Letters to the Editor

Hate talk

January 10, 2012

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To the editor:

Last week, House Speaker Mike O’Neal forwarded to fellow Republicans an email that refers to President Obama and a Bible verse that says “Let his days be few and brief.” If that same email had been forwarded from a Pakistani exchange student to other Near Eastern exchange students, the FBI would place them at the top of their potential terrorist list.

A few days later, Speaker O’Neal forwarded another email that refers to first lady Michelle Obama as “Mrs. YoMama” and compares a photograph of her to a picture of a Grinch. When do we stop mincing words and accept the fact that our House speaker and the other right-wing politicians reading and passing on this garbage are simply bigots. I can accept the fact that he does not agree with the president’s political views. I cannot accept the low rent, ignorant, bigoted hate talk being promoted by O’Neal and other wing-nut politicians.

Kansas is starting to look like the 1950s Mississippi. We are better than that, and it’s time we elected people who represented real Kansas values. I don’t care if they are Republican or Democrat, but please elect some civilized people.

Comments

saraj 3 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for saying what many of us are thinking, Kent.

Brock Masters 3 years, 4 months ago

I agree that this type of speech is wrong and should not be tolerated, but I have to ask, where were you when Bush was the target of bigoted hate speech? Yes, the fact Bush was the subject of similar hate speech doesn't change this situation, but it does point out the selective ire of some.

It is important to point out when the other side has crossed the line, but it is more important to point out when our side has done so.

ivalueamerica 3 years, 4 months ago

The failure of your comment is that there are few examples of Bush being targeted for his race, only his opinions.

I do not see a long line of people being angry that emails are being forwarded that they hate Obama's ideas or stances, or even that they hate the man, only the personal attacks that are racially based are receiving this level of attention.

Do you really not see the difference?

Liberty275 3 years, 4 months ago

LOL. If you sat obama's health care swindle is unconstitutional that makes you a racist in the small minds of the left-wing loons.

Peacemaker452 3 years, 4 months ago

So you don't "think" it is true at all, so all of the sudden what you "think" becomes the facts.

You are adding to the current problem.

Peacemaker452 3 years, 4 months ago

Funny how pointing out your hypocrisy is "whining".

Please continue to post you opinion based, fact less post that complain about other people’s fact less posts.

It is fun to watch your “pot/kettle” logic at work.

Have a nice day.

Peacemaker452 3 years, 4 months ago

So, once again Frester wants to play his “I’m right/you’re wrong because I said so game”. It did not go well for you last time so I don’t know why you want to try again. I really don’t care about your decision on who won or lost, I’m not in a contest with you. I am simply pointing out your hypocrisy once again. You sure seem to spend a lot of time and words complaining about other’s posts without providing any facts or meaningful discussion yourself.

Peacemaker452 3 years, 4 months ago

By the way, if I were your son I would have to seriously look into patricide.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

Wow.

I wonder if we should alert the authorities about this sort of post.

Peacemaker452 3 years, 4 months ago

I will publicly apologize to Fretster (by writing this) if he feels that my comment was any type of threat to him or his son. No real or imagined threat was implied.

xclusive85 3 years, 4 months ago

Jafs, remember when Gandalf said something similar in the comments on another story. Theo only thing that happened to him was that the post was removed. He is still allowed to post here. Did you alert the authorities about that post? I know you read it, because you commented about it.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

I don't recall that post.

It looks like Peacemaker disappeared, and has reappeared - I wonder what the thinking is there.

Peacemaker452 3 years, 4 months ago

Jafs, Feel free to alert the authorities or anyone else you like. See my post below in reply to Fretster. Too bad no one seems to understand what a hypothetical if/than statement is.

ivalueamerica 3 years, 4 months ago

liberty,

You can not back up what you say because you just make things up.

You lie.

Brock Masters 3 years, 4 months ago

My comment was in response to the LTE where they wrote, "I cannot accept the low rent, ignorant, bigoted hate talk being promoted by O’Neal and other wing-nut politicians."

