Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Apparently, Black Friends Gives White People a Free Pass On Their Racism

If you have not already heard about it, Marilyn Davenport, Tea party activist decided to send the following image to her closest White sheet wearing buddies.

The caption with the photo was:  "Now you know why — No birth certificate!"

Marilyn Davenport, is an elected member of the Republican party's central committee, in Orange County.  Proving that she is beyond shame, she apparently described the email as "much ado about nothing."  How dare Blacks get upset with the suggestion that we are sub human.  In fact, it is far more upsetting that anyone would have the nerve to suggest that Ms. Davenport is a racist.
"Oh, come on! Everybody who knows me knows that I am not a racist. It was a joke. I have friends who are black! Besides, I only sent it to a few people - mostly people I didn't think would be upset by it," explained Marilyn Davenport , Teapublican activist and member of the Orange County Republican Party Central Committee. (source)
 I wonder if this woman realizes that the imaginary friends that she had as a child don't actually work as a get out of being called a racist card.  No individual who interacts in a respectful manner with Blacks, could believe for one moment, that this email was not offensive. I wonder how many White woman's tears were shed with this excuse?

According to the L.A. Times, "County GOP Chairman Scott Baugh has called for Davenport to resign,"  but since Whiteness routinely refuses to be held accountable for its racist actions and gets away with it frequently, Davenport refused stating:
"I'm sorry if my email offended anyone, I simply found it amusing regarding the character of Obama and all the questions surrounding his origin of birth," she wrote. "In no way did I even consider the fact he's half black when I sent out the email. In fact, the thought never entered my mind until one or two other people tried to make this about race. We all know a double standard applies regarding this president. I received plenty of emails about George Bush that I didn't particularly like, yet there was no 'cry' in the media about them."
Right, others tried to make it about race, and not the woman responsible for creating the email in the first place.  Despite a history of Blacks being dehumanized through comparisons to animals and more specifically apes and chimps, somehow she missed the racist element to all of this.  I am further not amused by the comparison to George Bush, because when he was constructed as an ape -- it had nothing to do with his racial background, because no such social design has ever attached itself to White men -- let alone Whiteness as a phenomenon.  Basically, Davenport wants us to know that White people are suffering, and have to lash out at the mean people of colour, who demand personhood anyway they can.

As disgusting as the racist image is -- in truth -- it is just the latest manifestation of tea party racism.  For a refresher, check out the following images courtesy of ThinkProgress.org

And this

And This

 And This


And finally, my personal favorite

Davenport knows that what she did is absolutely supported by the White supremacist population.  Even those who look at the above images and are absolutely horrified by the vileness of such overt racism, participate in daily acts of subtle racism that go unchallenged.  It is very easy to appear to be an anti-racist by calling out overt actions of racism, and gives one the feeling of being a good ally (wow who's feeling warm and cuddly?).  Hey, isn't this the kind of thing that Whites marched with Dr. King over?   It is however much harder to combat covert acts of racism, and this in part is why White supremacy continues to have such a tenacious grasp on the populace.  Is it really any wonder that Whites rushed to label this offensive and racist, while ignoring the everyday acts of racism that keep POC living as second class citizens?