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One word of praise? February 2, 2007

Posted by pcorcoran in Article, Link, Politics, Racism, Washington Post.
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It’s always fun (for me) to see public figures roasted alive for their acts of unconscious racism.

On the one hand you have your conscious perpetrators: the Mel Gibsons and the Michael Richards of the world.  Sure, there is schadenfreude there too.  But that is bone-headed conscious stuff — the lowbrow purse-snatching and shoplifting variety.

The real gems are the unconscious ones like Senator Joe Biden’s recent gaffe.  That’s the busted-for-white-collar-stock-options-fraud variety, the drilling-through-the-side-of-the-vault-but-forgetting-about-the-alarm kind.

Biden’s racist gaffe?  He called Barack Obama “articulate”.  If you were to call me articulate, I’d probably say “thanks”, but it wouldn’t really boost my ego.  But Barack Obama?  Who on earth would be surprised to hear that he is articulate?  And why would that be any form of flattery, unless the implication is that it is somehow unusual?

Will wonders never cease? Here we have a man who graduated from Columbia University, who was president of the Harvard Law Review, who serves in the U.S. Senate and is the author of two best-selling books, who’s a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, and what do you know, he turns out to be articulate. Stop the presses.

Har.  That’s telling ’em.

I think the word that Senator Biden wished he had said would be eloquent.  Now even I would be flattered by that.