Monday, June 20, 2011

When Is Enough, Enough?

Comedian Reggie Brown
We read the headline  below, printed in the pages of  POLITICO the magazine which reports political news about Capitol Hill and politics in Washington, D.C.  and were somewhat confused by what was  considered to be the importance of the story. We've become inured to comedians insulting conservatives. 

A liberal blog which does not merit publicity here, recently called Governor Rick Perry, "dumber that George W. Bush but meaner."  Bill Maher called former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, "a dumb twat."  Even rapper Kanye West suddenly became a political critic and personally attacked President George W. Bush.   Now, when Brown takes a few pot shots at the assembled gathering, he's accused of "crossing the line."  So what?   What liberal hasn't?  Everyone seems to feel entitled to pass judgement on others.  Let's analyze.

"Obama impersonator crosses the line at RLC"
NEW ORLEANS – A comedian impersonating President Obama made racially tinged jokes Saturday at the Republican Leadership Conference before being pulled off the stage by an event organizer.
The Obama impersonator, Reggie Brown, said that while the First Lady celebrated all of Black History Month, the bi-racial president only celebrated half the month.Brown also said: "My mother loved a black man, and she was not a Kardashian." Flashing a picture on the screen of Fred Sanford of “Sanford and Son” fame, the comedian said that’s what Obama would look like when he got older. Brown didn’t just limit his jokes to Obama, though. He also mocked Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith, ridiculed Newt Gingrich’s faltering campaign and suggested Tim Pawlenty needed a spinal transplant.
As Brown was preparing to make a Michele Bachmann joke, one of the conference’s officials came out to the lectern and told the comedian to leave the stage.  It was a remarkable display and came just one day after two high-profile Republicans —- Haley Barbour and Bobby Jindal — urged activists to focus only on going after Obama on policy and not engage in personal attacks."

Although liberal blogs are already saying that the GOP enjoyed the racist Obama jokes, but that Reggie Brown was pulled off the stage because he made jokes about the GOP candidates, we ask the question; What does it matter?  What is the difference between ridiculing a black president and ridiculing a white one?  In our opinion, there should be no difference.  It simply should not be done.  The Presidency of the United States is being disrespected for the purpose of shock value and a few cheap laughs. 

When the joke is on Obama, the race card is immediately played.  Why is it not considered objectionable to degrade and ridicule  white presidents or candidates, but it is considered racist to poke fun at Obama? Why is it that when black dignitaries accept posts in a white president's administration they are called "Uncle Toms?" Who is being racist here?

When you live long enough as we have, you experience historical changes that others have only heard of. Let's face it, you either lived during the Civil Rights movement or you didn't, and it really makes a difference in having lived it, or just heard about it.  We remember when discrimination was very open in the United States, as well as the struggles of black Americans to achieve equal status.  We also know for a fact that they were joined in their struggle by white Americans, some  of whom lost their lives for the cause.  They did so because they believed it was unfair to discriminate on the basis of race or skin color and above all, they believed that "All men are created equal." 

Life for black Americans in 2008, when Obama ran for the presidency, was vastly different from what it was in mid 20th Century America, which is why we were suddenly disturbed to see a significant division between the races that we'd not seen in years. With Obama's nomination, we had reached a period in American history that some never imagined would come for some time yet.  We had as a front runner in a presidential election a black candidate who appeared to be on the verge of winning the election. Whether one was a liberal or a conservative we all agreed that we were seeing history in the making once again. But instead of moving forward, race relations suffered a set back.

To set the record straight once again, we did not object to Obama because of his race, it was his ideology we could not accept.  When we read Barack Obama's words in "Dreams of My Father" -- "I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of twelve or thirteen, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites."  the words left us with a sour taste.  This was the man who was seeking to govern ALL Americans, yet he had questionable doubts about race?

It mattered to some of us, but obviously others did not see the inner nature of the man that those words  revealed.  Those words were written, by the way, by the same man who is now seeking reelection and recently went to Ireland to meet with his white cousins while joking about seeking the "apostrophe" they'd lost along the way.  Suddenly, when the presidency of the United States is at stake, it is acceptable to "ingratiate yourself to whites"  and "members of your mother's race." But, we are not supposed to comment on that, nor even register that such hypocrisy took place.  If we do, that makes us "racists" as someone recently called us in the comments section of this blog.

