Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Obama in '08???

"We're not living in the ‘40’s. Look at him . . . the hairline, the ears -- he looks just like Curious George." That’s what Mike Norman had to say about the t-shirts he’s selling, that depict Barack Obama as a monkey. The owner of Mulligan’s, a bar in Marietta, GA, Norman said he doesn’t see anything wrong with the t-shirts and that they’re “cute”.

This is not cute, the t-shirts with George Bush depicted as a monkey weren’t cute, shirts with Ross Perot depicted as a monkey weren’t cute. However, of the three of them, Obama is the only man who’s black; therefore he’s probably the only one who would be able to understand why being called a monkey is not only unfunny, but also classless and distasteful. I’ve read some threads with people’s opinions on the matter and there are plenty of people defending the t-shirt by saying the owner of the bar is exercising his right to free speech. Well then lets all support the next Klan rally too, because free speech apparently makes everything racist in America acceptable.

There is nothing wrong with political satire; it goes as far back as the history of politics in this country. However, the politics that allow for satirical behavior are the same ones that allowed for slavery and Jim Crow Laws. I have a feeling that as long as Obama is on the campaign trail, this kind of thing is to be expected. He will continue to be undermined because of his race, just as Hilary Clinton will be undermined because of her sexuality. Neither of them fit the mold of the typical American president, but that is one of the main reasons their potential candidacy is so intriguing. They are more different than any of their predecessors, yet they are just as qualified so why bash them with this type of trash.

Mulligan’s once had a sign out in front that said “No habla espanol…and never will.” That type of thing isn’t offensive to anyone though right? If I were of Hispanic origin I shouldn't have a problem with this kind of edgy musing. If anything, I think it’s cute.


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