Today in Racism: What Position Did You Play? House Slave!


The jaunty orange-plaid open collar look: daringly dressed down or dreadfully drab?

A Missouri politician says dismantling a state pension bureaucracy is no different than slavery. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jake Wagman reports on a talk radio rant by State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-University City): 

"It's nothing different than what slave politics was," Chappelle-Nadal told Bernie Haynes on WGNU (920-AM). "The whole impression of an individual who was a house slave versus the person who was in the field."

Chappelle-Nadal has made no secret of her disdain for Rex Sinquefield, the wealthy financier who has offered part of his fortune to aid the push to dismantle the state-appointed Police Board.

In a hearing earlier this year, she referred to him as "his Rexiness."

On the air this week, Chappelle-Nadal compared Sinquefield to a "plantation owner."

"What these plantation owners like Rex Sinquefield are doing is using some of their house slaves that are elected in St. Louis," Chappelle-Nadal said. "They're actually disguising the conversation and saying this is a civil rights issue."

Chappelle-Nadal, who is from University City, says she is "off the plantation. I'm a Missouri state senator. I'm no longer on a plantation."

Chappelle-Nadal's taste for centralization over local control sometimes pays dividends, for example in this detailed critique last year of a proposed Missouri-wide immigration papers crackdown. 

In this case, however, she not only Godwined the argument but ignored the actual slavery-era foundation of the St. Louis Police Board, four out of five of whose commissioners are appointed by the governor in a system established to give Confederate sympathizers in Jefferson City control of the city's armory. 

The local NAACP and 69 percent of St. Louis voters want to abolish the board and establish local control over the police department. But doing so might also give the city more flexibility in handling the pension crisis. And so, in the byzantine logic of big government entitlement, opposing the plan has apparently become a matter of urgent blackitude. 

Even so, Chappelle-Nadal didn't even score today's top racially charged goof, because a) the day isn't over yet and b) former Sen. George Allen (R-Virginia) is still walking the earth. Old Dominion's gift that keeps on giving has so perfected his game that he can make all of America look stupid just by asking a guy what position he played. State Senator, you're no George Allen. 

[Chappelle-Nadal link courtesy of Mark Sletten]

Update: See? Until the day is over you can't know who the winner is. Joe Leibrandt sends in a Public Policy Polling report [pdf] indicating that 46 percent of Mississippi Republicans support making interracial marriage illegal.