Thursday, November 06, 2008

"It's Not The Color Of Obama's Skin That Makes Him Unacceptable..."

When someone makes the claim that, "It’s not the money, it’s the principle!" They may feel driven by principle, but more often than not, it still comes down to money.

So, when someone makes the statement, "It's not the color of Obama's skin that makes him unacceptable, it's the direction that he wants to take our nation*," several questions are immediately raised. Why do you mention the color of his skin? Why do you feel you have to mention the color of his skin? If you have to say it's not the color of his skin, it probably is.

For someone to make a statement like that reflects poorly on their judgment. For an elected official to make a statement like that is simply unacceptable.

*"It's not the color of (Barack) Obama's skin that makes him unacceptable, it's the direction that he wants to take our nation. He's for bigger government, more taxes, and he's just too liberal. With Democrats in control of the House and Senate, if Obama gets in, they will double down on the welfare state and speed up our slide toward socialism."

28 comments:

Jason said...

Come on, Jim. You know full were there was a segment of Obama supporters that liked to claim people were not supporting him because he was black. Rep. Murtha made several references alluding to it.

We would have to know who made the statement, the discussion that was being held, accusations by those who oppose the speaker, etc.

You can't just imply racism in that statement without some more information.

Loki said...

I believe the quote in question came out of Steve Helms mouth and I agree with Jim, this is just another way of saying "he ain't like us." And by like us I don't mean he's a Socialist. Thinly veiled bull$#@t speak like this makes me feel sad for the ignorant fool spewing it forth.

Complaint Department Manager said...

Loki, rightyou are and agreed.

Jim, remeber what I said about people that "get it"?

d5thouta5 said...

ignorance and stupid....

two very important words that are often construed as the same....
not so...
one is uninformed and can learn... the other is uniformed and has no ability to learn....
the beauty of this country is now that we have made a collective decision we, regardless of our affiliation, will pull together to support our elected officials.....
has been, and always will be, the way we chose to be governed.....

a man I respect very much never tolerated mendacity very well....

can't believe we will either....

leave the sententious fools to be exposed for what they truly are...

Jason said...

It would have been nice if Jim had posted the source of the comment. Does anyone know what he was asked just before he said it?

Дж. Хьюз said...

With all respect, Jason, it is indeed a racist statement regardless of who said it, or where, or in what context.

What if an elected public official stated "It's not the fact he's a Christian that makes him unacceptable, it's the direction that he wants to take our nation?"

To me, either statement would be equally reprehensible, for precisely the same reason. What do you think?

I don't know the Greene County Clerk spoke the words in question or not. But I remain convinced that his behavior in "accidentally" tipping off another member of his party to file a frivolous complaint against his opponent, along with his weaselly attempt to evade responsibility for doing so, marks him as ethically unqualified for this or any other position of public trust.

Anonymous said...

Context doesn't matter with racist remarks. Racism is racism, plain and simple. There is no conversation that a racist remark can be made and you can justify it as ok because of the context. That's crap.

bus rider said...

From the St. Louis Beacon, an interesting article on the same subject.

Jackie Melton said...

I don't know the context either and I don't know who said it for sure but how can one determine that context doesn't matter when one doesn't have any idea what the context was?

Context almost always matters, in my opinion.

What if the remark was made as a direct result of an accusation by someone that the reason the one quoted found Obama unacceptable was because he was black?

Then, in that context it would be very appropriate to reply by saying "it's not the color of his skin that makes him unacceptable."

Surely we could all agree that context would matter under that circumstance?

Anonymous said...

"It's not the color of Obama's skin that makes him unacceptable..." often reflects what I call casual racism. In the first breath the speaker is defending against his problem with race.

Paul Seale said...

Jason is 100% correct.

Its a little tough to make a judgement about someone's comment without putting it in context.

I dont mind adding im more than a little annoyed at the double standard Democrats and Liberals play when it comes to these games.

Complaint Department Manager said...

I know Jim, I usually ask if I think he's going off the grid. Which is why I 100% get it, as there are others who also know him and would rather make a knee jerk reactions instead of doing something like, call him or email him.

This is most amusing.

Jack said...

