A recent email forwarded by Orange County GOP official Marilyn Davenport depicting President Obama's face on the body of a monkey has sparked outrage from the California NAACP. The photo included the caption "Now you know why no birth cirtificate."
It's pretty interesting to note the stark contrast in reactions from one image to the other. A black man depicted this way strikes such an uncomfortable chord for America at large, espcially coming from a political opposition that has been battling the scarlette-R of racism for decades.
In my opinion, either image circulated by a party official is in pretty poor taste. It never ceases to amaze me how juvenile the political environment can be.
Yet I can't help but feel the racial double standard here is distracting our attention from the value of satire itself. If you laughed at the image of Bush when he was president then why is the Obama image any more offensive and less acceptible? Is there really inherent racism here or is it oversensitiveness on the part of the "politically correct?"
I honestly have no answer to that question. I felt the sting of ignorance when I saw Davenport's email and never thought twice about offensive implications of the Bush monkey business. Isn't that an unfair double standard? Are we really willing to draw a racial divide between what forms of humor are acceptible and what forms aren't based solely of our own sensitive political climate?
Isn't humor expected to call into question the boundaries of acceptibility? If we're really serious racial equality then we need to be able to laugh at ourselves. So why so serious?