16 June 2008

http://www.abc4.com/mostpopular/story.aspx?content_id=48791911-3673-46e2-9749-70831f930937 He is just so doggone cute! Cuddly-looking, even. This image makes me want one to tuck in my front pocket and bring him places. It wouldn't have occurred to me that this was a "racist" thing if there weren't such a stink. Look at that friendly little smile and those pinchable ears. Sweet!

Are we being a little oversensitive? Why is it that George W. Bush has been portrayed incessantly as a monkey with really big ears and a grotesque scowl in political cartoons, but somehow, when some Utah company makes a cute little sock puppet out of Barack Obama, it's racist? Or why does everyone have to make fun of Bush's middle name in almost every political commentary, but when someone says something about Barack Hussein Obama's, it's racist? And why is it that 'most often in common speech, people can say things like, "That boy needs to get a life!" when they're talking about Ted Kennedy and his ilk, but if they do it to Obama, it's racist?

Sure, I get the idea that sometimes we need to look out for others and be sensitive to the fact that there's a "history" on some of these things. But you don't see me flipping my lid, yelling and screaming about the racism on me box o' Lucky Charms! They're magically delicious, the ad claims, but I don't feel threatened by that silly depiction in the same way that I'd be offended by someone in the public eye offering a genuine opinion that all of us Irish-Americans are drunkards who like shamrocks and potatoes. You know... like Bill Clinton did several years ago.

It just seems to me that on the one hand, we should be treating every politician with the same respect -- or lack thereof -- no matter their race and gender. Politics is not for the sensitive, and people are going to make comments about your wife, your kids, the clothes you wear and the car you drive. It's a nasty sort of game out there, and if people are going to draw their white politicians as animals like pigs or dogs or whatever, should we be surprised when a black politician gets the same treatment? It doesn't go over well when I hear people ask us to leave his wife alone. To my mind, the person he married is a reflection of his beliefs because he has selected her as his bride. (By the way, for what it's worth, I dislike Dick Cheney and think his daughter's behaviour is disgusting! Just so you know!)

I don't really know the inner motives of the people making this sock puppet. Maybe they really are racist... but... I think we can give people the benefit of the doubt. Meanwhile, I'm sure they're cashing in on the controversy and have no bias against the colour green.

7 comments:

  1. Its racist but they are getting tons of money. The lucky charms is not the same thing.

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  2. It's all about what's in our hearts. I'm Black and didn't immediately see the "racist" component until I read your post. Some people are just looking for a reason to be offended.

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  3. Terry, when I lived in Australia we were taught that the Aborigines were genuine "Stone Age men" and they gave us the "science" to prove it!

    I'd *like* to think I've gone from a naive child who accepted everything at face value to someone who is looking at the heart like you. I think the tendency is to either totally discount that racism IS OUT THERE, or to think that racism ALWAYS is out there.

    I don't doubt that the Lucky Charms is NOT the same thing, anonymous. I couldn't think of another racial for instance that I'd personally resemble.

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  4. LOL, I don't think anyone likes Dick Cheney!!

    I didn't realise you'd lived in Australia. Whereabouts?

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  5. I lived in Pymble, a suburb of New Sydney. Attended Gordon West Primary school and Turramurra High School. Was in Aus for a little over two years.

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  6. Ack. Didn't check before I published. Pymble is a suburb of Sydney, New South Wales. Sorry!!

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  7. I AGREE!!! It's always that way. It's always okay to attack everything (inluding white people) but the moment you say anything negative at all about someone who is black, it's just racist.

    Also, I agree that your spouse reflects you as a person. Why leave his wife alone? She has spoken out and so it's okay for us to respond.

    I am not racists and I never have been racists. That's retarded. But I hate how the "racists" comment is always used so that any negative comment can be discarded about them.

    P.S. Of course I'm still your friend! :D

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)