Dear Aunt Sophie,
All my life I’ve been aware that it’s a white man’s world, but the other week I finally got up the courage to make a public pronouncement to that effect. Predictably, I’m getting flack from the usual racists. It just goes to show you that a black man can’t say anything in this country.
Let me back up. I’m a TV news kind of guy – think “Today Show,” think “CBS Morning Show,” in other words, think big time. So a few days ago as I was talking about the Winter Olympics, I happened to mention that it looked just like a GOP convention. I thought it was a rather astute observation. In addition to being clever, it’s true. But from the reaction in some quarters, you’d think I’d made a racist comment. I would never do that because I wouldn’t want to offend my best friends, some of whom happen to be white. (They’re also TV big shots, but of course one doesn’t form friendships on that basis.)
Despite my skin color, I happen to have a coveted job in broadcasting, but it is so rare for people of my complexion to have this kind of job that for all practical purposes we’re invisible on television. We don’t have nearly the exposure we should have. I mean, after 60 years of plain vanilla on the tube, you’d think they could do better than the pathetic scraps they throw us. As a matter of fact, I think we should have all the top jobs for the next 60 years. After that, we could split it down the middle. It’s only fair.
Anybody can see the Republican Party is every bit as racist as the television industry. If it weren’t, it would run at least as many black candidates as white ones. And if the Olympics weren’t so racist you’d see 50 percent black skiers and black snow boarders and a lot more than one token black speed skater. But what do you see? Blond, blue-eyed, pale people.
Realistically I have to accept the fact that this will never change as long as there are Republicans. Bush will never allow it.
Now go ahead and tell me where I’m wrong, Ms. Plain Vanilla. I dare you.
How astute of you to have noticed that Zimbabwe, Liberia, and Gabon have no athletes competing in the giant slalom. And I imagine by now you’ve also noticed that the snow is white.
Unfortunately, the previous administration’s basketball program has so far not done much to augment the pool of athletes from which the American luge team is drawn. I’d had such high hopes.
Opportunities for blacks are obviously a tough sell for the Party of Lincoln. Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Rod Paige are proof that it is hell-bent on keeping black people in their place.
In case anyone needed additional proof of how racist the Republican Party is, a careful perusal of the budget will show that since 2001 no portion of foreign aid has been set aside to promote tobogganing in Tobago. Nor has the Alpine country of Uganda received a single penny to maintain its excellent ski runs.
Perhaps the GOP could lure its fair share (whatever that means) of black people from the party of the Loyal Opposition if it resembled it more. Of course, to accomplish that, Republicans would have to learn the basic techniques of simultaneously voting both for and against a war, and they’d have to encourage their embittered also-rans to take junkets to foreign countries from which they could denounce wars while simultaneously supporting the troops.
They’d have to reaffirm the sanctity of the First Amendment, pointing out its unequivocal guarantee of free speech whenever an American flag is to be burned, while endorsing the concept of hate speech laws to protect the feelings of America’s enemies. At the same time they’d make it clear that the amendment does not preclude the unspoken expectation that political cartoonists would see fit to censor themselves when dealing with Islam.
The GOP would also have to re-educate those of its adherents who have lost sight of the function of the funeral as political forum.
Alas, the GOP will probably just continue its miserable ways, siccing Dobermans with Uzis on African-Americans who wish to vote, enacting one law after another preventing blacks from working in sports, entertainment, banking, and education, and keeping non-whites out of the Winter Olympics by threatening to rape their sisters if they show any interest in learning to ski.
Instead of complaining that the Winter Olympics looks like a GOP convention, why don’t you start training for cross country? Or, if that’s too strenuous for a man of your years, why not change your voter registration?
Good luck and God bless.
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