Michael Steele has had a rough year as chairman of the Republican National Committee, a job that is normally faceless in the media … unless your party is intentionally touting you in the public eye to look “totally not racist.” (Seriously, try to name his predecessor without resorting to Google or Wikipedia.)
As a direct result of this situation, he’s been a punching bag for mostly his own party, making him effectively the Donovan McNabb of Republican politics. Every other week, he’s been almost fired or admonished like he left a wax build-up on Judge Smail’s golf shoes.
So, when a viewer of ABC’s Good Morning America asked the $50 million question, Steele responded that, yes, he does have “a smaller margin for error because he is African American.”
Unfortunately, he didn’t finish that thought to make it completely correct: wouldn’t it be nice if all politicians were held to the standard that the black ones are? That every spending incongruity over $2000 were investigated with as much zeal? That every ill-planned trip to Hawaii be reconsidered? That any time a politician steps in it, their future in politics is questioned?
When Troy West beat an African-American woman in front of her own daughter outside a Crackerrr Barrel, he might have realized while talking to police afterwards that he’s likely in for a world of trouble. Authorities aren’t keen to toleratin’ racism, hitting lasses and bedevilin’ children without Danny Elfman accompaniment.
But, there be a silverrr linin’ on West’s stupid cloud: he’ll never have to eat at a Cracker Barrel ever again.
Sunda Croonquist, a stand-up comedian, is being sued by her mother-in-law for defamation.
In the suit, she alleges that Sunda has made it possible to identify her on a comedy web site and that people may think she is a racist. Unfortunately, it is difficult to prove that a joke is more than a joke in court.
However, she might have had a case if she sued Sunda for defaming the family name with her reliance on jokes about her light African-American appearance, dated jokes about J-Lo’s butt, Jewish culture, in-laws and this kneeslapper:
“If she knew [when she met her mother-in-law] she was going to be sued, she said, she might have tried to make a worse first impression, perhaps impersonating a gangsta rapper.
“‘I should have went in with a gold tooth. I should have had like one pant’s leg rolled up. I should have been like, Yo, yo, yo. Shalom, y’all. ‘Sup?,’ she says, chuckling.”
If I told a joke about someone a different race, religion, gender, etc. as me here, I might get some negative feedback. If I told a joke like that at work, it would be most likely a poor career move.
I’m not really one for that brand of humor anyway. Too much of it is misplaced. Humor is in misdirection and suprise, not in playing up stereotypes with bad impressions. (Hear that, Mencia?) So normally, I don’t think about this sort of thing, but last night, I had to.
I was out on the town, at an Irish Pub near me, watching Seamus Kennedy, an Irish folk singer (from Ireland, so you know he’s good) perform. It was there that I figured it out: foreigners can get away with way, way more than we Americans ever could. I’m not talking about the perceived white-people-can’t-make-jokes-anymore factor, just if you have an accent, you can say anything you want. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: I’m moving to a new country
Did you know Ralph Nader’s running again? We didn’t until today.
Mr. Nader kicked off his campaign with class by offering some advice to his whippersnapper opponent, Barack Obama on how to act black. He offered up the following list:
- Stop “talking white.” While it’s good to not threaten white voters … you need to threaten white voters. Think of our votes like they’re our wallets.
- Talk a lot about specific black problems. The problem is that you don’t understand black people like Ralph Nader does. You need to prove that by talking like Ralph Nader.
- Appeal to “white guilt.” You know who white people love? Their mothers. Pile the guilt on!
Elections are a tough business, Mr. Obama. It takes some people 30 campaigns to find the right one. You could still win this one, though. Win it the Nader way!
No matter how exciting of a job we have, eventually it becomes mundane. There’s nothing unconscionable about becoming desensitized to, say, emergency savings withdrawals or organizing a staff potluck. But we still feel bad because that’s what we’re paid to do (read: supposed to care about).
So can you imagine how a 911 operator must feel when the honeymoon’s over? One in Memphis actually fell asleep during a robbery call. In the interest of giving the benefit of doubt, we present: A Day in the Life of a 911 Operator. Continue reading A Day in the Life of a 911 Operator