Sardonic Sistah Says

Observations… Ruminations… Ponderances… & Rants from Another Perspective

Ken Blackwell Chastizes the Press’ Hypersensitivity

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Ken Blackwell is a paradox.  Or maybe he really isn’t.  If he said the things he says or held the beliefs he holds and was white would we wonder at him?  Or just think he was out of touch?  Or just ignorant? 

I think Blackwell is just Blackwell and leave it at that.  But then since he has been in politics around my city and around my state longer than he has been in the national spotlight it’s easier for me to understand him than for a politician like a Sharpe James.

Doesn’t mean I agree with Blackwell, I just understand him more.

So now I’m waiting for the black press to excoriate him because of his stance on the Barack the Magic Negro song.  Going against the grain, and the outrage of many on the RNC, Blackwell supported Chip Saltsman’s mailer of  CD’s containing the parody song “Barack the Magic Negro” written by Paul Shanklin.

Saltsman said it was a joke and Blackwell agrees.  In defense of Saltman, Blackwell released this statement:

Unfortunately, there is hypersensitivity in the press regarding matters of race. This is in large measure due to President-Elect Obama being the first African-American elected president. I don’t think any of the concerns that have been expressed in the media about any of the other candidates for RNC chairman should disqualify them. When looked at in the proper context, these concerns are minimal. All of my competitors for this leadership post are fine people.”

In politics people are always throwing low blows.  When Obama was running for President a lot of people expressed fear that he could catch a bullet.  Although those fears aren’t necessarily assuaged why can’t we not get up in arms if some hard words come his way?  It’s better than the shoes that were hurled at Bush in Iraq.

Maybe it’s because words aren’t just words when they come from the majority to minority groups.  Things that begin as jokes that are in bad taste can desensitize the person the telling the joke and dehumanize  the joke’s object.  Those in the majority will argue that minorities make jokes at their expense all the time, so why can’t they?  Because it’s not the same.  Whites didn’t endure lynchings at the hands of Blacks.  Whites weren’t excluded from this country by certain laws and then chased out of cities by Asians.  Our country has a long history of mistreating minorities. 

So now, with a minority in a position of power, can jokes be lobbed at him.  We can take out the racial jokes but then will any that have a tinge of racial humor have to go?  Will that go for everyone or just for people who aren’t black?  Or politicians.   Should politicians be more censored about what they say compared to comedians?  (That’ll make for some boring stomp speeches.)  And what if blacks make tasteless jokes, like the one on boondocksbootleg.comwith a drawing in the header of  Uncle Ruckus trying to bash Obama’s head in with a brick?  Or should we let  everyone slide or police everyone’s words.

Having a new president that is black is going to make a lot of firsts.  But if we don’t treat him like we treated 43 before him are we missing the point?


Written by rentec

29 December, 2008 at 5:41 am

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