Being a bigot and hating are not limited to just race. Look up the definition.

pace 3 years, 4 months ago

I did end up feeling hate for President Bush, I thought he was awful, a very bad president. he destroyed a lot. The damage will be felt for decades and generations. I don't see how that excuses racism.

ivalueamerica 3 years, 4 months ago

where the dishonesty of your statement is that ESPECIALLY when Nazi references, disability related references and a host of others are made, we do police our own.

To pretend we do not is not true and you are simply saying something not true to try and make your point, which makes you pointless.

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

Gimme a break. That's a pathetic LTE, saraj. And if THAT represents what you're thinking, I feel sorry for you.

O'Neal certainly made poor choices forwarding such emails. But that's all he did. They were in poor taste, not very funny, and one should hope that our politicians are lucid enough to recognize the underlying controversies in such correspondence and wise enough not to perpetuate them. But he didn't create them.
It's certainly not comparable to Pakastani exchange students. The comparison of Kansas to '50's Mississippi is so hyperbolic and uneducated it boggles the mind. And I'd be interested to know what those "real Kansas values" are; at least that part of the letter made me smile.

No, this is a truly poor LTE. I can understand being upset with what's transpired. This letter just doesn't voice an educated nor logical opinion.

verity 3 years, 4 months ago

Let's take race out of the equation and ask this question: Do you want a Speaker of the House spending his/her time reading and forwarding juvenile spam emails? I think it speaks very poorly of his level of maturity.

And the fact that he didn't create the emails is completely irrelevant.

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

"Do you want a Speaker of the House spending his/her time reading and forwarding juvenile spam emails?"

Perhaps you missed this: "O'Neal certainly made poor choices forwarding such emails. But that's all he did. They were in poor taste, not very funny, and one should hope that our politicians are lucid enough to recognize the underlying controversies in such correspondence and wise enough not to perpetuate them"

"And the fact that he didn't create the emails is completely irrelevant."

Wanna bet? He'd be out of a job if he'd created them. And in the context that the LTE writer chose to make these 'incidents' into something much more than they are (could be taken as terroristic, "bigoted hate talk", and '50's Mississippi), the simple fact that all the bonehead did was hit "forward" on two emails seems quite relevant. As long as one can be rational about what actually transpired.

verity 3 years, 4 months ago

I didn't miss anything. "Poor choices" does not answer the question---do you want a person for Speaker of the House who makes these kinds of poor choices?

I still maintain that the fact that he didn't create the emails is irrelevant. Whether he would be out of a job now if he had we will never know, but if I forward something without a disclaimer, I own it.

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

First of all, he's not my Speaker. Second, while they were definitely "poor choices", so what? You want the man's job because he forwarded two not -so -funny emails? Gimme a break. Maintain irrelevance all you want, just understand that doesn't make it so. My mention that he wasn't the creator of the jokes was in reference to the supposed severity of the man's "crimes" and that forwarding emails isn't the same as creating the content.
Pretending you don't know for certain the man would be fired if he was the creator is dishonest. It's simple common sense and logical assumption that if the act itself didn't garner dismissal, the absolute outrage and PR nightmare that would ensue from such disclosure would inevitably lead to his ouster.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

Not in KS, perhaps.

Didn't the guy who joked about shooting illegal immigrants like feral hogs keep his job?

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

No idea, but then I don't remember hearing about that. Who was the moron that said that?

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

I believe his name is Virgil Peck, and he's a KS representative.

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

You're right, it was Peck, looked it up. He also said he was "just talking like they do in SW Kansas." Swell. Hope he doesn't get re-elected.

verity 3 years, 4 months ago

It goes both ways. Your maintaining that the fact that he didn't create the email isn't irrelevant doesn't make it so either.

The same goes with your maintaining that he would be out of a job if he had doesn't make it so. To call me dishonest for an opinion I stated is very low.

