Lady, accept it. You’re racist.
Before I sent that email, I should have stopped to think about the historical implications [of depicting a black man as an ape],” she said. “That can be offensive . . . and I am so sorry.”
“Can be offensive“? I’m having a hard time wondering when calling a person an ape WOULDN’T be offensive, but I’m not of Marilyn Davenport’s generation. She’s part of my mother’s generation, a generation that I recall using the term “pickaninny” to describe the children I’d meet once my elementary school was integrated in a fashion after a black school shut down. I was raised in a household where there was a clear distinction made between “those people” and us, and the term “they” meant blacks. In later years, her mind freed from tact by Alzheimers, my mother used the term “CPT” when describing length of lines in the supermarket, and I actually had to ask someone later what it meant.
Do I consider my mother a racist? Yes. Now, she wasn’t an “active” one- other than a few off hand remarks, she kept such feelings to herself, unlike the man who gave me my first job. Now he was (and still is) an unrepentant bigot who hides his loathing of non-Whites in a torrent of unrelated, unsupported “facts”, but it’s all just window dressing, as if you can’t be both smart and full of hate at the same time.
Now, at the moment Republican Party official Marilyn Davenport clicked “send” on the email containing the image of our President as an ape, I’m sure she chuckled and didn’t think too much more about it. I doubt it was the first time she’s done something like that, or laughed when she got something similar in her inbox. She’s never had to face any condemnation of herself based upon her race, and she’s clearly triumphed over the sexual discrimination that women still face, so I can see how she might be confused about calling a black man an ape- I’m sure she’s been witness to such “jokes” all her life, and probably was truly bewildered that someone called her on it.
But here’s the thing.
First off, calling a black guy an ape? Racist.
And do you think a Texas reporter would have spoken to John McCain- who would have inherited the same f’d up economy, and would have bailed out the same rich friends that Obama did- as he did to Obama?
And lets not forget the Georgia clown Lynn Westmoreland, who defied belief by stating that he, as a Southerner raised in the 1950s, had “no idea” that calling the president and his wife “uppity” was offensive.
Racism is the concept that a person holds one race to be superior to another by genetics, not behavior. Only racism allows you the freedom to insult another person based solely on what you perceive their status to be versus yours. Sadly, a far too large segment of our nation finds such things as “Obama as ape” to be funny, and that entire “Taking America Back!” crap that the Hannity’s of the world foster? Don’t have to be a genius to see that Obama’s actions aren’t to blame- he’s simply George Bush on steroids, and you folks just loved you some George Bush, didn’t ya? But was George Bush a “good man” because he mouthed some platitudes about being “born again”, despite his un-Christian behavior, and you let his illegal wars, bailouts and prescription drug plan go unremarked for eight years. But elect – actually elect, instead of install via the courts- a black man, and the not so latent racism that is this young nation rears its ugly- and thankfully largely elderly- head.
So yeah, lady, you’re a racist. Now, reports refer to her as a “sweet grandmother”, and I’m sure she is. My mother is sweet too. I’ve stated several times that the only reason I voted for Obama was to watch the nut parade come out from under their rocks, so we could deal with them. Sunlight being the best disinfectant, as they say. Well, the sun has shone upon Marilyn Davenport. And if you think it’s a lot to do about nothing, you’re probably two things. One is white.
The other is wrong.