I've got the context for you. Read it yourself. The quote, complete and in full, came from the Newsleader and is posted below for your convenience. I also posted the link but those only last one week. Then you have to pay. This was part of TO THE POINT section.



Re: Bob Ash cartoon, Oct.25

It's not the color of (Barack) Obama's skin that makes him unacceptable, it's the direction that he wants to take our nation. He's for bigger government, more taxes, and he's just too liberal. With Democrats in control of the House and Senate, if Obama gets in, they will double down on the welfare state and speed up our slide toward socialism.

- Steve Helms, Springfield


http://www.news-leader.com/article/2008810280333

Дж. Хьюз said...

Jackie, I believe that some statements are so reprehensible that no possible context could justify them.

I view your hypothetical context for Mr. Helms's racist remark is sort of a stretch. I sincerely doubt that Mr. Helms would trouble himself to make a peep in defense of someone not completely in lockstep with his political views.

It's not a conservative thing or a liberal thing. In fact, I have often seen you speak out strongly in defense of people you don't usually agree with. I've done it too from time to time. Most principled people do. I just don't see Mr. Helms in that category.

I don't particularly see Rep. Jack Murtha in that category either. I don't care what kind of context he or his defenders care to offer. You can't brand a group of people from a given region with the label "racist." To do so is in itself racism of a sort (and to do it to your own constituents is just downright idiotic). And I find it every bit as repellent as Mr. Helms's remark.

Jackie Melton said...

Дж. Хьюз and Jack,

I was not defending Helms, per se. For me this isn't about who said what so much as the idea that in some cases context matters and in other cases it doesn't.

I do think Jason made a good point that it is well known and has been much talked about that...:

"there was a segment of Obama supporters that liked to claim people were not supporting him because he was black."

...and in all fairness I think some of the commenters here are being a bit knee-jerk, themselves, in seeming to deny and claim there isn't any excuse for ever mentioning color at all, in such a manner, even considering that broader context of discussion in, not just Missouri, but the nation.

Perhaps you should all consider this article:

http://www.stlbeacon.org/issues_politics/election_analysis/why_did_nixon_win_so_many_votes_while_obama_seems_to_have_narrowly_lost

I'm just recognizing this is a broader argument in Missouri and in the country and it is still my opinion that context almost always matters. I really should admit, up front, that I think context ALWAYS matters, period, not just some of the time and not according to political party allegiance.

Sometimes I think I'm too politically correct, softening my message rather that clearly stating my own position, in part, because I think of my other job and don't want my writing there to be judged based on opinions shared in the blogosphere.

As far as Helms goes, the link you provided, Jack, is a he said/he said quote which still provides no context but, I'm not trying to be argumentative with you guys. Apparently, we just disagree.

Obama has not yet signed legislation stating and providing we must be unified in all things and can no longer disagree with one another, has he??? ;)

Anonymous said...

Regardless of the context, it was in extremely poor taste for the Greene County Circuit Clerk to make such a partisan remark, much less to have it printed in the daily newspaper.


It's not that Helms is a christian that makes unacceptable, it's that he has turned what was, under Mike Carr, a non-partisan office into his own personal bully pulpit.

He rode McCain's coattails here in Greene County.

He shouldn't take it as a referendum on his poster.

Jack said...

Jackie,

I didn't make any comments about the quote. I just posted the quote, offering the context, which Helms submitted to the News-Leader in the TO THE POINT section. The context is there and complete for all to read.

I'm not sure there is a he said/he said, though. It's a quote that Helms sent to the news-leader. Make of it what you all will.

I'm staying clear of the argument, thank you very much.

Jason said...

I know it's been discussed but I didn't want Дж. Хьюз to think I was ignoring him. This is just my first visit back to this thread. :)

You said...

" With all respect, Jason, it is indeed a racist statement regardless of who said it, or where, or in what context.

What if an elected public official stated "It's not the fact he's a Christian that makes him unacceptable, it's the direction that he wants to take our nation?"

To me, either statement would be equally reprehensible, for precisely the same reason. What do you think?"

My thought is that if someone had asked him whether or not someone was a Christian would make him unfit to serve then the comment would be a valid response. If anything, the person asking the question would likely have bias or racism or whatever you want to use as an example within them.

