Saturday, June 13, 2015

Who should bother us more?

Whose “impersonation” ought to bother us more – Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., or the woman who runs the Spokane, Wash., chapter of the NAACP?

KIRK: A 'bro' from 'South Side?' Hardly
Then again, who is really doing any impersonating here? And how much should we really care?

PERSONALLY, I’M MORE bothered by what Kirk said this week than the actions of Rachel Dolezal, even though I’m sure the ideologues amongst us will want to claim that she is guilty of a lie, while Kirk is merely guilty of speaking like a fool for a few seconds.

Kirk is the congressman who earlier this week tried to make a joke about presidential dreamer Lindsay Graham, the congressman from South Carolina who happens to be unmarried.

Kirk thought he was being humorous when he referred to Graham as a “bro with no ho.” Apparently some attempt to gain a laugh from a lame attempt at an African-American dialect.

Even though I’m fairly sure no self-respecting black person would ever use that phrase under any context.

DEMOCRATIC PARTISANS HAVE hopped all over this phrase, hoping it softens Kirk up politically to the point where he becomes extremely beatable in next year’s election cycle.

Some have gone so far as to say “ho” is demeaning and sexist to all women – which it certainly is. Although Kirk’s likely opponent in next year’s election, Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., made a point of issuing a statement Friday morning that makes it easy to make a donation to her campaign.

It’s all about the cash for Tammy.
DOLEZAL: Do we get to tell her what she is?
I’m actually bothered more by the follow-up line that came from Kirk’s mouth – the bit about how his “ho” comment is “what we’d say on the South Side.”

KIRK COMES FROM nowhere near Chicago’s South Side. His congressional district is the North Shore suburbs – which is about as far removed in character from anything connected to Chicago, let alone the South Side of Chicago.

For all I know, Kirk probably thinks there really is an “east side of Chicago” where his “mama prayed the night Chicago died.” Or so said that silly “PaperLace” song from several decades ago.

It further accentuates the idea that Kirk is talking out of his behind, which is what I’m sure some people want to say about Dolezal.

She is the woman who is coming under ideologue criticism because of reports that say the woman who heads the Spokane, Wash., chapter of the NAACP is a white woman, even though she claims to be a mix of assorted white, black and American Indian peoples.

HER PARENTS HAVE publicly said they think of themselves as white, with an ever-so-slight touch of American Indian in them. The kind of people who are eager to discredit anything that isn’t lily white are anxious to dump all over Dolezal are all aroused by this issue.

Considering how mucked up our society is on the race issue and its ability to deny what it finds too confusing to accept, I’m not so quick to dispute her racial claim. I also wonder how accurate a depiction of the interview a television snippet was – the one that appears to have her say, “I don’t understand the question” when asked what race she is.

The only ones who really seem to have a problem with this issue are those people who can’t comprehend how anyone could not wish they were white – or why anybody would want to be thought of as black.

Which makes me think the NAACP itself had the sensible attitude on Friday when it issued a statement saying “racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard” for a leadership post.

WHAT DOLEZAL’S VIEW of herself and her racial background (which her parents say was inspired by adopted step-siblings she had and a black man whom she was once married to) really comes off as her business, and no one else’s.

Whereas Kirk’s lame joke comes at someone else’s expense and ought to be regarded as an unwritten rule of political campaigning – “Don’t use racial dialects” ought to go down alongside, “Don’t be photographed wearing a sombrero.”


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