Regarding Jafs comment below---a rhetorical question, but an apt comparison.

verity 3 years, 4 months ago

Jafs comment above---it was below when I wrote my comment.

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

"It goes both ways"

Perhaps, except I clarified and backed up my position. You're just saying "Uh Uh!" And I didn't call you dishonest, I said pretending is dishonest. But if you think the Speaker of the House would still be in his position if he'd created such trash, keep dreaming. Don't know who uttered the 'feral hogs' crappola, but if he's anything more than a representative I'd be surprised. If he is anything more than a representative, he should have been removed.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

The more significant question in my mind is one of basic judgment, i.e. why O'Neal would have chosen to forward such e-mails under his name in today's ultra-PC environment. What he did showed poor judgment.

Hitting the "send" button without thinking first is the equivalent of jumping off a bridge without a bungee cord.

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

Not surprised at the number that defend O'Neal............. here? There's not a soul doing such on this string, at least not yet.

Not so observant after all.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

On the previous story, there were several who came to O'Neal's defense here (on this site), some even saying that there was nothing racist about the remark.

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

Then his comment should be on the other string. Or after someone has defended the bonehead on this one.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

I disagree. All of the related strings on this story are connected. Also, looking again at Observant's comment, those who defend O'Neal includes those beyond the LJWorld site.

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

Please. It's a new string and this LTE is not connected to any earlier conversations. And if we're going to include all those beyond this website simply due to observant's ambiguity (that's why I asked "here?"), then everything's always connected and that's simply not logical.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

Yes, it is a new string, but we are talking about the related stories on this website, not just anywhere else. That seems reasonable to me. I know when you and I were discussing the teen who tweeted mean things about the governor, each new story didn't necessarily start the conversation afresh. The stories are interconnected in that way.

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

Sure, when two people have continued speaking on an issue that holds, but I still don't see anyone on here that have defended the man. If someone did on the other string, swell, but to me, starting out the post with "Can't believe how many are sticking up for the man" when there's nothing like that here is pointless.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

Fair enough. I don't see it as truly pointless, but I can see your point.

Mike Ford 3 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Hayes is a mental health professional so what some of the less than sane sounding people in here say is no surprise....it's par for the course of code language bigotry in Kansas that exists towards minorities and the the educated people of this state who stand against the less than courageous people who use code language to cover for who they really are......your actions speak for themselves so no tos issues in telling the truth because as Jack Nicholson said....You can't handle it and you will run with your pigtails in a bind and get my comment removed. Yeah, we're standing up to you and telling you you're better than this....and yet you won't listen.....

jayhawkinsf 3 years, 4 months ago

Tushhkahouma - Colored People, Negro, Negroid, Afro-American, African American, People of Color. In my lifetime, there have been many changes. It's come full circle. You mention "code language bigotry". It seems like it would be hard to define that term as it's constantly evolving.
I understand what you're trying to say. But I also think there must be room for the possibility that words taken as offensive may not have been said with the intension of being offensive.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

I would rather that our political discussions took place without the insults, name calling, and personal bitterness, as you well know.

Why are you asking me to make a choice between two activities in very poor taste?

Are we so lost as a society that there aren't better choices to be made?

And, if you're against these sorts of things, I certainly would expect that means that your posts from now on don't contain them - that's how we can do our part to improve the dialogue.

pace 3 years, 4 months ago

You claim some one hung an effigy of Michelle on a rope and set it on fire when President Bush was in power? I never heard or read that. Was it the tea party? I knew they were heavy with racists, but I thought they had not really formed into a force at that time. I also do not think, yet to be elected, Obama was in control of the media. This all sound very bogus. Maybe you are just ranting?

hedshrinker 3 years, 4 months ago

Hate crimes/ language is defined as that which makes an attack on another based on their characteristics as a "protected class"...race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, national origin, disability. I'll leave readers to decide whether O'neal's egregious emails qualify, or the off-topic examples cited by others in previous comments. Seems like the most important issue hasn't been raised, which is the prohibition of public employees using email or other communication methods to distribute partisan and non-work related messages.

nativeson 3 years, 4 months ago

The rhetoric is just silly. I am perplexed about what possible benefit there is to this type of communication. As a politician, does Speaker O'Neil not know that this e-mail would end up in the public domain? Get down to business and solve issues for Kansans in the legislature.

