Just A Guy

Just A Guy

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Much - and Too Little - Ado About Race

Two bits of news yesterday showed with stark clarity just how wrapped up in race are many in this nation: a cartoon that showed two police officers standing over a recently deceased chimp and asking who'll write the next stimulus bill now that the monkey's dead, and newly installed US Attorney General Eric Holder saying that America is "a nation of cowards" with respect to race relations.

The cartoon generated all sorts of controversy, with the majority of public quotes ranging from "open racism by the cartoonist" to "tone-deaf" failure to realize "what people would think". Race-baiters and those who spend their lives waiting to be offended by something immediately assumed the chimp was supposed to be President Obama and made the "racist" connection right away ("racists think blacks look like monkeys, yadda yadda yadda"). Those same people apparently aren't smart enough (or didn't pay enough attention in Government class) to know that the President doesn't legislate, the Congress does - and in this particular case, the President mainly did a "me too" on the bill, suggesting some stuff (or stuffing) after it got to the White House - so calling the monkey an Obama stand-in just points out the ignorance of the critics.

The cartoon, it seems obvious to me, was intended to say a well trained chimp could write a better bill. Seems to me that’s a recognized and oft-used put-down that has absolutely zilch to do with race. As to the “tone-deaf” quote, that depends on whether you acknowledge the "people are racists" tune, doesn’t it?

As to Holder's disgusting comments, I'm offended, as somebody who was raised in the Air Force and by my parents to be color-blind, to be lectured by this race-baiting AG - uh, the FIRST BLACK Attorney General, appointed by the FIRST BLACK US President. Is there anything more morally and ethically offensive than to have this beneficiary of a selection process established in a "nation of laws, not of men", smugly lecture the public that our Constitutionally protected freedom to associate with whomever we wish makes us cowards if we don't intentionally associate (which is different from intentionally not associating) with others of different hues outside the workplace? I reject his premise that, to the extent this "voluntary social segregation" occurs, it results from cowardice. Mr Holder, as a public servant and a public figure, keep your personal opinions to yourself in these matters. And try to work up a little open-mindedness, willya?

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