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July 22, 2005

I Want to Paint it Black

Walking around in some parts of Washington D.C. is more dangerous than walking around in the jungles of deepest, darkest Africa.

Whoa, I just went insanely racist in that there metaphor, didn't I?

Well, don't blame me. Blame Senator Robert Byrd (KKK- W.Va). That is his description of the inner cities of the United States. More dangerous than deepest darkest Africa. Post-colonial imperialist connotations aside, does anybody think Trent Lott could get away with saying something like that?

No, of course not. Because Trent Lott was a Kleagle in the Ku Klux Klan, a lynch mob leader in a racist hate group. Right?

What's that?

Lott wasn't a Klan leader and recruiter and Klan chapter head, he merely made some stupid comments about a former segregationist? Huh? You're kidding right?

I thought he lynched a bunch of black folk. Then if it wasn't him, who was it in the Senate who was a KKK leader?

You're telling me Robert Byrd was a Klan leader though? The Democrat from West Virginia? The conscience of the Senate, as the Dems call him? That Robert Byrd? The same guy comparing the majority-minority inner cities to Deepest, Darkest Africa?

The same guy who was talking about n*****s a few months back, in an interview with reporters?

The same guy who said the Klan was basically a respectable civic organization, like the Rotary Club?

The same guy who filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1954, and found a way to oppose both Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, on principle?

That Robert Byrd?

But come on. He's a Democrat. He can't be a racist.

Naaahh. You must be joking.

Posted by Blackavar at July 22, 2005 09:49 PM | TrackBack
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.

Is it racist to compare one group of black people to another? It was certainly a stupid comment unless he was talking about unfortunately rare lion/wildebeast violence. Anyone from the Sudan or the Congo would kill to live in a D.C. Slum.
I KNOW, KKK 50 YRS AGO! Say, watsgoinon with Iraq and that whole Wilson/Plame/Rove/Libby/Card/Gonzalez/Cheney/Bushthang?

Posted by: Juan Gewanfri at July 24, 2005 09:42 PM

I'm a white guy, and conservative, and if I compared Southeast D.C. to "deepest darkest Africa" I'd be run out of town. For one thing, most people on the left think that the term alone smacks of colonialist, imperialist arrogance. For another thing, a lot of people believe the term "darkest", when used in connection with Africa, is tinged with racism. For another nother thing, linking the term with the inner cities even gets my radar up a bit.

Couple all that with Byrdís KKK membership, filibusters, occasional dropping of the N-bomb, and his partyís glee at calling all Republicans racist, and I canít help but find it supremely hypocritical. Racist? HmmmmÖ not sure, borderline, definitely suspect. Hypocritical to the utmost and begging for a good skewering? Indeed. And címon, you must surely see an awful lot of coincidences here, for a senator presumed to be something other than a racist.

Posted by: Blackavar at July 25, 2005 09:26 AM

Racist in the Limbaugh/Coultur/Savage sense?
I think I agree.
Does that make us both P.C.?

Posted by: Juan Gewanfri at July 25, 2005 10:34 PM

No Juan. What I'm getting at is a lot of very reasonable black folks don't like being compared to stereotypical African tribesmen. Byrd's comparison is one degree removed from slurs such as "jungle bunny" and "spear chucker." Roll in the connotations of "deepest darkest Africa," with the imperialist and corporate interests moving in on the Continent and wreaking havoc for fun and profit, and you have a truly loaded term.

Now I don't buy that the term, as a standalone, is a huge insult. But couple it with a comparison to the inner cities, which are predominantly Black, and it's getting pretty close to being an insult. Make it spill off the pen of a guy with a history of, erm, colorful verbal and political gaffes, it's truly sketchy. And if a Republican said it, there'd be a blogospheric lynch mob waiting for him around the first corner in cyberspace.

Moreover, it's really stupid for a senator to say something that dumb, much less commit it to a book.

Posted by: Blackavar at July 25, 2005 11:12 PM

I love the song Paint It Black!

Posted by: Greg at July 25, 2005 11:57 PM
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