HW 3 years, 4 months ago

Hedshrinker- Not that it makes his comments better or worse, but I am pretty sure a previous article stated that this was sent on his personal email. Just FYI.

BusseS 3 years, 4 months ago

The fact that the majority of voters in whatever district elected this guy hold their government representatives to the intellectual and behavioral level of a fifth grader speaks volumes.

More frightening though, is the fact that he is the Speaker of the House! That, my friends is your indicator for the level of competency of our current legislative bodies.

God help us.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

As a general rule, we really don't forward e-mails with which we do not agree. He obviously thought calling the First Lady "Mrs. YoMama" was funny and wanted to share that oh so clever line with others he believes to be of his ilk. This does bring his character into question and it does reflect poorly on Kansas.

Good letter, although the comparison to 1950s Mississippi is hyperbole. Try, it is taking the spotlight on ignorant politicians off Arizona for a change.

verity 3 years, 4 months ago

As a general rule, do most thinking people forward spam emails at all?

pace 3 years, 4 months ago

I worked with a gal, who forwarded all kinds of spam, we finally got the boss to stop her, she then printed some of the stuff out, and put it in our mail boxes. Forwarding odd emails that you don't know much about is how colds are spread, It is stupid.

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

Not that I like any of the description of that cartoon, but how do you know he didn't forward it because it was the Grinch reference he found funny?

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

You post that and claim I can't be taken seriously? Kiddie pool, pal.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

I just ask, how often do people forward items that they find only half funny? If he was forwarding it because of the Grinch reference, how could he not have recognized the racially insensitive aspect of the rest of the email?

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

"How often do people forward items that they find only half funny?"

Who knows who forwards what or for what reasons? I get stuff from friends I don't think is funny quite often. And it's certainly reasonable to believe that someone might find part of a joke funny while another part is not-so-much.
I'm not arguing anything about his deciding to forward these items. It was a bad call all the way around considering his position. And even if he thought of the "Yomama" comment as more of a play on words like I do, he definitely should have been wise enough to foresee the possible connotations others might take it for and stopped it right there.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

Yes, he should have been wise enough not to forward the message. How "Mrs. YoMama" doesn't raise massive red flags is beyond me.

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

No doubt, that's the part that really has me shaking my head. I think more than anything, things like this make me wonder just how ignorant we are as a whole.

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

Wow. Are all Republicans racist? Are only conservative Republicans raciest? Were the comments made by our speaker raciest or political? This class of issue has arisen on here in the past. Could this be the adherents of one party using race to batter the other. At great risk to being labeled a raciest or worse, I suggest we explore that notion a bit.

Three years ago the American public, over 70% white, elected a black President by a significant majority. Was that a racist act? Did Mr. Obama receive such broad support because he was black or because of his political platform? If the latter, are those who attack him raciest or political and simply responding to his adherence or lack thereof to that platform.

I would suggest that if we are truly to minimize race in our public discourse (and I acknowledge it is there) we may need to do just that. Raising it for political purposes makes it a legitimate political consideration. If we are to be racial conscious in our politics do we run the risk of making it harder for minorities to win public elections unless the game is ridged?

Think about it!

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

The charges of racism for sending the "Mrs. YoMama" email appears to be specifically tied to the person, not the party. It isn't like charges of racism are being tossed out at O'Neal just for saying he doesn't like the Affordable Care Act (like he would call it that). Please stop pretending that all criticism brings charges of racism. By doing that, when there really is racism (like "Mrs. YoMama"), it acts like calling someone on their racist actions is forbidden.

