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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Here's an idea: Don't be a stupid bigot.

"Obama Bucks."


Or, "Sometimes the Race Card Can't Be Played Enough."

The latest newsletter by an Inland [Central California] Republican women's group depicts Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama surrounded by a watermelon, ribs and a bucket of fried chicken, prompting outrage in political circles.

The October newsletter by the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated says if Obama is elected his image will appear on food stamps -- instead of dollar bills like other presidents. The statement is followed by an illustration of "Obama Bucks" -- a phony $10 bill featuring Obama's face on a donkey's body, labeled "United States Food Stamps."

What could possibly be racist about that imagery?

/eye roll

And now, the "apology":

The group's president, Diane Fedele, said she plans to send an apology letter to her members and to apologize at the club's meeting next week. She said she simply wanted to deride a comment Obama made over the summer about how as an African-American he "doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills."

"It was strictly an attempt to point out the outrageousness of his statement. I really don't want to go into it any further," Fedele said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "I absolutely apologize to anyone who was offended. That clearly wasn't my attempt."

Suuuure. Let me humbly suggest that if Ms. Fedele really didn't see the problem with these hoary staples of racist stereotyping, she isn't competent enough to be the target in a carnival dunk tank, let alone run a political organization not affiliated with David Duke. Oh, and the "Sorry if you were offended" non-apology is one of those things that moves me to Defcon 1. If you are going to apologize, APOLOGIZE.

Which brings us to the "Some of My Favorite Political Candidates are Black" Defense:

She said she doesn't think in racist terms, pointing out she once supported Republican Alan Keyes, an African-American who previously ran for president.

"I didn't see it the way that it's being taken. I never connected," she said. "It was just food to me. It didn't mean anything else."

Should have gone with the "Wookies on Endor" manuever instead. Count me as one who never quite got the love affair with Alan Keyes.

Finally, the human cost of racism:

Sheila Raines, an African-American member of the club, was the first person to complain to Fedele about the newsletter. Raines, of San Bernardino, said she has worked hard to try to convince other minorities to join the Republican Party and now she feels betrayed.

"This is what keeps African-Americans from joining the Republican Party," she said. "I'm really hurt. I cried for 45 minutes."

Deserves a lot more than "Sorry if you were offended."

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