Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Spartan Ethic Redux, Take Two

In case you haven't encountered it yet, there's an unpleasant graphic that was emailed around from a staffperson to the Tennessee GOP chair / state senator for Gallatin, Diane Black. One Sherri Goforth was responsible for the distribution.

Nashville is Talking
has probably the choices initial responses.
I spoke with Sherri Goforth minutes ago to confirm she sent this email. She confirmed she had sent it and also said she had received a letter of reprimand from her superiors but said she will stay on the job.

When I asked her if she understood the controversial nature of the photo, Goforth would only say she felt very bad about accidentally sending it to the wrong list. When I gave her a second chance to address the controversial nature of the email, she again repeated that she only felt bad about sending it to the wrong list of people.

“I went on the wrong email and I inadvertently hit the wrong button,” Goforth told NIT. “I’m very sick about it, and it’s one of those things I can’t change or take back.”

Note the total indifference to - or perhaps celebration of - the impropriety of the image inherent in Ms. Goforth's non-apology. Note also the fault she perceives: it wasn't that she sent an offensive, racist image - it was that she sent an offensive, racist image to the wrong distribution list, delivering it to hypersensitive people without a sense of humour who obviously don't get the joke instead of the GOP in-crowd who'd think the image hilarious.

One more thing struck me reading through the noise on this incident. One of the comments at Nashville is Talking included this gem from a commenter calling itself Slimey:
First of all, this is not racism. Racism is the belief that one race is superior over another. This is plain and simple being stupid. Please people, stop calling this racism. Grow up! How many of you laugh during Blazin Saddles? Yet it’s full of racial innuendos and language. I don’t oppose the guy cause he’s black, it’s because he’s a socialist liberal.

Deconstructing for Slimey:

First off, the image. "OOH! A SPOOK! Visible only by the whites of its eyes (as opposed to the whites of the skins of the previous 43 MEN in the progression), here to rape your women / steal your stuff / take over your government." NEWSFLASH: that's what racism looks like.

Second, the "socialist liberal" bit. The US has moved quite far to the right on the political scale in global terms, so it all depends on one's position. To a Fascist, everything looks Socialist.

H/T Shakesville, BBWW et al.


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