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.