Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Archie Bunker would be proud

An actor, a Governor and an Indiana Mayor offer their own perspective on political correctness.

Mel Gibson was arrested last weekend for driving under the influence in California. He was arrested by a Jewish police officer and reportedly stated "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world, are you a Jew?"

This is not the first he has drawn the attention of the Jewish community. Mel Gibson's father has stated the holocaust was exaggerated. His film The Passion of the Christ was accused by some of being anti-semitic.

Oh, and just to show he is an equal opportunity offender--he called the responding female officer "sugar tits".

In Massachusetts, Governor and (possibly former) Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney referred to Boston's Big Dig project as a "tar baby". Now, the American Heritage definition of tar baby is "A situation or problem from which it is virtually impossible to disentangle oneself." It has also gained a second meaning as a racial slur. White House spokesman (and former Fox Newsman) Tony Snow learned this the hard way last May.

Finally, we turn to Indiana and Greensburg Mayor Frank Manus. Manus has been thrust into the spotlight since Honda decided to build a large factory in the small southeastern Indiana city. Greensburg was formerly known as a "sundown town"*, which in the late 19th and 20th century basically meant no non-whites after dark. Bloomington Times Herald columnist mentioned this legacy to Mayor Manus and asked him whether they'd strive to hire a racially diverse workforce. Mayor Manus responded, " I think there might have been something way back when, but, hell, we don’t have anything like that now. We have several colored people who live in the city.”

Wow, I admit my 85 year old grandmother still uses "colored". She doesn't mean anything by it, but then again, she's not the Mayor of a city where a company owned by "colored" folks decided to invest millions of dollars.

The mayor has since sort of apologized for his remarks.

*One infamous sign was Hawthorne, California's which read "N---r, Don't Let The Sun Set On YOU In Hawthorne" in the 1930s. A selected list of former sundown towns in Indiana are Bloomfield, Dugger, Mooresville, Oolitic, Orleans, Paoli, Spencer and Worthington. For more information read James Loewen's Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism


Blogger Jim said...

I initially posted something about Mel but found myself fuming so much that I couldn't maintain proper blogger decorum in my post.:)

South Park's "The Passion of the Jew" wasn't too far off, was it?

August 01, 2006  
Blogger Nölff said...

Drunken words are sober thoughts

August 01, 2006  
Anonymous lawgeekgurl said...

that mayor's statement just immediately reminded me of "what kind of music do you all play here?" "Oh we play both kinds, country and western!"

(my grandmother used "colored" also. I think it was offensive even when she used it.)

August 01, 2006  
Blogger torporific said...

Well, I don't know. I think "colored" was acceptable at some point in my grandmother's life. She lives in a small town which until a couple of years ago was 100 % white, so she's not really up to speed.

I remember the first time we corrected her was around 20 years ago in Chicago. We had just walked off a Chicago bus and she said something about the "colored" lady next to her. Old habits die hard.

I am interested if my hometown was a sundown town. I wouldn't be surprised. That list was only a list of towns in counties adjacent to Bloomington. I remember my grandpa telling me about an incident in the 1930s, so I wouldn't be surprised. I'll have to ask him.

Nolff, that saying is so true.

Jim, I've not seen that south park, so I am going to have to watch that youtube vid (not at work of course).

August 01, 2006  
Blogger Smartypants said...

I agree with Nolff.

"Sugar tits." Classy.

August 01, 2006  
Blogger Jim said...

Re: Nolff's comment - There's a passage in the Talmud that says, "In goes the wine, out comes the secrets." :)

August 01, 2006  
Blogger lastlifeinmyuniverse said...

i never liked romney since the day he became the governer of massachusetts.

August 02, 2006  
Blogger indygirl said...

A friend of mine from Bedford didn't know until he was in his 20s that "colored" was not the appropriate term.

August 02, 2006  
Blogger indymtgpro77 said...

very informative and impressive post!

August 02, 2006  
Blogger Butchieboy said...

My grandparents used the term "colored" also, and I consistantly found it offensive and innapropreate.

Thank god Mel is taking a stand against those fucking jews.

August 02, 2006  
Blogger lemming said...

Sugar tits? How many kids has this fellow fathered?! Are any of them daughters?

The correct term for African Americans has shifted a lot in the last forty years. A lot of students see Negro in older books and assume that it's still in use today. As for colored, well, the name of the NAACP (Colored People) probably adds to the confusion.

August 02, 2006  
Anonymous lawgeekgurl said...

hrm. according to my friend who teaches race & gender studies classes, "Colored" was in fact considered a polite term pre "Black is Beautiful" era. So, maybe he wasn't being intentionally insulting, he is just boneheaded and doesn't realize that it's now not such a good term to use. (Read: "tar baby" and "crusade" are somewhat politically charged and insulting terms to use, politicians.)

August 02, 2006  
Blogger Vengelyne said...

I agree with nolff, too...

People who are intoxicated seem to tell more truths than lies...

August 02, 2006  
Anonymous Karl said...

Apparently, there is aenough racism to go around. The Left has been getting in on the act for some time. See here:

"Lieberman Blackface"

Ms. Malkin blogged about this application of blackface to Joe Lieberman in a post by Jane Hamsher on Huffington Post yesterday.

August 03, 2006  
Blogger torporific said...

Yes, blackface is quite offensive. I don't understand why anyone would have done that.

August 03, 2006  

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