Friday, August 18, 2006

Two racist statements: Two different responses

The mainstream media was very anxious this morning to inform the public of the "racist" remarks made by Andrew Young, the African-American former United Nations Ambassador in the Carter Administration. Mr. Young was hired to bolster the image of Wal-Mart, especially among African-Americans. Apparently Mr. Young became frustrated and quit. He basically said something to the extent that Jews and Koreans have been selling stale bread in the black communites for years. The media wants to equate that racist statement with the one made by Virginia senatorial hopeful George Allen, who used a derogatory term "macaca" to refer to the only person of color in an all white audience. Racism is racism. Andrew Young's statement is just as abhorrent as George Allen's statement, however there is a significant difference between the way the two men reacted to the criticism of their statements. Andrew Young immediately took reponsibility for his statement. He apologized, admitting that it was wrong. George Allen went down a different road. He seemed to try to wiggle his way around accepting responsibility for th his racist statement. First Allen said that he wasn't really sure of the meaning of the word. It wasn't until the uproar of criticism that he actually apologized. Allen supporter talk-radio icon Rush Limbaugh wasted no time in coming to Allen's defense by saying that he spoke to his Spanish speaking maid and she told him that "macaca" means "clown". That statement is not only wrong but it is insulting to the intelligence. As someone who teaches Spanish for a living I can tell you that the word for "clown" in Spanish is "payaso". Years ago Al Franken wrote a book with the title "Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot" Now I see what Franken was talking about.

No comments: