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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Wed. 01/07/04 08:30:52 PM

Hillary Clinton: Racist

Democrats in Self-Destruct Mode XCVIII

And, Core's Law of New Media.

Hillary Clinton made a racist joke the other day.

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Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton apologized for joking that Mahatma Gandhi used to run a gas station in St. Louis, saying it was "a lame attempt at humor." The New York Democrat made the remark at a fund-raiser Saturday [Jan. 3]. During an event here for Senate candidate Nancy Farmer, Clinton introduced a quote from Gandhi by saying, "He ran a gas station down in St. Louis."

After laughter from many in the crowd of at least 200 subsided, the former first lady continued, "No, Mahatma Gandhi was a great leader of the 20th century." In a nod to Farmer's underdog status against Republican Sen. Kit Bond, Clinton quoted the Indian independence leader as saying: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

The director of a U.S. center devoted to Gandhi's teachings said the remarks amounted to stereotyping and were insensitive.

After being approached by The Associated Press to clarify the remarks, Clinton suggested in a statement late Monday that she never meant to fuel the stereotype often used as a comedic punch line that certain ethnic groups run America's gas stations.

"I have admired the work and life of Mahatma Gandhi and have spoken publicly about that many times," Clinton said. "I truly regret if a lame attempt at humor suggested otherwise."

Michelle Naef, administrator of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, a Memphis, Tenn.-based organization founded in 1991 by a Gandhi grandson, credited Clinton and her husband, former President Clinton, with long having "supported the Gandhi message." But she said Saturday's remarks "could be incredibly harmful."

"I don't think she was, in any way, trying to demean Mahatma Gandhi," Naef said. "To be generous to her, I would say it was a poor attempt at humor. Perhaps I'm overly sensitive, but I find it offensive when people use stereotypes in that way." ....

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A clue for some folks who don't understand why a fuss is being raised about this: it was not a joke about Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi; it was a joke about Indians and other Asians living in America. IOW, it was a racist remark.

It is also the kind of joke for which a Republican or other conservative would be fried alive by mainstream media — which is, of course, going to give Hillary Clinton a pass on this.

So, we have a double-double standard at work here: (1) Clinton herself would have feigned (and I do mean feigned) outrage if a Republican had said any such thing, and (2) mainstream media would hound to death any Republican who had said such a thing, until he had to resign something or other.

As to it not being meant to fuel the stereotype often used as a comedic punch line that certain ethnic groups run America's gas stations — that is obviously a lie. Of course that's what it was meant to do: it wouldn't have been said if it hadn't been meant to do that; it wouldn't have made any sense if it hadn't been meant to do that.

And that Naef sure is a bright one: no doubt Clinton was not "trying to demean Mahatma Gandhi". Obviously, she was trying to demean every member of an entire ethnic group. Naef's stupid remark is, I take it, a lame attempt to distract attention from the manifestly racist nature of Hillary's joke.

Let's be honest, shall we? The only problem Clinton and her buddies have with this joke is that the public got wind of it. And, as a corollary, you can't tell me she hasn't done something like it before.

Frankly, I don't really care: the general election in November is going to make up for a whole lot — especially with Hillary Clinton sitting her last two years in the US Senate in a noticably smaller minority. :-)

Oh. This is another illustration, Faithful Reader, of what I'll call Core's Law of New Media: There Is No Such Thing As Local News Anymore. In the Internet Age, anything anybody says anywhere can be known almost immediately everywhere else.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Wed. 01/07/04 08:30:52 PM
Categorized as Democrats in Self-Destruct Mode & Media & Most Notable & Political.


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