Interesting that after an entire run of White Presidents for more than 200 years,only after we elect the first Black President -- ONE only non-White -- is when we start asking questions about racism in the election process. Why weren't you asking this question when the 40th, or 41st, or 42nd or 43rd White President in a row was elected? Are you really suggesting that only now that we have a Black President is race an issue in presidential races? I guess all the White Presidents before Obama just happen to be a coincidence to be of the same race.

If someone questions Obama's political platform, that is political. When a "Mrs. YoMama" type line is thrown in, then discussions of racism are warranted. Not that hard to grasp. Criticize Obama's politics all you want. Bring race into it, and then we have an issue.

There. I thought about it.

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

Bea. Thank you but I never use the word “all”. I believe you are accurate when you note that for some the issue is individual. Unfortunately for some it is broader than that. I address my comments to that group and I think you should acknowledge there is such a group. If you cannot see that I would be happy to point out the posts above that IMHO are part of that group. Mr. Hayes is in that group – if not from this comment than from his collective comments.

Personally I do not like the speaker’s politics. I find the conservative purge of the moderate Republicans at best bad taste. That said, the Speaker is elected by others who have a right to their representation. Their choice is none of my business. The Republican choice of their Speaker is my business and I would opt for someone else. If no one is listening than the Democrats win!

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

Um ... yes you did. The third word in your 10:52 post is "all."

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

Hey Bea, that was a question not an accusation.

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

Bea says: If someone questions Obama's political platform, that is political. When a "Mrs. YoMama" type line is thrown in, then discussions of racism are warranted. Not that hard to grasp. Criticize Obama's politics all you want. Bring race into it, and then we have an issue. “

Moderate Comments. Demonizing elected officials is new? It was a stupid comment. Whether the intent was racial remains for me uncertain.

Exactly what has our long history of electing people that look like us got to do with this issue? The point is that for at least once we got past that. My point remains that if we want to stay past that we need to refrain from using race as a political issue - even when it might be.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

"Demonizing elected officials is new?"

I don't recall voting for Michelle Obama. Exactly what office has she been elected to?

"Whether the intent was racial remains for me uncertain."

Seriously? You really think that had the email been about Hillary Clinton or Laura Bush or Nancy Reagan, it would have used the term "Mrs. YoMama" in it? You really don't think "YoMama" is a reference to Michelle Obama's race? Really? So why would it be included?

"Exactly what has our long history of electing people that look like us got to do with this issue?"

Not all Americans would agree that past presidents look like "us." Certainly women don't agree, and anyone not White wouldn't agree.

Finally, how does "Mrs. YoMama" get us past using race as a political issue again?

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

"You really don't think "YoMama" is a reference to Michelle Obama's race? "

To that I would say: so what if it is? Referencing race does not make something inherently racist. We're talking about a phrase that was made popular, if memory serves, by JJ in Good Times(dating myself). Can't tell you how many times I saw cartoons depicting W. as Alfred E. Newman; they were lampoons. Seems like this one was, too.

"You really think that had the email been about Hillary Clinton or Laura Bush or Nancy Reagan, it would have used the term "Mrs. YoMama" in it?"

Yes, if they happened to be married to a man named Obama, absolutely.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

Maybe I missed this one earlier. Okay, I can see how you get there. However, I do believe you are giving O'Neal far more credit than he deserves.

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

Really not trying to give him any credit, honestly. I'm just trying to take an overview. Like we agreed above, forwarding the emails was ignorant at the very least. After learning of his defense of Virgil Peck (and who Peck was, don't know how I missed that story), I'm definitely not a fan.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

A fan. That is funny, and it never crossed my mind. I could tell you were arguing the possibility of it having more than just a concrete racist meaning, but were in no way defending the guy. I get that.

gudpoynt 3 years, 4 months ago

Effectively, O'Neal laughed at a racist joke. He didn't make the joke. But he thought it was funny enough to perpetuate. Gross behavior, especially for a high ranking elected official.

