Oh My Aching Sides

Just this weekend, I was wondering what had become of that heeeeee-larious Fox News Channel comedy show, Red Eye. Turns out, it's still on—which I know because Shaker Betsy just sent me the heads-up on this delightful little exchange that took place on the show this weekend about the "Yes We Can" video:

Greg: …Personally, I was offended that it was in black and white. What about the Mexican vote? What about the Asian votes? Is this just for blacks and whites?

Banderas: That's why they didn't vote for him.

Host: That's true. Apparently that...do minorities hate other minorities? You're a minority .

Banderas: Latinos and Asians...well...I have something in common with Obama and I don't even know what the big deal is; he's a Halfrican anyway...So I'm not quite sure why the Asians and Hispanics have a problem with him.
The obvious mess here is Obama being called a "Halfrican," which Banderas is evidently meant to be able to say because she's a minority herself. The less obvious mess is that Banderas goes on to say that Latinos and Asians shouldn't have a problem with him because he's only half-black, thereby implying that all Latinos and Asians are rampant racists. Nice.

I also like how she can't be sure why any Asians and Hispanics might not like Obama. Gee, I dunno—but I'm going to go with: because they have brains capable of making decisions more complex than "Kinda matchy skin! I vote for that! Wheeeeee!"

Anglachel points to an article so absurd on this score it would beggar belief, if only it weren't so damnably indicative of far too much of the reporting on this election:

For example, read Steve Lopez's column Points West in the LA Times today, "In Latino neighborhood, Clinton's experience counts," where he talks to Latino men about why they voted for Hillary. The men interviewed said the same things most online Clinton supporters say - she's got more experience, they trust what she'll do. What about machismo? They scoff and say they are educated and civilized, they don't fall for that BS. What about her Iraq vote? Yes, that is a problem and they hold it against her, but they also put it into context. Bush lied, the economy is flagging, she'll stop the war. They have engaged in moral reasoning and have reached a balanced and defensible position.
Well, fancy that!

Anyway, back to Obama. It's not the first time that some rightwing media jerkoff has referred to him as a "Halfrican," and it certainly won't be the last. It's one of those terms which lots of people will regard as No Big Deal, as though "Halfrican" is the same as "biracial," just funnier! Not so.

That's the stuff that's most pernicious, the dog whistles and "jokes" and anything that is (wrongly) defended as "a matter of opinion"—the subtle (or not) references and images that reinforce stereotypes to those who hold them and are casually ignored by people who like the idea of a post-racial candidate and a post-racial nation, who think that's even remotely possible if we don't make a stink about precisely this kind of stuff.

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