During the 2008 campaign, "Speaking in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, would-be First Lady Michelle Obama said, "for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback."  Later on in Madison, Wisconsin, Michelle Obama said:  "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change."  Not all, and certainly not the changes he wanted to make.

To hear the  would-be FLOTUS publicly admit that she had not been proud to be an American was truly distressing, yet we were expected to sit quietly and not object to her remarks.  The fact is that we did.  We objected a great deal, and it gave us pause to think that this woman whose pride in her country was so newly found would be representing all of us who have always considered it a privilege to be called Americans. 

Such is the hypocrisy of racism, the belief  "that racism is exclusively perpetrated by whites against blacks."    That is a subject that has been explored in depth by scholars and sociologists.  A simple Internet search will lead the reader to varied sources on the subject.  This however is not the forum for this discussion which needs to aired out and understood.

Our concern here was peaked by the story of Reggie Brown being pulled off a stage for apparently mistaking his comedy gig for a celebrity roast.  From what we've read in other publications, Brown had already made some unsavory remarks about many of the candidates, regardless of race.   The event organizers were probably guilty of letting him go on for too long. Sometimes it takes a while to admit that enough is enough.  Our opinion is that he should have been asked to stop after his first tasteless joke.

Comedians, celebrities, media pundits, and all manner of self proclaimed critics have used their public platforms to belittle and degrade white politicians.  It is never called racism, but we consider it to be vicious hate speech.  Few ever object.  During the 2008 campaign when entertainers like Sean Coombs, Kanye West, Rosie O'Donnell, Bill Maher, and others were insulting Obama's opponents, few outside of conservative circles objected to their meanness and their spitefulness. 

The racial undertones were deliberately  begun by  Obama supporters during the campaign. When Sean Coombs appeared wearing what we considered a threatening T-shirt, it became chic to wear one rather than offensive.  Yet, when conservative actors declared their political opinions they were often black listed and found it difficult to get a job.  The late Ron Silver, who left liberalism and went against the Hollywood majority is a reminder of how unfair and one sided celebrity blacklisting can be.  "Silver decided to change his politics based on how he felt rather than being trapped into a political party and capitulating to that party's belief by quasi coercion. Despite this, Hollywood  still turned this actor away with an eerie adamancy reminiscent of the 1950's HUAC that the movie industry has long openly condemned."  Dare Hollywood do this to a black actor?

When Black Panthers showed up at polling places to intimidate white voters, they were exonerated by the Obama administration.  Two Sisters From The Right do not condone ANY group, be their reason, race, ethnicity, or religion, that uses force or a semblance of threat of force to intimidate voters. 
We treasure our right to vote freely and to vote for the candidate of our choice.  This is what separates the United States of America from most other countries in the world. However, once the element of race was introduced, it has never gone away.

Note that those who removed comedian Reggie Brown for equally insulting all candidates because his performance was an out of place, display of tasteless, tacky humor, were the very same people who organized the RLC.  

The winner in this story is Reggie Brown.  Until this event, we'd never even heard of him.  Now, after all the publicity he'll be in demand and he has obviously demonstrated that his insulting and demeaning humor can go either way and cross political lines.   The Reggie Browns and those of his ilk will continue to make headlines until we Americans decide to recover some of our lost dignity and self respect and put a stop to it. 

There are important lessons to be learned from this bit of political news.  One is that until we stop laughing and encouraging the irreverent. lurid, and often obscene  treatment of our public political figures, we show that we have no respect for ourselves, and shouldn't expect others to respect us.  Another is that we give people whose job it is to entertain us entirely too much credit when it comes  to their political judgement. Rather than to depend on what others' opinions tell us, we should strive to educate ourselves.  Above all, we need to recognize that the ever changing demographics of our country leave no room for racial division.  The word "racism" should be eliminated from our vocabulary, right along with "political correctness."  The race card seems to be  the Democrats' shield.  Presently there is one black GOP candidate for president and another one who is hotly being encouraged to run.  Neither has ever used the race card to their advantage.  The time has come to stop exploiting race for political purposes. Only then will those who are profiting from so doing will find themselves at a loss.  It's time to say, enough IS enough!
Two Sisters
Copyright - June 2011  Two Sisters From The Right

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