Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Liar, Liar: Sheets on Fire!

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

Our new U.S. Attorney General, a black man by the name of Eric Holder, said a few days ago that when it comes to race, we are still basically a nation of cowards, afraid to confront and vanquish this national disgrace. Many took offense at his remarks, but the evidence supporting the claim remains almost ubiquitous.

There was a lot of stuff on the Internet when Barack Obama was running for President: "evidence" that he was a Muslim, a joke about the new Obama Food Stamps that featured his caricature with drawings of watermelon and fried chicken, remarks about Michelle being his "baby mama," - and who could ever forget the much-feared "terrorist fist-bump!" It wasn't humor, it was a sad commentary on America during the first years of the 21st Century.

One would assume that with the election of President Obama, this juvenile and racist foolishness would disappear - but one would be wrong. Last week The New York Post, a conservative, tabloid rag that masquerades as a newspaper, printed a cartoon of police shooting a chimpanzee with the caption: "Who will write the next stimulus bill?" And while the paper claimed no racist intent, the pairing of a comment about the President and a drawing of a small ape was too obvious for the average third-grader not to understand. Rupert Murdoch, the king of all media and owner of the Post, finally ponied up a half-hearted apology - but it is oh-so-easy to question the sincerity of the man who pays Bill O'Reilly's salary!

Today another cracker outrage surfaced. Keyanus Price, a civic activist and local businesswoman in the Orange County, CA, community of Los Alamitos, was incensed when she received an email from the mayor of her city with a picture of the White House with watermelons covering the front lawn and the caption "No Easter egg hunt this year!" Ms. Price, who is Black and expends a lot of time working for the betterment of Los Alamitos, was not amused. She told the press, "I have had plenty of my share of chicken and watermelon and all those kinds of jokes. I honestly don't even understand where he was coming from, sending this to me. As a black person receiving something like this from the city-freakin'-mayor - come on!"

The mayor, a starchy white man by the name of Dean Grose, can't understand what all of the resultant fuss is about. He confirmed to the Associated Press that he sent the offensive email to Ms. Price, but said he was unaware of the racial stereotype that black people like watermelon."

Okay, Gross Dean, if you didn't understand the racial connotations, what was it about the email that grabbed you enough to get you to forward it on? Without the bigoted reading, it makes no sense whatsoever. Your claim to not have understood the racist content of the email is ludicrous - and the stuff of elongating noses!

The mayor of Los Alamitos is elected from the five-member city council by the council members. I went to their homepage, just for grins and to get a look at the other city fathers and mothers. Not surprisingly, I discovered that the council was composed of three middle-aged white males, including the mayor, and two middle-aged white women.

Orange County is one of the nation's purest conservative enclaves, but even the most right-wing of conservatives ought to have the common sense and good manners not to pass around racist drivel. The Civil War has ended, Reconstruction is over, Jim Crow is history, the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have slipped quietly away, and America has a young and dynamic black President. The world has changed, and racists everywhere need to accept that fact and come to terms with it. It's time to put the sheets back on the bed and enter the world of reality.

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