What Racism? (pt. 3)

What, no hot sauce?

Unsurprisingly, this comes to us from the part of California I lived in as a child: that good old Inland Empire.

The latest newsletter by an Inland Republican women’s group depicts Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama surrounded by a watermelon, ribs and a bucket of fried chicken, prompting outrage in political circles.

The October newsletter by the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated says if Obama is elected his image will appear on food stamps — instead of dollar bills like other presidents. The statement is followed by an illustration of “Obama Bucks” — a phony $10 bill featuring Obama’s face on a donkey’s body, labeled “United States Food Stamps.”

The GOP newsletter, which was sent to about 200 members and associates of the group by e-mail and regular mail last week, is drawing harsh criticism from members of the political group, elected leaders, party officials and others as racist.

The group’s president, Diane Fedele, said she plans to send an apology letter to her members and to apologize at the club’s meeting next week. She said she simply wanted to deride a comment Obama made over the summer about how as an African-American he “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.”

“It was strictly an attempt to point out the outrageousness of his statement. I really don’t want to go into it any further,” Fedele said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “I absolutely apologize to anyone who was offended. That clearly wasn’t my attempt.”

So, a food stamp (something only black people use, I guess) with Obama, chicken, ribs, Kool-Aid and watermelon (food only black people consume, I guess), wasn’t meant to be offensive and outrageous. It was meant to lampoon how outrageous Obama was for bringing up the fact that he looks different.

Except, the McCain campaign did make an ad with a dopy looking picture of Obama on a hundred dollar bill before Obama brought up his appearance in reference to U.S. currency.

The president of the group offered this excellent defense:

She said she doesn’t think in racist terms, pointing out she once supported Republican Alan Keyes, an African-American who previously ran for president.

“I didn’t see it the way that it’s being taken. I never connected,” she said. “It was just food to me. It didn’t mean anything else.”

She said she also wasn’t trying to make a statement linking Obama and food stamps, although her introductory text to the illustration connects the two: “Obama talks about all those presidents that got their names on bills. If elected, what bill would he be on????? Food Stamps, what else!”

ALAN KEYES?!  First of all, there’s no way she supported Alan Keyes.  I’m not buying it.  She’s in Chaffey, California.  That means she didn’t support his bid for the Senate in Illinois, and I doubt she supported him over Dole, Bush, or McCain. He’s just the first (and only) black Republican who came to mind.


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  • ladyfresshh

    This continues to pop up and continues to be excused and brushed off because racism is such a bad word no one wants to cop to it.

    I seriously doubt they understand what it means as long as no one was firehosed it’s all good i guess eh?

  • scott

    That is pretty bad. I hope that if people realized the hurt things like this caused they would not do them.

  • discouraged by america

    Yes I agree. It is so sad to me that this continues. I don’t understand why some people are so beeped in the head. I mean, really, “do unto others as you would have done to you.”

  • e.

    i mean for real? how long do white people think they can get away with saying something racist and then saying “oh i didn’t mean to be racist.” enough. stop insulting our intelligence. at these all these hillbillies can keep it real (and simple) and just say they don’t want a black president. jeez. i’m over everyone acting crazy.


  • La

    I suppose next she will say it couldn’t POSSIBLY be racist because she eats watermelon too!

    I wonder how many times Obama could get away with saying cracker…

  • Dana Spinx

    honestly, I thought it was funny. The problem I have is that she runs a company and represents something important and different types of individuals. Act like a professional! Also, own up to what you did. You think all black people are on food stamps and that we only eat KFC. People can say whatever they want just do not give a phony apology. You know(and I know) what you were implying.

  • What irks me most about this whole debacle is Ms. Fedele’s cowardice. When she sat down in front of Photoshop to create this image she knew EXACTLY what type of emotions she was going to evoke. To play coy and naïve after the fact is just deplorable. If you’re going to be racist please, please do us all a favor–just be unabashedly racist like the good ‘ole days!

  • Ah, California at its best.

  • Lazy- to be fair to the woman, she got the image in an e-mail and plopped it in her newsletter. Of course that doesn’t make it better, just fairer.

    Bitch- you know, whenever I hear people call some mostly white state a ‘microcosm of America,’ I laugh, because I’m sure California is one of the few which fits the bill. We have a diverse population, lots of both super rich and super poor people, and, best of all, racists aplenty.

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