View Full Version : A Day at the Racist

01-18-2010, 08:49 PM
A day at the racist

As we head into tomorrow’s election and the polls show that America believes Obama is now headed in the wrong direction, I believe it is time to drop back to that comfort zone that so many white American’s dwell in and won’t admit, even to themselves. One need only look at the Republican candidate to realize that they cannot nominate anything except wealthy clean cut white men with high moral values, although we have seen time and again over the past two years that these are the same men who are quick to betray those values.

Take the film, “A Day at the Races,” (1937, directed by Sam Wood) which is a Marx Brothers favorite with some wonderful scenes in it, such as the Tutti-Frutti Ice Cream salesman and the wonton girl in the room scenes. However, at one point, after Allan Jones has crooned out another boring love song “Tomorrow is another day” garbage, Harpo picks up a small flute and heads over to the “darkies” side of the tracks. We see the terrible poverty of African Americans but, as Jones (dressed in a clean suit mind you) is quick to point out, “see how happy they are!” Despite their poor shabby clothes and terrible living conditions, everyone is smiling, dancing, and happy to be in their place. (…and they should never leave their place, is implied) As the number progresses, Harpo goes from place to place and entices everyone into the square by calling out with his flute. They answer with, “Who dat man? Dats Gabriel!” Over exaggerated expressions with “bug eyes” and “toothy white grins” that seem like a forced grimace. Once all the black people gather, they start to sing, “All god’s chillin got rhythm…” Ahem! Excuse me? Yes, that’s right and it gets worse. A big fat black man comes out with a huge toothy grin and proceeds to do the splits all the time he jiggles around like big bowl of jelly. The black people break into a wild “African” dance and sing the praises to “dee lord.”

I can understand Sam Wood’s wish to employ poor black people at a time when most American’s were leaving the depression behind (although that ship never came in for America’s African Americans, most remained under the poverty line until after 1970). Yet, to place the American black person in such a light is both humiliating and degrading. However, this is exactly how white America has dealt with the problem of racism from the very beginning, as the problems of “those” people who should be content with their lot in life. “If they don’t like it here, they should go back to Africa.” I can still hear those dreadful racist strains from the 1960’s. Fox News perpetuates those images even now when they attack the president and show him in Voodoo attire but claim that “we didn’t make those images… we’re just reporting on them.” Funny, the other networks don’t.

Enough credibility has chipped away at Barack’s image over the past year that even the most ardent supporter has doubts and hence the Republicans win. Whether they win or lose the election in Massachusetts tomorrow, they’ve won one battle, they’ve reduced the president to an ordinary person, no one special to whom we should show no respect. He should have stayed on the south side. He should have been content to remain in his station. How dare he challenge the stranglehold that white men have had on the power base in this country. Shout him down! Throw curses at him! He’s one of those people… not one of us. Shame on us.