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

I haven't seen this thing, but from the description it seems the overriding theme is the comparison of the First Lady to the Grinch. So why must he have "laughed at a racist joke"? What's more, it seems (again, haven't seen this thing) that the use of 'Mrs. Yomama' has more to do with the unfortunate syllabic coincidence with 'Obama' and a dialectical stereotype than anything else. Now, that part's certainly racial, just not sure it's racist.

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

Well, Fretster, going by your well thought out, rational, and tempered response, of course you must be right. I never considered your side of the argument, which is, in essence, "you suck. you're stupid. and you're an apologist." My bad.

If you'd care to have an adult conversation about the points I made I'd love to hear it. Otherwise, do me a favor and stay in the kiddie end of the pool. Thank you.

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

Thank you. Racist vs racial. Makes a difference.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

How is calling a Black woman Mrs. YoMama not racist if it is made only as a means of denegrating the woman because of her race? It is racially based, and it is racist.

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

Like I said above, bea, it seems more like the substitution of a dialectical phrase for a similar sounding name. Perhaps the person that made the thing up did have a racist mindset, I just don't believe it's obviously and absolutely racist.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

It is a dialectical phrase, but it is one that has predominantly racial overtones. I indicated something of this on the earlier story, but imagine if Jeff Foxworthy, instead of saying "You know you are a redneck" jokes started saying "Yo mama" jokes. People would be stunned and shocked. Why? Because of the strongly racial connotation of "Yo mama" humor. This is why Chris Rock says "Yo mama" jokes and not Jeff Foxworthy.

Now, I'm not saying its use or that forwarding it marks someone as a Grand Wizard or anything, but for it to not register as even potentially racist before forwarding the email seems naive beyond the point of believability to me. O'Neal sent it to people he thought would find it humorous, but it clearly isn't something he would have said to a reporter or while on the Senate floor, don't ya think?

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

Right there with you in the second paragraph. Amen.

As to the comedian aspect, or even comedy in cartoons like this, I think more often than not it's uniquely in the eye of the beholder. Richard Pryor's probably my favorite comedian and his stereotypical portrayals of white people were hysterical; same goes for Cosby, Murphy, and Rock. Comics of all races make fun of the others and use dialect and stereotypes to do so, including 'yo mama.' Heck, I remember 'yo mama' sessions with my basketball teammates in high school.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

It think it is still easier for Blacks to make jokes about Whites because of the history of oppression. Whites making similar jokes about Blacks just don't seem as funny, unless there is a heavy dose of irony - think Sarah Silverman.

Yes, I loved Pryor and Cosby too. Carlin was probably my favorite, and I once saw Rodney Dangerfield live. I'm a fan of comedians.

One thing for sure, politicians often fall flat when they attempt stand up routines.

Scott Drummond 3 years, 4 months ago

So if her last name were Smith instead it would not have been the dialectical whatever it is you claim? Would that have been racist? But because her name is Obama you know the intent was simply to rhyme. Does this individual regularly seek to impress us with his rhyming talent?

jaywalker 3 years, 4 months ago

That's a good question, scott, one I don't have a good answer to. And I can't say one way or the other for certain whether the author meant this simply as a 'rhyme' or not. I'm just taking an overview and looking at all possibilities. It seemed like a few people were ignoring the rest of the cartoon and boiling it all down to racism because of 'yomama', and I was just offering an alternative possibility.

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

beatrice (anonymous) replies…

How is calling a Black woman Mrs. YoMama not racist if it is made only as a means of denegrating the woman because of her race? It is racially based, and it is racist.

Moderate Responds:

So you say Bea. I don't know what the man meant- whoever wrote it. . Exactly what is racist about YoMama? Clearly it is vulgar. Note I corrected my use of racial for racist.

There were many unflattering comments made at the wives of many of our previous presidents. Do only racially motivate=d comments count? Many (Most) of those comments were made because of their husbands. Not good but not new.

