Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Latest Racism Spawned in Williamson County

What exactly are they putting in the water in Williamson County, Tennessee that spawns the kind of belligerent prejudice we have seen recently? There was the Williamson County Republicans blaming Nashville's entire Kurdish community for the crimes of two gang members. There was vandalism of a car owned by an African American family in Franklin, Tennessee with racist graffiti telling them to "go back to Africa."

And now comes news via the AP, that Mark Whitlock and Bob DeMoss from Franklin, Tennessee traveled to what conservatives are ironically calling a "Value Voters Summit" and "briskly" sold boxes of waffle mix with Barack Obama caricatured in a racially and culturally insensitive fashion:
[The waffle box drawing] plays off the old image of the pancake-mix icon Aunt Jemima, which has been widely criticized as a demeaning stereotype. Obama is portrayed with popping eyes and big, thick lips as he stares at a plate of waffles and smiles broadly.

Placing Obama in Arab-like headdress recalls the false rumor that he is a follower of Islam, though he is actually a Christian. On the back of the box, Obama is depicted in stereotypical Mexican dress, including a sombrero."
Are these Williamson County's best and brightest citizens? Are they typical of what make Williamson County "America's Greatest County"? Are these the kind of values that conservatives at the "Family" Research Council mean when they apply the label, "Value Voters"? Doesn't calling people who deal in racist stereotypes "value voters" amount to Orwellian doublethink ("up is down," "right is left," etc.)? How can they be said to have values properly called human?

UPDATE: Franklin, Tennessee's good ol' boys rationalize their prejudice and the false innuendo they advertise on their mix. It's even more despicable than the AP report let on:

UPDATE: No surprise here but both mix makers have strong conservative evangelical ties. Bob Demoss has collaborated with religious extremist and theocrat, Tim LaHaye. According to his blog, Mark Whitlock has worked with Focus on the Family, which is run by Christian rightwinger James Dobson, who prayed for the weather to impede this year's Democratic National Convention.

DeMoss was unapologetic at the Christianity Today blog:
Does [Obama] have Muslim roots or not? That's a legitimate question. That might offend somebody, but you know what, that's part of the political satire.
Sounds like a page out of the TNGOP playbook to me.

UPDATE: A post celebrating Lou Dobbs' promotion of Obama Waffles has been scrubbed at the obama waffles blog. Not only did the CNN show host buy a box, but he exclaimed that his wife would love it. The story has gone national, hitting newspapers around the country, which is probably more racist-alleging publicity than Lou wanted.


  1. If Mark Whitlock and Bob DeMoss represent Christianity in Tennessee, I will thank G-d every day that I am not part of either. SHAME ON THEM. How can they call themselves either Americans or Christians when they treat a fellow Christian American the way they have treated Barack Obama? May they both rot in Hell for their evil, racist, un-Christian and un-American behavior.

  2. It's sick. These men are sick.