Sunday, October 14, 2007

Clinton’s Watermelon Postcard

Folks, before reading the rest of this post, I encourage you to take a look a racially insensitive postcard former President William Jefferson Clinton, then a college student, sent his grandmother in 1966, three years after Dr. King’s memorable “I Have a Dream” speech.

I’ll wait while you go view the postcard and read background information concerning it here.

It’s quite something, isn’t it?

The postcard’s a reminder of how open and pervasive racism was then. We can argue whether since 1966 America’s made genuine progress in how it views and treats blacks (I think there’s been considerable progress), but there’s no doubt the racism that exist’s now is less openly practiced.

As for Clinton sending such a card while he was in college, I’m inclined to see it as more sophomoric and insensitive than racist.

What do you think?

And how will MSM, “civil rights groups,” and “the Democartic-base” will treat this?

The answer’s easy, isn’t it?

Not the way they would if the postcard had been sent by President Bush or any of the leading contenders for the Republican presidential nomination while they were in college.

If that had happened, we’d already be hearing and reading about “a firestorm of outrage,” with NAACP condemnations , editorials, Chris Matthews and Harry Reid expressing “shock” and demanding “an immediate apology and explanation,” and the Revs. being the Revs.

But Bill’s a Democrat, so even if the Revs angle for a little “camera time,” there won’t be much of a fuss.

As of 3 P. M. Eastern on 10/14, the NY Post is the only news organization at reporting the story.

The Post put the story on the net early this morning.

If MSM-Dem news organizations such as the NYT, CBS, NPR, and WaPo wanted to cover the story, there’d be reporting it by now.

I think if the story is going to get much MSM attention, bloggers will have to have to push it out there.


Anonymous said...

It's only racist, if you think black people liking watermelon is racist. Just my opinion. Personally, I see it as a person being amazed at a very large watermelon.

I think it's more racist, to think it was racist.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the origination of watermelon? Watermelon (and many other melons) originated from Africa (just like hot chilis originated in South American and cucumbers originated on the Indian subcontinent). People first thought that watermelons were from the middle east until it was discovered that wild watermelons are found in central Africa. They have high concentrations of lycopenes and other antioxidents and of course where water was scarce, watermelons supplied the water. They are also sweet which makes them pallitable to everyone. Okra also is native to africa and as many know is a favorite food of many southerners of both races. Based on the history of where watermelons originated, it is no wonder that said fruit is associated rightfully with the people from Africa. Unfortunatley, that fact is abused in such items as the Clinton post card and other items throughout the ages.

Debrah said...

3:56 PM makes a very good point.

BTW, I love all kinds of melon...especially watermelons. Very healthy!

It should be remembered that Bill Clinton is a very Southern boy and growing up as he did would have made using such an image a bit questionable.

He knew the inference.

I also agree with John about the political side of it.

If this had been anyone but a Lib-Dem, the card would be plastered nonstop all over cable news.

Anonymous said...

I am not a Clinton Fan (either of them) but obviously his grandmother gave him the cards and he sent one to her. Big deal.

There was too much real and very serious racism going on at the time to worry about a stupid (even if insulting) watermelon postcard. Bloody Sunday was in l965. Racial insensitivity wasn't something people had the luxuary of whining about in 1966. It was hatred (and true discrimination like being denied access to a hospital) that killed, not insensitivity.

You are right, of course, if a republican's name was on the card, they'd be crucified. What was Trent Lott's great sin? Didn't he say something nice about an old man?

mac said...

If the child on the postcard wasn't an object of ridicule, I'd say the picture was cute. Clinton, making a black person an object of ridicule? Sister Souljah, say it ain't so!

TruthHurts001 said...

It's only racist, if you think black people liking watermelon is racist.

A few years back, some folks called Fuzzy Zoeller a racist for asserting that black people like collard greens and fried chicken.

Would he have been treated differently if he had substituted watermelon for collard greens?

I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Do you think, if we trot out any of the racist remarks any of us made, back when it was OK to be racist, it would hold up to scrutiny today, IF we have changed our ways and despise racism?

For God sake, racism will NEVER die so long as people, black and white, stir up the issues, dredge up the past and pretend that no one can change.

I despise Bill Clinton for so many more important reasons. I don't think he is a racist now. I don't believe he did anything back then, as regards the card, other than make an old lady happy by using the gift she gave him.

Even if he had evil, racist intent by using the card. Bill Clinton is not a racist.

Anonymous said...

Uh, dogs, I think you are missing the meta point here.....

If my grandmother had given me a postcard like that (not that she would have - much too middle class southern to show such manners) and asked me to return it to her, I would have done so without hesitation.

Nobody loves you like your granny.

But to have "the first black president" do something like that WITHOUT an anguished discussion on Oprah, or a dismissive editorial at Time, well, draw your own conclusions.

See also: Sanchez.