So if reading it will give you an owie in your tum-tum, feel free to skip over it.
Seems that Bernie Mac made some "off color" jokes at an Obama fundraiser. Or more accurately, as Melissa put it, "Bernie Mac makes misogynistic joke at Obama event." Mac also apparently joked about living with "two hoes." No one outside the event itself seems to know just about whom Mac was referring, though it's possible Mac was talking about 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Natasha.
Mac's comments were "inappropriate" enough that one of the men - and how sad it is that I feel the need to emphasize how the heckler was a male, so people will grant him legitimacy - in the audience heckled Mac, calling for Obama to come out. Which is only right, since he paid $2,300 to be there; I don't think Bernie Mac is able to command that kind of ticket price just yet. And Obama did indeed chastise Mac, only to immediately assure him that he was "only messing with him."
People are saying how this is just typical Bernie Mac. True. Can someone explain, then, why Bernie Mac was opening up for Obama in the first place? It boggles my mind to think that no one in Obama's campaign operation considered the possibility that Bernie Mac might say something unhelpful to a Presidential campaign. That's an embarrassing level of incompetence.
The best response to this comes via the Michelle Obama Watch, a blog which details the myriad ways in which she is shown disrespect.
The fact that he thought that it was okay to use this language to describe women should make apparent how deeply rooted misogyny and racism is in the Black Entertainment Industrial Complex. After we get through running Bernie Mac out of town on a rail, please turn your attention to Urban Radio and Viacom’s trilogy of tawdriness ( BET, MTV, and VH1). Read our earlier post about the campaign turning a blind eye to previous “riffs” from Black comedians inferring that Black women are inherently unsuitable to be First Lady of the United States.
A man cannot serve two masters. This campaign is not going to be able to embrace an industry ( Black Entertainment Industrial Complex) that is built ENTIRELY on the backs of Black women and degrading, humiliating and exploiting them and then turn around and say “Trust Us” on women’s rights and gender equity. Cut them loose. You are running for President of the United States, not the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of MALE Colored People. Don’t talk about it. Walk about it.
Just kidding? Ha Ha Hey-ell!
And with apologies to Gina, the author of this post, but I need to quote this bit as well because it's simply too good to summarize:
I am reading some other blogs and readers are using the Bernie Mac FIASCO to imply that Hillary Clinton would have been a better choice on “women’s” issues. Sorry folks, everybody’s hands are dirty when it comes to the degradation of Black women in this country. Need I remind you that Hillary Clinton campaigned with THIS MAN. . .Yes, folks that is Bob “Beelzebub” Johnson, multimedia crack dealer. The founder of Black Entertainment Television. A money-grubbing sociopath who made his billions by promoting and glamoring the Regime of Bullets, Booty and Bling. The greatest enemy of Black women in my lifetime. Responsible for singlehandedly driving women from Hip Hop other than roles as props and prostitutes. He is worse than Hugh Hefner because Hefner acknowledges he is a dirty old man. Johnson somehow views himself as a “Black leader.” So slam Barack Obama’s campaign staff for their foolish and idiotic decision to have Bernie Mac perform at a fund raiser, but please spare me on whether Hillary Clinton’s record on the degradation, exploitation, and denigration of Black women is any better than Barack Obama’s same for McCain and calling his wife a C$@#!.
The worst response to this, worse even than Obama's unwillingness to tell Bernie Mac, at the least, to shut the hell up, is the way in which a couple of progressive - and I use that term loosely, for this issue at least - bloggers have responded to this.
Thers at Firedoglake wrote an utterly stupid post intended to belittle anyone who might think this would, or perhaps should, damage Obama's campaign. SusanUnPc at No Quarter apparently didn't get the joke, so LGM felt the need to ridicule her - indeed everyone at No Quarter - and John Cole decided to dole out his special brand of chastisement as well. And then Thers used Eschaton to add to the mockery.
Being a liberal means different things to different people, I guess. I think Democrats should toughen up their politics. I think Dems need to dump the faux-compromise bullshit of the Village and start actually running Congress, Republicans be damned. I think we need to be tough, even down-and-dirty, and I'm willing to support, in the name of Democratic victory and control of government institutions, some Democrats who don't share my views on reproductive freedom or the silly concept that gays should have full equality under the law, even in the realm of marriage, if such positions are necessary to win their district and if we have leadership which will ensure such views don't manage to dominate the caucus.
At the same time, for me at least, being a liberal means having a few principles that are unchanging. It means that when those principles are violated, even during a Presidential campaign, the violators need to be held accountable. Even during an election. Even when our opponent is McCain, even when Bush is the incumbent. Women are not "hoes" - something upon which we all agreed when it was Don Imus doing the talking. But I guess Imus wasn't campaigning for Obama at the time, so he wasn't issue his free pass from the liberal blogosphere.