Monday, June 30, 2008

The Word "Tan" Has Long History In Racist Rhetoric


Leading GOP activist Grover Norquist caused quite a stir Friday with his racist comment that Barack Obama is "John Kerry with a tan."

But Norquist's remarks become even more offensive and racist when you take a look at the long history of the word "tan" in racist rhetoric and hate speech.

For example, the word "tan" often makes an appearance in racist "humor." An example (which is popular on a number of the Web's racist/white power sites):

Q:Why do white people tan if they get some sun, but burn if they get too much?
A:God didn't want any more n*ggers.

In fact, the word "tan" has a long history in ugly racist rhetoric. For example, the street lingo/slang reference site, has an entry for the expression, "n*gger box," which it defines as a "slang term for a tanning bed."

GOP defenders of Norquist may deny that his remarks were in any way racist. But America's bigots have long used coded racist language like the word "tan," in their ever-creative ways of dancing around the "N" word, without actually saying it.

Of course, a sizable chunk of the Right-Wing Web has no such qualms and has already embraced the "N" word in its attacks on Obama.

The bottom line is that it's going to be a long, ugly election season. It's clear the GOP has already dusted off the Lee Atwater playbook to go after Obama.


Anonymous said...

Why do you feel the need to go on and on about how white people are racists? Racism is ugly no matter what color you are. Your over the top pandering and apologizing to blacks is very timely indeed. Could it be because a black is running for office? Did you feel this way before Barak Obama became the nominee? How did you feel about race relations before this election cycle? Where was your righteous indignation when Clarance Thomas was being called an Uncle Tom because of his stance that nobody should be treated any differently under the law because of their color. Were you standing up for him then? Or did you stand on the sidelines in silence thinking "he's not our nigger?" Speaking of sure seem to love that word. Are you just trying to be provoctive or do you secretly like saying it like a little boy learning to cuss? Do you sneak out behind the barn and smoke cigarettes too? What a rebel you are!

Marc McDonald said...

>>Why do you feel the need to go
>>on and on about how white people
>>are racists?

I'll stop the day when GOP activists like Grover Norquist stop making outrageously racist comments (and when the GOP stops embracing racist rhetoric and policies).

Incidentally, I oppose Clarence Thomas because he is a fucking hypocrite. He benefited handsomely from various affirmative action type programs over the years and then (when he became successful) he suddenly became an outspoken advocate of doing away with those very same programs.

In other words, he has this hypocritical viewpoint of: "I've got mine now; so fuck everybody else." Spoken like a good little Republican.

That's as hypocritical as George W. Bush railing against the idea that government should ever help anyone (when he himself and his family have benefited from government over the years probably more than 99.9 percent of all Americans).

I mean, how the fuck does Bush think he made his fortune in the first place? (it was with via tax dollars via the corrupt sweetheart Arlington, Texas, baseball stadium deal). And the only reason he was picked to reap that windfall was that he came from the rich and powerful (and politically connected) Bush family dynasty.

Sick, sick, sick.

What a fucking moron. It all kind of reminds me when Ronald Reagan reaped millions of dollars for giving a couple of speeches in Tokyo after he left the White House. Reagan probably thought that he was getting this fortune because the Japanese were so eager to hear his words of wisdom.

In fact, the Japanese had little interest in the babblings of this half-senile retard. All they were doing was paying him back for cooperating with Japanese industrial policy in the 1980s (and stabbing U.S. industry in the back). Although few Americans were aware of this aspect of the story, it was widely understood throughout the East Asian world as yet another example of how America's corrupt leadership will do anything for money (even sell out their own nation's interests).

I hope all these hypocrites roast in hell some day.

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with racists? At least they work for a living.

Manifesto Joe said...

I get the impression that Norquist was trying to do a variation of a famous quip by Bob Dole, who in 1976, as the Republican VP candidate, referred to Jimmy Carter as "Southern-fried McGovern." But Norquist's attempt at humor was indeed ill-advised and came off as racist.

Regarding the "anonymous" comment bringing up Clarence Thomas, any comparison between him and Barack Obama is ludicrous. Thomas, now viewed with the advantage of hindsight, is an opportunist who climbed the ladder with affirmative action while it was to his advantage, and then kicked the ladder away once he had completed the climb. After all his years on the Supreme Court, the only thing that seems to distinguish him from some kind of wax figure in a robe is his consistent vote on the reactionary side of the court. He writes no opinions and seldom speaks. He is manifestly an undistinguished jurist.

Obama has been a professor of constitutional law, and at a top law school. I don't think there's much question that he's as prominent as he now is because of his own merits. Any comparison with a right-wing mannequin like Thomas is absurd.

Marc McDonald said...

Thanks for stopping by and for the comment, Manifesto Joe.

Yes, I do get so sick of the likes of Norquist poisoning our nation's public discourse with his crazy rantings. I recall back in 2003 when he compared the estate tax with the Holocaust.

Let me see if I follow this correctly: someone like Paris Hilton has to make do with a 250-foot yacht, instead of a 300-foot yacht (and this is like the murder of 6 million Jews). Yeah, right.

re: Thomas
>>He writes no opinions and seldom >>speaks.

I was unaware of this. Now, I have even less respect for that clown.

Chris Wilcox said...

Hey Marc,
Annonymous speaks out of the Republican playbook. Attack speaking the truth and twist it to muddle the ugliness that is in their hearts. In fact that tired playbook is being used a lot lately. It's being used to attack Wesley Clark by those who employed the same tactics against John Kerry. We can only hope that America has had enough of that kind of BS for a while.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Chris, thanks for stopping by. I'm really sickened by all the attention given to Wesley Clark's comment (vastly more than was given to Norquist's racist comment).
In any case, all Clark did was reference McCain's military service. He didn't denigrate it in any way (or question McCain's patriotism).
That's a far cry from what the GOP did to Kerry (accusing him of faking his war wounds, accusing him of being a traitor, etc.).