Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Is It Cute When White Pundits Play With Black Officials' Names?

I don't keep complete records on these kind of things, but when I heard Charlie Sykes ragging this morning on "Loophole Louie Butler," it reminded me of his earlier habit of calling former Milwaukee Public Schools Board member Leon Todd "Laptop Leon."

It was an oh-so-cute reference to Todd's long-ago proposal to give every MPS student a laptop computer - - a plan that went nowhere within the system, as I recall, but which wasn't a proposal unique to Milwaukee.

And Butler is on the State Supreme Court. Is there no respect left on the Right?

The righty bloggers who take their cues from Sykes have picked up the Loophole nickname, too.

Example, here.

And a new Club for Growth anti-Butler TV ad is built entirely around the nickname, which it says Butler labels affectionate.

Oh - - I get it: the Right is using it to be nice to Butler.

We'll hear more of that all week leading up to the April 1 election: Sykes told his audience this morning that he will introduce a new anti-Butler theme everyday until the election, focusing on Butler's supposed anti-business proclivities.

Those Club for Growth - - Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce - - Right-Wing talk radio connections are getting easier and easier to spot.

But back to their fixation on Black officials' names...

FranklinNow.com blogger Kevin Fischer, who also works full time for State Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin), and is the go-to fill-in host for two WISN-AM 1130 talk radio programs (man: how does he manage those hours?), likes to refer to Barack Obama as Barack Hussein Obama.
In this March 24th posting, Fischer recounts a liberal blogger's attack on Obama.


But the blogger refers to "Barack Obama," while Fischer adds "Hussein" in his own lead sentence when introducing the other blogger's text.

How come?

Then you have this item, with a bold-faced headline: Yes, Barack Hussein Obama Is A Racist.

Is this super-technical due diligence journalism, wherein the writer uses subjects' full names, though the only place you see this style routinely used is in law-enforcement documents?

Apparently not.

In this blog example, again with "Barack Hussein Obama" in the bold-faced headline, Fischer displays the full, name-playing double-standard.

The blog posting is a horse-race round-up of opinion about where the campaign stood at the time, discussing and referencing opinion about John McCain - - no middle name by Fischer, while he ID's Hillary Clinton merely as "Clinton."

Only Obama gets the middle name treatment.

This repetition of "Hussein" throughout Fischer's blog is cheap and classless, and as deliberate an act of denigration as are "Loophole Louie" and Laptop Leon."

But because it enables Fischer to wield an irrelevant fear-mongering club against Obama - - Hussein = Middle East/foreigners/Muslims/Saddam - - it's even sleazier.

So here's the question, fellas:

Why do you guys like to fool around so much with the names of Black public officials?


Anonymous said...

you wonder if it is racist or something when right-wing bloggers mock the names of these black politicians? Please spare us. Where is your outrage when they mock Rice or Steele or, for that matter, Bush?

Stop throwing bogus claims of racism at everything--your weak comments detract from the validity of real racism. Using somebody's middle name is hardly racist.

And while you're at it, clean up your own house before you criticize the neighbors.

James Rowen said...

Thanks for sharing that - - though next time, Patrick, address the issue.

krshorewood said...

The Hussein thing is not just racist, but an ignorant appeal to not only fear of Islam, but an adamant refusal to even want to find out anything about Islam.

Fischer and Sykes are two uplifting good examples of the glorification of what someone once labeled :bold ignorance.

Patrick said...

Were you asking for respect when Liberals have called the President vile names and say he should be killed?

How about when a Madison radio host "apologized" for calling Condi Rice Aunt Jemima by passing out pancake mix and syrup?

What about your fellow bloggers calling Scott Walker Scooter?

I didn't think so.

James Rowen said...

I'm do not call Scott Walker Scooter. I have never called for any violence against Bush. I did not have a blog when the Condoleezza Rice slur was made, but have been critical of it.

But take responsibility for your words and use of the Loophole nickname, Patrick.