The winds of "Change" stink

Well, media's darling boy has been elected president.

It's being said that this was a historic day, as it was the day when America finally elected a black man as president, thus proving that the color of your skin doesn't matter. (Looks to me more like the day we elected the wrong man president, chosen by the media months in advance, thus proving the content of your platform doesn't matter if you have a buzzword, a logo, and a catchy motto; but let's MoveOn, shall we?)

I don't think prejudice is out of the picture at all. To satisfy my own morbid curiosity, I snuck a peek at a certain online community I know of that is extremely left-leaning in its membership, just to see how hard they were patting each other on the back (and mentally compare it to the prophecies of doom and gloom of four and eight years ago).

Among the comments of smug satisfaction, I noticed one referring to "the new monkey in the White House". This post was followed by calls for moderation and censoring for such a racist statement.

What's very interesting, however, is that our current president, George Bush, has often been compared to a monkey. How many pictures have we seen with Bush's face side-by-side with faces of monkeys showing strikingly similar expressions? I know I've seen a few, probably had the same set in my email box a dozen times in the past eight years. However, to extend this same metaphor to president-elect Obama ("the new monkey" definitely alludes to there being an "old monkey") is now taboo because of the color of the man's skin.

This point was brought up in the forum. The administrative conclusion was that the initial comment would be allowed a pass, but a repeat comment would be considered malicious and subject to disciplinary action.

I predict we'll see a lot more of this during the next four years. Criticisms and jokes that would've brought cheers and howls of laughter levied against the Bush or Clinton presidencies will, when made against the Obama Administration, bring howls of protest and accusations of racism. Dis the president now, and you're not just unpatriotic, but a racist.

If this is used to shut down right-wing media outlets (at worst, or "merely" as a way to institute the "Fairness Doctrine"), it wouldn't surprise me.


Sal Cartusciello said...

All correct my friend. This could be an interesting and bumpy ride.

I have mentioned the Fairness Doctrine, and other possible new laws as scaring me more then the economic agenda.

Maizrim said...

I first want to say that I have been reading both your blog and Sal's blog, and while I disagree with most of what you say politically, I feel as if this particular commentary is different.

The problem with the "new monkey in the White House" comment is the person knew what he or she was saying was wrong in any context when talking about a black person.

If you set out to be a dick (like the students who painted "KKK" on the wall at NC State Tuesday night), to me it is no different than how you handle yourself in real life. (I was going to say "should handle yourself" but that is entirely subjective on my part)

Of course it is your decision how "PC" you want to be in life, and in my opinion this falls under the Internet Dickwad Theory instead of political commentary. Calling a black man a "monkey" to me is no different than your aversion to cussing in video games - *I* don't want to hear it.

As for the Fairness Doctrine, the one that calls for equal broadcast time (in a time when all of the networks were being broadcast), that hasn't been around since 1985.

SNL made fun of McCain and Palin a bit more, but then Sarah Palin and John McCain were on the show more than the other ticket too. Should Tina Fey's Sarah Palin charater have counted for equal time? Should Sean Hannity have to learn to respect liberal guests on his show?

If Jon Stewart wants to make fun of Bush and Karl Rove wants to hand out cookies on Fox News, people have that choice to watch either one, though I would prefer bias (either way) instead of outright lies in my media.

Media bias and Fox News bias is a part of life and I think if we ever want to meet at the middle (as the right-man-to-me suggested in his acceptance speech), we have to let it go man. Hug it out.

Yakko Warner said...

So, the same comment made against one man is completely, totally, no-questions-asked taboo against another because of the color of his skin? I just don't agree with that. To me, that's the same kind of logic that lets someone fly off the handle because the phrase "call a spade a spade" was used in the presence of someone with dark skin, when the phrase has nothing to do with race.

Now, I admit I don't fully grasp how all words can be used to denigrate race, even after living a short while in the South (North Carolina was by far where I experienced the most racism). If you were to call a black man a "monkey" in my presence, I would honestly only think you were calling him goofy, klutzy, stupid, silly -- nothing terribly kind, but nothing different than if you would have said the same about a white man. And that's the honest truth. The word just has no racial charge in my brain. I suppose I could compare it to how the word "gay" seems to have no sexual charge for a lot of grade schoolers, when they call someone or something that because they think it's stupid or unimportant.

Would I feel differently about it if I had been subjected to a few years of listening to groups like the KKK saying phrases like how the "monkeys" are stealing jobs from honest white folk? More than likely, that would change my opinion of the word significantly. So I suppose if you want to go all Clockwork Orange on me and force me to watch videos of neo-Nazi rallies to the music of Ludwig Van Beethoven, I might agree with you. I might even see those Bush/monkey montages in a whole new light.

But to say the poster "knew what he was saying was wrong" assumes a lot about the person. I disagree that the assumption can be proven true (without asking him directly). The rest of the post had a light, jovial tone that just doesn't fit with a malicious, racist slur. I read the comment, and my first thought was the "Bush/monkey" pictures, and my second thought was "one buffoon out of the Oval Office, another buffoon in to take his place". That's it.

About the Fairness Doctrine, I didn't say it was in force now (nor should it be), but that it could be brought back under the guise of cracking down on "racist hate speech", by branding critiques of the president as such simply for the color of his skin. No, it hasn't been around since 1985. I hope it stays that way.

As for now, the election is over. Can we move on? As Bob the Builder would say, "Yes We Can!" ;)

or some of us can, anyway :lol:

Sal Cartusciello said...

Maiz - I know the Fairness Doctrine has not been around, but the thought of it coming back bothers me. Why? Because the left a chance to combat it many times, most famously with Air America. Can't force peple to air views that don't make them $.

Sorry, you never commented on my blog. I do like to see other opinions.

Maizrim said...

Sal - I wanted to comment on many occasions but just did not have the time or energy to get serious about it all - we have been crazy busy with birthday parties, mother-in-laws visiting and trick or treating with a 1 year old.

You and Cyber both have strong opinions (actually on many things I have a complete opposite view on) and for the most part I choose to comment on things I feel as if maybe opinions aren't written in stone - ie, things that aren't based in religion or money.

(mainly just to offer a different viewpoint on things that strike me)

And funny enough that the things you and Cyber listed for why you voted *for* McCain are why I voted against him. There is enough pundit rage on TV to go around for me to go and add my own .02 cents.

That and Cyber and I just like to pick on one another on just about anything. :)

Sal Cartusciello said...

Maizrim - fair enough. Would love to discuss over a beer once I get back to NC in January.

Yakko Warner said...

Huh. Speaking of the Fairness Doctrine