. It exists. It is ugly…I can’t wait til all these closet or openly racist dogs hit South Carolina…the Dixie Rebels will LUV them all!

  6. chrome agnomen

    certainly not in your lifetime, nor in the lifetime of your great great grandchild. racial prejudice is merely the lowest hanging fruit of the tribal prejudice hard wired into the race from prehistoric time. that part of the brain, being far older, is much slower to change than the relatively more recent frontal lobe. plus it’s a bone fide vote getter among the knuckle dragger segment of the population.

  7. Chrome Agnomen:

    I have told people many times that racism IS an inherent part of ALL humans neural wiring. They almost always deny it. I then tell them that I am still troubled by racist tendencies in myself, but that the rational, logical part of my brain sorts it out for me before I let my lizard brain take over my actions.

    Nobody wants to believe that we are not that far from the chimps, emotionally.

  8. .MykaAYah Elyara

    Just want to say racism is still alive and well here in the united states. We are black not african americans so he called us by the right name but with wrong attitude. Born n south whites always had sccess to welfare food stamps n subsidized housing while blacks were being denied. RS needs a history lesson n a lesson on statistics. Whose getting more free money from government and who are the biggest thieves. Huuum.

  9. Southern Beale:

    Troops of chimps will wage war on each other for territory or females. What they exhibit is intolerance of “The Other”, Skin coloration is just one of the more obvious of the differences between groups and thus the easiest to identify and use as a tool of exclusion or oppression.

  10. Vervet Monkeys give alarm calls to warn fellow monkeys of the presence of predators, even though in doing so they attract attention to themselves, increasing their personal chance of being attacked.

    Is altruism also hardwired?

    • Is altruism also hardwired?

      I actually wrote about that back in 2007. While there is an evolutionary advantage to altruism by increasing an overall species’ chances of success, ostensibly at the expense of the individuals’ genetic material, it appears primates and humans especially are “hard-wired” for altruism. Which makes a lot of sense, considering how highly social and highly evolved we are.

  11. veryslowwriter

    The banana business has a back story. More than once black hockey players have had bananas thrown at them/onto the ice. It’s meant to be a racist taunt and has happened in Canada and the US. The “banana peel” thing is just a continuation of the meme. Context!

  12. Min

    We’re all racist/sexist/agist/etc. to one degree or another, because of the inherent tribalism in our natures. We tend to identify most with people who are “like” us. However, intellect and empathy help us to overcome this tendency, if we choose to engage those two qualities in our interactions with others.

  13. “…it appears primates and humans especially are “hard-wired” for altruism.”

    So are we kidding ourselves, as some evolutionary biologists like E.O. Wilson have suggested, when we act like any behavior(like racial tolerance or racism) is anything more than the product of natural selection? Are all our political gyrations just so much jousting with windmills?

  14. It’s hard to feel racist when you’re loving on Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Chuck Berry, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Wynton Marsalis and Duke Ellington. But I do feel a little bit sexist!

    Twyla Paris, Aretha Franklin, Lena Horne and Ella Fitzgerald! Now I feel better. Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. Sammy Davis Jr. Doesn’t get any better.