Blackface Beyond the Pale
Over at Ragged Thots, occasional Reason contributor Robert A. George lays into blogger Steve Gilliard who posted a fucked-up, Photoshopped blackface shot of Maryland Lt. Gov Michael Steele. Steele, who is African American, recently announced his candidacy for a US Senate seat. Gilliard, who is also African American, declaims Steele as a "Sambo" because the pol refused to condemn Gov. Robert Ehrlich's appearance as a golf club that up to that point never accepted a black member.
George's first post on the matter is here. A snippet:
Yes, I know that Steve Gilliard is black (this isn't the first time that we have sparred over racial language; this post has links to some of our previous exchanges). That doesn't change the fact that, in my view, he was happily trading in racist imagery as an attack against Michael Steele. Rather than try to even consider Steele on issues, it is far easier to mock and denounce his very existence as a black man who chooses to be Republican.
And here's an update from George:
1) The real-life political world is very different from the blogosphere; 2) the across-the-line offensiveness of Steve's words and imagery were objectively apparent—and politically self-destructive. Explaining to most people that they were created by a black person criticizing another black person just doesn't cut it. Certain things are, ahem, "beyond the pale".