If someone asks if Obama is a poor choice for President because he's black then you cannot say someone is racist if they make the statement attributed to Helms. I'm not saying racism might not play a part in it. We just don't have enough information to know.

As for the "To The Point" it's also possible he was replying to another "To The Point" implying racism on the part of those who felt Obama was a poor choice for President. You have to admit that there were folks claiming that you had to be a little racist to vote against him.

There is no doubt racism plays a part in things in Southwest Missouri. However, it's not right to always assume that it's playing a part. In this case, there are just too many variables to make any conclusive decision here.

Jackie Melton said...

Jack,

It was in response to a Bob Ash cartoon, I guess from October 25.

Anyone know what was in that Bob Ash cartoon?

That's the context, it wasn't included and though I did a google search I couldn't find a link to it.

AND, I don't blame you for staying out of the argument but on the other hand, what's to argue? Context simply matters. :)

Lil Jim said...

When someone says to me "No offense, but..." or "Dont get mad, but..." or "I don't want to sound like a jerk..."I prepare to be offended or angry. This isn't exactly that situation but seems pretty close. You're opening can say alot about what you are trying to convey.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Lil Jim. The statement sounds very similar to "not to be racist but..." followed by a racists statement. But I'm sure Mr. Helms wasn't trying to be racist. A lot of his best friends are probably black.

Дж. Хьюз said...

Also sprach Jason:

"My thought is that if someone had asked him whether or not someone was a Christian would make him unfit to serve then the comment would be a valid response. If anything, the person asking the question would likely have bias or racism or whatever you want to use as an example within them."

Jackie might disagree, but I would definitely say that asking a question like "Does being a Christian make one unfit to serve?" betrays anti-Christian bias regardless of its context.

Jason said...

I would agree with you in the case of the question...but the person answering the question is not necessarily containing bias in their answer.

Дж. Хьюз said...

Of course not, Jason. In your hypothetical context, the anti-Christian bias is obviously on the part of the person asking the blatantly anti-Christian question - not the person answering the blatantly anti-Christian question.

In any other imaginable context, however, beginning a statement with "It's not the fact that he's a Christian..." would betray clear and (to my mind) unacceptable bias against Christians.

And if such a statement ever reached the ears of Greene County Clerk Steve Helms, I have no doubt that he would be bleating at the top of his tinny little voice for his associate Timothy Trower to do something about it.

Anonymous said...

http://www.ci.springfield.mo.us/egov/boards/human_right/members.jsp

Jason said...

"In any other imaginable context, however, beginning a statement with "It's not the fact that he's a Christian..." would betray clear and (to my mind) unacceptable bias against Christians."

Absolutely and that was my entire point. In the context we have laid out, the comment would not betray bias. That's why we could not pass judgment one way or the other on the statement until we knew to what that statement was responding.

It's very easy for someone to spin a comment when you have no idea the context for that statement.

I ain't sitting in the back of the bus~ said...

You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never to get involved in a land war in Asia. And only slightly less well known is this:
comments such as this are a sign of racism but not racist in and of itself.

Somebody that makes these kind of remarks, you can bet they harbor some bad feelings about black people.

I know people who make jokes about black people (or gays) but insist they aren’t racist (or anti-gay) ”Its just a joke! Have a sense of humor!” In this case, where there’s smoke, most of the time there’s fire.

Besides, Having lived in the South, many on the East and West coasts consider anyone who speaks with a Southern drawl to be less than intelligent.

Дж. Хьюз said...

Jason a dit:

Absolutely and that was my entire point. In the context we have laid out, the comment would not betray bias. That's why we could not pass judgment one way or the other on the statement until we knew to what that statement was responding.

That may be how you understand my point, but it wasn't my point at all. Absent a leading question like "Do you have a problem with Christians serving in political life" - which I frankly did not see in the Bob Ash cartoon - I still have to regard Steve Helms's reference to Barack Obama's descent as fundamentally racist, just as I regard Rep. Murtha's offensive labeling of his constituents as an affront against western Pennsylvanians.

I realize your mileage varies on this one, as does Jackie's. As she points out, we will just have to disagree on this one.