Remember the controversy in Washington a few years back when a white aide to Mayor Williams made the mistake of saying “niggardly” when talking about the amount of federal funds allocated for some program?
Do you remember how some racialists hit the ceiling and Williams was forced to fire his aide?
Washington, DC’s black Mayor, Anthony Williams, gladly accepted the resignation of his white staff member, David Howard, because Mr. Howard uttered the word ‘niggardly’ in a private staff meeting.
Webster’s Tenth Edition defines the word ‘niggardly’ to “grudgingly mean about spending or granting”. The Barnhard Dictionary of Etymology traces the origins of ‘niggardly’ to the 1300’s, and to the words ‘nig’ and ‘ignon’, meaning “miser” in Middle English. No where in any of these references is any mention of racial connotations associated with the word ‘niggardly’.
In other words, it’s a perfectly good and useful word. But there is the unfortunate coincidence that it starts with the same four letters as the word “nigger”. The news media are so loathe to use the “N” word, that they’ve been substituting the phrase “racial slur”, as in “…they mistook the word ‘niggardly’ for a racial slur…”
Washington, DC’s population is 60% black, and it’s citizens have been very critical of Mayor Williams for “not being black enough” — especially because he hired several well-qualified whites to help him run this troubled city.
It was a perfect example of political correctness in the media plus the conniving racial grievance mongers who knew full well that “niggardly” is a perfectly acceptable word, does not have anything to do with race, and the farthest thing from Mr. Howard’s mind when he uttered it was to make a racial slur.
Reality, intent, and Webster’s Dictionary matter little to the racialists. It is their mission in life to gin up outrage over anything that could possibly be construed as racist - even when it is clearly and definitively not.
For we are not talking about the redress of a grievances but rather the exercise of power - raw, in your face, power for power’s sake. When Al Sharpton announced that the New York Post cartoon depicting two white police officers who have just shot a chimp with the caption “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill” was worse than the “nappy headed ho” comment by Don Imus, you knew that the writing was on the wall and the New York Post was in trouble.
And, despite the fact that the cartoon had nothing to do with Obama (it referred to the recent story about a chimp that was shot dead by police after it mauled a woman), the racialists, and their white toadies who saw an opportunity to attack Post owner Rupert Murdoch, put the pedal to the metal and came out in full throated howls of outrage over this “slurring” of Obama.
Here’s the offending cartoon:
The chimp does not resemble the president which is the usual practice for racist cartoons. Besides, anyone with half a brain and who follows the news knows full well Obama did not write the bill. The cartoon refers to the fact that the chimp was mentally ill hence, the idea that the person (people) who wrote the stimulus bill - Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid - should have their heads examined.
There were no lack of warnings before Obama was elected that this would be the tactic of the left to stifle dissent. I wrote at the time they would be crazy NOT to use the race card as early and often as they could. It is the most powerful political weapon the left and the Democrats have at their disposal and it is something their opponents cannot hope to counter or match.
It appears that the mostly white Huffington Post got the ball rolling as their excellent but partisan political reporter Sam Stein wrote the initial article decrying the portrayal of Obama in such a fashion. It was picked up by the netnuts and before you knew it, Al Sharpton was in front of the Post building carrying on about the “racial smear.”
It was all over cable news in a matter of hours. Condemnations emanated from the usual quarters in media and academia - all pretending that the cartoon was about Obama and not a crazy dead chimp who had mauled a woman.
The point had absolutely nothing to do with the cartoon but that opposition must be squashed and opponents of the administration intimidated. What surprised me is that it was done with Nazi-like efficiency. Old Joe Goebbels couldn’t have carried it off better.
Like a grotesque Kabuki dance where everyone knows their parts and what movements they should make, this self-orchestrated gaggle of left wing zealots appeared almost out of nowhere, all saying the same thing, all trying to shame the Post into a humiliating retraction. Today, they succeeded - to a certain extent:
It was meant to mock an ineptly written federal stimulus bill.
But it has been taken as something else - as a depiction of President Obama, as a thinly veiled expression of racism.
This most certainly was not its intent; to those who were offended by the image, we apologize.
However, there are some in the media and in public life who have had differences with The Post in the past - and they see the incident as an opportunity for payback.
To them, no apology is due.
Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon - even as the opportunists seek to make it something else.
The Post, I’m afraid, is dreaming. A cartoon will never be “just a cartoon” as long as there are dishonest, unscrupulous, greedy (donations to Sharpton’s personal piggy bank of an “activist group” probably surged so that the good Reverend will no doubt buy himself a couple of additional $3000 suits), and shameless partisans who will seek to use the excuse of President Obama’s race to invent, exaggerate, or or simply lie about any criticisms of the president they believe they can get away with employing the race card.
Unfortunately, for the vast majority of Americans who don’t follow the news closely, they will more often than not be successful. The only way to stop this slide into authoritarianism is for the press to do its job and act as unbiased referee between those in power and those in opposition.
A vain hope given how in the tank the press is at this point for Obama.