I’m Black!

Hmm…Somehow that title doesn’t work as well.  What I wanted to say is that I’m back to blogging after an overly long hiatus.  Instead, I’ve told a lie about my race.  And made everyone uncomfortable.

This reminds me of what I found to be the MOST awkward moment of the eight or so hours of joyfully tearful inauguration coverage that I watched.  The inawkuration award, if you will.  ABC interviewed Donna Brazile, Democratic strategist, campaign manager for Al Gore, and all-around ass-kicker (although, to be frank, it might be a different world today if she’d kicked just a bit more ass in 2000.)  But we really can’t blame her.

Anyway, Donna was telling Diane and Charlie about how she’d swiped the official inaugural fleece blanket from Barack Obama’s chair because he’d left it behind.  In full-on yuck-it-up mode, Charlie said the legal staff would look into whether it was a felony or a misdemeanor.

“We have a black president now,” Brazile replied.  “So it’s neither.”  Wow, I thought. That’s awkward. Everyone laughed, and moments later, she backed off the comment, which Charlie pointed out and she admitted.

See the clip here: http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=6691517

Stupid annoying people on other blogs complained about how this was a double-standard, if a white person said it, blah blah blah.  Whatever.  It would be different if a white person said it.  ‘Nuff said.  But I actually think it’s sad that Brazile said it, that she made such a joke, suggestive of internalized racism, on that most significant day.   It’s a comment she made without thinking during a lighthearted interview; she probably was too happy to be thinking–I know I was.  And it was clear she wished she hadn’t said it.  Equally disconcerting Charlie and Diane’s uproarious laughter.  Surely they wanted to keep the tone of the interview and the day celebratory, rather than probing what such a comment really meant.  Still, the ease with which they giggled made me uneasy.  All of this behavior indicated the issues of racial perception and stereotypes that we still need to work on as a society.

Anyway, that’s why the awkward award of inauguration day goes to Donna Brazile, even though I like her a lot.  (Sorry to all those who were wishing for Cheney-on-Wheels.  Shame on you.  That’s mean.  Like I’d ever award him anything.)

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1 comment so far

  1. JT on

    I just want to point out that (based on years of quality New England education) I am certain that it is specifically my fault she said that.

    My Bad.

    With that apology, I also want to assure you that I am doing everything I can to prevent anyone like her from ever getting the opportunity to make us feel awkward again.


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