Most righties appear to appreciate that racism is bad, but they have a remarkably crude understanding of what racism actually is.
Today’s illustration: This rightie blogger who accuses Steve Gilliard of “racism” for lampooning Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele. Lt. Gov. Steele is pictured in old-style minstrel show “blackface.”
“File under category of: ‘Racist Imagery — It’s OK If You Are A Liberal'” says the rightie.
A few commenters noted that Mr. Gilliard is, in fact, African American. This didn’t seem to make a dent in the outrage. “The idea that a person should be ‘allowed’ to say something only because he is part of a certain group is repugnant.”
I personally don’t see how putting Lt. Gov. Steele in blackface is as bad as, say, portraying Kerry and Edwards as the Ambiguously Gay Duo or ridiculing John Kerry by dressing him as a woman. These images are homophobic and sexist, respectively, because the only point to them is ridiculing the subjects by associating them with a “substandard” group.
But in the News Blog photo of Lt. Gov. Steele, the imagery has a more specific point. I take it that Lt. Gov. Steele has a history of being spineless on racism. And “blackface” has long symbolized African-American acquiescence to racial oppression. If you understand the symbolism, you appreciate that Steve’s imagery is making a statement in opposition to racism. And that would be true if a white blogger with Photoshop had put Lt. Gov. Steele in blackface.
They’re slow, I tell you.