Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Republicans And Some Democrats Have A Problem

I stand by my position that Jon Favreau's photo with a lifesize cutout of Sen. Hillary Clinton which was posted on Facebook created a problem for President-elect Barack Obama.

Now the Republicans have a problem thanks to a song titled Barack the Magic Negro distributed by former Tennessee GOP leader Chip Saltsman, who ran Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign. This song echoes many familiar racist themes. It has been defended by some people because it was done in "fun" and is a parody.

I reject that defense because what people do in fun reveals important aspects of what they believe for real.

This song also creates a problem for those Democrats who dismissed the backlash against Favreau because Favreau didn't grope a real woman and who described what Favreau and another Obama staff member were doing was just having "fun."

Fun is either a valid defense or it isn't. Those who try to have it both ways are communicating something important and real about themselves.

Same goes for the "no real person was harmed" because the offending actions involved music or a prop substitute of a real person.

As for the real problem echoed in Favreau's photo, after that photo was published the US National Crime Victimization Survey was released with an estimate that there were 248,300 rapes/sexual assaults in 2007 -- and this survey only counted crimes against those age 12 and above.

Violence against women and violence against people of color are rooted in the attitudes held by the violent and their peers. "Fun" is often where people reveal attitudes which contribute to violence and discrimination.

Many of these non-fun attitudes are rooted in long-standing beliefs that many people have never examined. Saltsman, Favreau and their defenders can choose to learn from the backlash from these types of "fun" or they can refuse to learn.

Those who refuse to learn will not get my respect or my trust even if I agree with them on other issues.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:23 AM   1 comments links to this post

1 Comments:

At December 30, 2008 3:19 PM, Blogger JENNIFER DREW said...

Strange how those words 'irony and fun' are always used to justify misogyny and now racism. But we need to see which group is using those words and why they believe 'fun and irony' is appropriate when in fact such actions are about dehumanising certain human groups. Note it is predominantly white powerful males who believe it is their right to define 'irony and fun' and how on the rare occasions 'irony and fun' is used to criticise white male privileges and power, these self-same males immediately cry 'man-hating feminists.'

Reducing women and non-white groups to objects is not 'funny, humorous or even parody' rather it is deliberate promotion of misogynstic and racist stereotypes. But it is inevitable when reducing women to men's sexualised commodities is so common, that white powerful males now believe it is acceptable to target another group they despise and hold in contempt.

If we do not call out these misogynists and racists on their behaviour then which group will next be subjected to hatred and contempt. I guarantee it will not be white males because they are the ones who have the power and privileges. Bruce Pardo committing femicide and mass murder is a classic example of how his actions have been excused and justified by white male-dominant media.

 

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