Now imagine you're John McCain. You're talking about your opponent's Senate voting record in a town-hall debate. In reference to a particularly unfavorable bill you say, "Guess who voted for it? That one. Not me."
Still no big deal, right? Well, that's what I think, anyway. But apparently some people don't. As I was listening this evening to a local radio station, WLIB AM, a predominantly African-American-run station, I was shocked to hear the host say that John McCain was being a racist when he called Barack Obama "That one" because he was objectifying him and treating him as sub-human. He argued that African-Americans have a long history of being objectified and McCain was only the most recent high-profile white person to express his racist views. Does anyone else think this is ridiculous? Seriously. It's a figure of speech used by people in conversation literally every day. But as soon as it was used by John McCain against Barack "Socialist Propaganda Incarnate" Obama, the world goes into an uproar. Not surprisingly, the infamous Huffington Post has already jumped on this as an opportunity to rip McCain to shreds.
PLEASE PEOPLE. Get over yourselves and get over Barack Obama! You've taken an average Junior Senator (dare I even call him "less-than-average"? I'll let you decide what I think about that) and elevated him to an almost god-like level! Are you serious? Can you really all be this brainwashed by this inexperienced nobody from Chicago? He's got nothing going for him! I guarantee you that if this man was of any other party, Republican, Libertarian, Independence, Constitutional, Communist, Socialist, Green, Blue, Orange, Aquamarine or what have you, the media as a whole would have thrown him under the bus on day one for his total and utter lack of any relevant/executive experience whatsoever. Those who would compare him to John McCain (OR Sarah Palin, for that matter) would have been laughed out of their careers, and Hillary Clinton would have ascended her throne in all her pantsuit glory, dragging her lowlife husband (dont' even get me started on him) back into the White House as he scoped out the interns for fresh meat. But I digress.
Why would you consider that a racist comment unless you yourself would have thought of using it in a racist context? The thought never even ocurred to me as I watched the debate. Much like the so-called "leaders" Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson (both of whom I believe Martin Luther King would have disowned, by the way), anyone who would use this comment to condemn McCain as a racist are only aiding the spread of racism by going out of their way to keep the concept alive and kicking in the public's mind. The answer isn't to label everything as racist so people will remember that racism exists. Rather, be a little more careful about how you throw around that R-word so that actions and words that are legitimately racist are condemned and, listen to this now, those actions that are not racist are appropriately not labeled as such. If you call even innocent actions and comments racist, you only serve to widen the shrinking racial gap. It's two steps forward, one step back.
So go ahead. Call me a racist. Tell me that I don't understand and that I never will. I don't care what you say, you will never convince me that "That one," when used in that context, was meant as a racial slur. Nor will I believe that it was a Freudian Slip. If you believe it, you have my sympathies. Leave a comment and I'll recommend a good psychiatrist.
What say you? Am I alone on this? There are comment links below. Use 'em.