Oki, they looked like WASM. Does that change the meaning of my comment or are you just quibbling to avoid the message I sent. Should all male whites be punished because of your frustrations? I swear Bea you would shoot the gift horse if it was not female?

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

See my response to jay just above on the racial angle. Regarding comments about spouses, do I only find those that are racially motivated to be in poor taste? Of course not. However, the added dimension of racism does make it particularly ugly. Had the email been just about a comparison of the First Lady with Dr. Seuss's Grinch, I would be saying that this was no big deal. It is the "Mrs. YoMama" that makes it cringe worthy. You really don't think so?

Somehow I think you misunderstood my meaning or added more than I was thinking when I described all past presidents prior to Obama. Who said anything about punishing anyone? Not me. I just said that I find it fascinating that only now, after we have ONE non-White President, do people question if racism played a part in the election. Well what about all the ones prior? Hello! You don't have 230 some odd years of presidents that only include White males without it being about race (and gender). I was making the observation, that is all. I am not trying to punish anyone for this, nor do I see any elected President as a gift. Your comment of Presidents looking like "us," however, deserved a response. It might not have been how you intended it, but I can't read your mind after all.

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

Bea

I think you are reading way too much into what I wrote.

First of all I do not agree with you that the comment by itself is racist as opposed to racial. I need to better calibrate the actual author as to intent. Simply asserting your view will not change mine.

Second I place no more significance on a "racist" comment than a homophobic comment or an ethnic slur or any of the many other ways we put people down. They IMHO are all equally inappropriate.

Third, my point was and is that if we make race an issue it will become one to the potential detriment of minorities. I worry we will set back what progress we have made. Not all opinions in this country could, be judged to be as enlightened as yours.

While you see our presidential history as racist or sexist because we did not select a black or a woman earlier, I see the normal evolution of public thought. What was wrong becomes right and what was right becomes wrong. I find it abhorrent that thinking people try to apply current thought to past practices when thought was different.

It is just frightening to me that we have focal advocates ignoring due process or rule of law. You may not like things that have been legal in the past just as I do not like things that are legal today. However, if we get to unilaterally impose our way of thinking the outcome will be another civil war. Frankly as the partisan rhetoric becomes more vitriolic positions harden. Not good. Not good at all.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

First, you are entitled to that opinion. I don't necessarily agree.

Second, I actually do see racially motivated comments to be worse that some others, given our nation's history.

Third, race is only an issue when people use it in a racist manner.

That history is filled with racism has nothing to do with current thought. It just is. To say otherwise is to argue that somehow racism was actually good back in the day. Kind of like using leeches to bleed people. Back in the day people thought it a good idea. Now we know it was a bad idea. There is no making it a good idea. It was and is a bad idea. We actually can look at history and say, that was a bad thing to do, and say it with conviction. Same applies to racism. Racism today is bad. There is no way we can justify it in the past by saying it was anything but bad back then too. The ways people were raised and the context of the time might have made standing up against it next to impossible, but that still doesn't make it somehow an okay thing.

Not sure if that makes sense, but it does to me.

Not saying you are doing this, but to suggest that racism is only around today is just silly.

JHOK32 3 years, 4 months ago

Just another redneck Repub, the kind that makes Kansas look like a state full of bigoted ignorant hicks.

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

Bea, I think that sometimes your beliefs overwhelm the content of what others have written.

First of all I distinguish moral from legal matters. Racism is a moral matter not a legal one. It has been with us since the Neanderthal killed off the Cro-Magnons. It will probably be with us until we destroy ourselves.

Secondly, nothing I wrote justifies racism. What I challenged is condemning an entire country, (as I read your comments), for what historically was considered appropriate behavior indulged in by most nations on the planet at one time or another. Applying your moral judgment of today to our distant history is just not appropriate.

You are entitled to your position that racism is more inappropriate than other isms. I would argue that most of those either isms have been around as long or longer than racism.

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