If I had a buck for every time republican/conservative commentators bemoaned Obama &/or the Obama campaign's "playing of the race card"...
Nope. No racism here! Just good ol' fashion humor! "Good ol' boy" humor:)
The Press Enterprise reports that Republican Woman's Group president, Diane Fedele, published a newsletter "depicts Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama surrounded by a watermelon, ribs and a bucket of fried chicken, prompting outrage in political circles... The October newsletter by the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated [a 200 member group] says if Obama is elected his image will appear on food stamps — instead of dollar bills like other presidents. The statement is followed by an illustration of “Obama Bucks” — a phony $10 bill featuring Obama’s face on a donkey’s body, labeled “United States Food Stamps.”
What's awesome is that some? many? of the Republican women's group members criticized the image as racist, which prompted Fedele to issue an apology.
Fedele's apology included a statement that she "doesn't think in racist terms" because, at one point, she supported Alan Keyes, an African American Republican who ran for president (!!!)
I get what Fedele's sayin' here -- let's not forget what Gov. Sarah Palin told us in the VP debate -- she has *one* gay friend that she "tolerates" despite the fact she personally believes same-sex marriages *should not* be legalized and are, in fact, an abomination against Christianity's God.
But that's ok! Because she has a gay friend.
Clearly, Palin isn't homophobic or heterosexist.
For that matter, neither is the political party to which she belongs because they too have gay family members and friends -- there are gay Republicans in office! I mean, they haven't forced the Log Cabin Republicans to relinquish their GOP membership cards. There will be *no* Republican movement to force the federal and state government to recognize the full citizenship rights of gays or lesbians, bisexuals, and certainly never, transgenders -- not this year (or next year) anyway.
But that's alright -- cuz they all have gay friends (or at least have a Republican friend who has a gay friend, which is pretty much the same thing).
Please note: With regard to Fedele, the "Obama buck" woman -- having supported a black man's political campaign *once* or 20,000 times, having *a* black friend or 2 or 500 black friends, *does not* mean a person isn't racist against black people.
Fedele also had the nerve to say she *didn't know* that the watermelon, fried chicken, kool-aid, bbq ribs image was plucked from a (historically) racist stereotype of African Americans.
She didn't know???
There isn't much in the realm of racist, sexist, classist, heterosexist, abelist, xenophobic (etc.,) behavior/speech that surprises me -- but the "Obama buck" watermelon-fried chicken stuff could have been plucked straight out of Ku Klux Klan propagandist material from either 1878 or 1948 or 2008. The image is a model of naked, bald-face, unapoletic racism. When I use the term "unapologetic," I use it to signify how "far" the U.S., and particularly some/far too many white folks -- as the bearers of the wealth of racial privilege and power in the U.S. -- have (or more accurately, have not) evolved with regard to the way they conceive people of color.
In the year 2008 -- a significant historical moment for many reasons, including the *reality* that a white woman (Hillary Clinton) and a black man (Barack Obama) entered the presidential race and got farther than any other contending Democratic candidates -- this in a context of continuing institutional sexism and racism. (It is important to identify the economic status of both candidates -- I don't believe either of them would've gotten as far as they had if they weren't filthy rich). And now, that black man -- Barack Obama -- could very well be the next president of the United States, in part, because a significant number of white people choose to support him.
So much has changed.
Yet too much has stayed the same.
Fedele said that the "Obama bucks" image was a response to Obama's statement that "John McCain and his Republican allies will try to scare them by saying Obama 'doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.
Nope. No stirring up of racial fears here:)