WASHINGTON, October 29, 2013 — It’s the 21st century but blacks remain the one race people still think it’s okay to insult, mock and degrade with impunity. Actress Julianne Hough thought it would be funny to dress in black face for a Halloween Party to look like the black female character Crazy Eyes in the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black.”
Hough almost certainly would never dream of dressing up as a Holocaust victim or Hasidic Jew but painting her face to look like a black person seemed to make perfect sense. For those who think this is much ado about nothing, a history lesson is in order. During the 19th century, white actors began painting their faces black with big red lips to perform caricatures of blacks as lackadaisical coons and darkies.
Blackface may have gone out of vogue long ago after passage of the Civil Rights Act but many Americans like Hough still view blacks in racist stereotypes and have no problem showing it. Some Republicans, particularly the white male, establishment ones, just don’t get it either when it comes to blacks. In an interview about North Carolina’s voter ID law with the Daily Show, Buncombe County, North Carolina Republican precinct chair Don Yelton made a few distasteful comments about blacks.
After stating he had “been called a bigot before,” Yelton told the Daily Show, “Matter of fact one of my best friends is …(pause for emphasis) BLACK.” Thinking people wouldn’t think he’s a racist, Yelton then said when he was a young black he “didn’t call a black a black but a negro.” Well, that’s not appropriate now. Perhaps Don could use a history lesson on Civil Rights movement and all.
Yelton added that if North Carolina’s voter ID law hurt lazy young kids, lazy whites and “lazy black people that wants the government to give them everything, so be it.” So Yelton thinks all blacks are lazy and want a government handout?
He didn’t say all lazy whites want a government handout.
With the Republican National Committee’s “talk” of the Party’s need to be more inclusive and go after the minority vote, one would think Republicans like Yelton might avoid such disparaging rhetoric about blacks or “negroes.” After bowing to pressure from the Buncombe County GOP Chairman to resign last week, Yelton whined “I’ve had enough of their [Republican Party’s] political correctness and their inability to let people say what they think.”
Yelton needs a wake up call that calling blacks lazy is racist, has zero to do with political correctness and won’t help the GOP earn more minority votes, which is what the party sorely needs to win future national elections. The very reason Mitt Romney lost the 2012 presidential election is because both his campaign and the RNC thought the path to victory was only going after the white vote. We see how well that worked out.
What is really disturbing about Hough and Yelton’s behavior is they both didn’t see anything wrong with their actions in the first place. Only after others called both out on their racist behavior did they apologize for it in Hough’s case or resign in Yelton’s.
People like Hough should try seeing blacks as equal human beings to whites rather than the target of racist fun. Then they wouldn’t have to apologize for how you truly feel.
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