Thursday, May 17, 2007

Race, Politics and Oops, Fox does It Again

All modern men are descended from wormlike creatures, but it shows more on some people.
-- Will Cuppy

Someone (actually several someones), somewhere far, far away on another blog commented on not seeing the connection between racial/ethnic identity and political affiliation.

Now had these someones been American I'd have probably not paid much attention because they'd have obviously been from our ultra-right wing and I do get tired of wasting my breath trying to teach pigs to sing. As it happened they were not Americans and were primarily from that population of folks in the middle east who have bought the right-wing spin that the Republican party cares about the people of Iraq and Democrats only want to cut and run.

I saw a bit on Fox's "1/2 Hour Comedy Show" a few days back that would have illustrated the point here beautifully. Sadly after endless time wasted searching the net, there is no clip of it available. They were poking fun at pregnant women in the workplace. I had no idea that was such a big issue in the country recently but apparently it is to at least some Fox viewers, enough for them to do a parody skit about it in any case.

In the skit the 2 news anchors interview a guest spokesperson for the "pregnant working mothers" movement (for the record and non-US readers, to the best of my knowledge there is no such organized or even dis-organized movement in the US). This "spokesperson" was, ta-da, a pregnant (read full-term, going to give birth any time) woman and the kicker: HISPANIC woman. Now if one does not live in this country you might not be familiar with the all too commonly heard "Mexican women are always pregnant and breeding like cockroaches" and sorry but you are not going to convince me this was not a deliberate choice to play to that particular attitude. They played it up to the hilt right up to having the lady's "water break" in the middle of the interview. There is the rightwing idea of humor. Pardon me for not laughing.

Yes, real live American people say things like that on a daily basis right here in good old US of A. They say a lot of similar and even worse things about just about every other racial or ethnic group on the planet too. You don't even have to try very hard to locate people who say these things. The bad news for Republicans is that almost always these people are members of the Republican party, Republican voters, and quite often define themselves as "Christians" and "conservatives".

Of course it does not mean all Republicans are racists any more than it means all Democrats are not racists but the preponderance of the evidence is in and racism is much more an accepted ideology on the right. A racist Democrat is an anomaly, something most of us find freakish and revolting. A racist Republican is so common it rarely draws comment.

Granted, the "official" Republican party line is that all are welcome and racism is unacceptable. then they trot out the handful of minority members they have for the media and say "see, we are diverse" but you can't really sell that line to the masses when you don't really walk the walk in real life. Especially not when most of your hardcore "base" are the same people still waxing nostalgic for segregation.

There was also a comment (on the far away blog, not on Fox) about how people "should not choose their political affiliation because of their race or choose to identify with a specific race". Nice ideal, I'd like to see everyone self-identify as members of the human race but isn't really a choice when the society you live in identifies it for you and treats you accordingly. I could "choose" to call myself Chinese-American all day long or any other thing that suited my fancy but it would not change the way people around me identified me or the way they interracted with me based on that perception.

So there's my response to the connection. Believe it, don't believe it, get mad or get glad, it won't change a thing about what really exists and why yes, there is a connection.


TomCat said...

I'm with you, Mama, as you can tell by my comment to the above article. great minds...

Not Your Mama said...

I could hardly believe my eyes, the skit was over the top even for Fox. What amazes me even more is the fact that I have not heard a single word about it from anywhere.

TomCat said...

You're right. Usually something like that makes it to Media Matters or News Hounds, but if it was at either I missed it. Only here.