Thursday, April 17, 2008

"But Mama, 'Boy' Is A White Racist Word!"

We've seen our share of ignorant, borderline racist mudslinging throughout this campaign, so maybe this shouldn't really be all that surprising. Insulting, yes. But not exactly surprising.

A Republican House member Monday sent a letter of apology to Sen. Barack Obama, after calling him "boy" and comparing him to a "snake oil salesman" in attacking his national security credentials at a weekend fund-raising dinner in Kentucky.

According to a Lexington Herald-Leader blog item, Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Ky., said Saturday that he had recently participated in a "highly classified, national security simulation" with Obama, and said that exercise showed that Obama can't be trusted to make difficult decisions.

"I'm going to tell you something: That boy's finger does not need to be on the button," Davis said. "He could not make a decision in that simulation that related to a nuclear threat to this country."
Here's the audio/video. Was Davis taken out of context? You tell me.

Well, if it looks like a "boy", sounds like a "boy", and walks like a "boy", then by golly, it just might be a racial slur.

Again, I've accepted this sorta crap as par for the course, and now that the Republicans are piling on, we should probably expect more of these attacks come the Fall. But make no mistake about it, racial politricks is as bipartisan a smear tactic as you'll find. This ain't about the GOP or the Dems. It's about common decency.

What's most surprising though, is how many whites don't even think this is a disrespectful statement, let alone racist. To wit, just reading the comments Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Eugene Kane's always entertaining blog, many white folks just don't seem to get it. The link's below, go over there and prepare to have your mind blown. Or not.

Seriously, any white person who finds calling a black man three years his junior a "boy" acceptable is either completely ignorant to American history or just stuck on stupid. To his credit, Davis has apologized, but who the hell really cares at this point? He already told us all we need to know.

If only these folks had watched the seminal "But Mama, 'Boy' Is A White Racist Word!" episode of Good Times, they'd know better. Hell, even a preteen Michael Evans was hip to the game.

I don't have video of that episode handy (Thembi, where are you?), but here's a video montage of the Militant Midget gettin' down, just to end things on a happy note.

Question: Is calling a grown assed black man a "boy" racist, or merely garden-variety disrespect?

And the GOP wonders why it can't attract black voters [Raisin' Kane Blog - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

GOP Congressman Apologizes for Calling Obama 'Boy' [ABC News]

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