So we made it into the New Era! Or some of us have. But how do we tell when something's funny and something's not funny? I've just finished a novel...I hope a comic novel...about survivors of the Black activist days of the 1960s. I wanted to remember all the brilliant work we did but also laugh at how silly we all were sometimes. That's a delicate balance in writing. I applaud the few writers who can pull that off. Those who will risk offending or falling flat on their faces have my admiration. However not everyone should venture into the deep waters of humour!
Mayor Dean Grose of Los Alamitos, a small town in Orange County California, sent around an email to municipal employees with a cartoon entitled "No Easter Egg hunt this year" and a picture of the White House with watermelons growing on the front lawn.
When a Black woman, who received the email, complained the Mayor's response was he didn't know it would be considered racist! That stupidity alone should get him fired. That's after they investigate his using municipal email to send around non-related and racist 'jokes.'
That is only the tip of the iceberg and we'd already seen other attempts at racist humour...most noticeable was the creation by the Chafee Community Republican Women Federation which was called 'Obama bucks' and featured Obama's head on a donkey, a bucket of KFC, a rack of ribs, a pitcher of Kool Aid and a wedge of watermelon.
What is it with white people's obsession with the food that African Americans eat???
Some blogger said Obama just needed to have a tougher skin. I'll agree with that IF someone can show me a picture created during JFK's presidency with a lawn full of drunken Irishmen. I've written my letter demanding the mayor be fired. Just in case you feel so inspired: City Council, City of Los Alamitos, 3191 Katella Ave., Los Alamitos, CA 90720.
I'm all for a sense of humour. If I can laugh at the sexism and homophobia of Black nationalists I can laugh at anything. I've got my Obama/big ear chuckles. But a sense of civility is just as important if we want social change. It's not an abstract concept and begins with each of us.