Two stories from the past few days have me wondering whether Republicans are stupid as a box of rocks or literally can’t stop themselves from broadcasting their racism (or both). Grown people are very concerned about young people who don’t think before they post information and pictures online. The media needs to focus some energy on reminding adults that what happens on the Internet stays on the Internet.
First, prominent South Carolina Republican activist Rusty DePass left a racist comment on the Facebook status update of Trey Walker, an advisor to S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster. The website Fitsnews.com obtained a screencap of the exchange (before it was removed), and word spread – to South Carolina media outlets and then CNN and The New York Daily News.
The First Lady is a gorilla. Hardy har har. Once the story gained considerable media attention, DePass “apologized,” saying “I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest.” We’ve got a two-fer here: He’s sorry if he offended anyone. If a racist makes a racist remark and nobody is offended, is it still racism? (If a tree falls in the woods… ?) And it was a joke. Racist jokes are still racist!
Then, DePass shifted the blame to Michelle Obama herself! “The comment was hers, not mine,” he claimed, referring to Michelle having said that humans descended from apes. Ohhhhh, so it was a poorly executed evolution joke!? I would be so relieved if I were at all convinced. The New York Daily News could find no such comment from Michelle.
Now, on to a story out of the Tennessee state legislature. Sheri Goforth, a staffer for Republican state senator Diane Black, emailed the picture below to a whole bunch of people.
I think Barack Obama’s race is the entire “joke” here. The 44th POTUS is represented as a pair of googly eyes set against a black background. The other 43 Presidents are represented as themselves. Barack Obama is black; get it?!
When asked if she understood the controversial nature of the photo, Goforth said she felt very bad about sending it to the wrong email list. “I went on the wrong email and I inadvertently hit the wrong button,” Goforth told Nashville is Talking. I’d love to see Goforth’s Outlook contacts folder – the one with a Senate Staffers distribution list and a Racist Assholes list.
Dear GOP: The problem is not with speaking your racism out loud, or revealing it to the wrong people. The problem is that you are racist. Even so, your fellow Republicans are caught pulling these stunts all the time. Why don’t you ever learn? And why do you have such godawful senses of humor?