Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Tennessee Republican lawmaker says she did not know that blackface was offensive and "Some of my greatest friends are black"

Gospel-singing, white General Assembly legislator Terri Lynn Weaver posted a picture of herself and a pastor on Facebook. In that photo, captured by WSMV before being being scrubbed off her site, the pastor is shamelessly dressed as an old-school "Aunt Jemima," which was a Jim-Crow era mammy caricature.

Rep. Weaver initially responded to media queries defensively, seemingly insulted that someone (like State Senator Thelma Harper) would accuse her of being racially insensitive, even as she resorted to the cracker cliché about her best friends being black. That was yesterday. Today the General Assembly's Black Caucus called for Rep. Weaver to appear before the House Ethics Committee and she is apologizing, although she is pleading ignorance and defending her intentions.

Once again red-state Tennessee is embarrassed by Republican stupidity as the story is national via Wonkette:
doesn’t everyone have a pastor who dresses up as offensive caricatures like this. And in response to the furor over this offensive stereotype, the woman is now defending herself in the most stereotypical way possible. Yes, that’s right: “I’m the least racist of anyone. Some of my greatest friends are black.” Problem solved.
Yes, stand strong, white lady! There was probably no other costume for her pastor to wear, anyway. 
Besides that wince-worthy moment where another white person justifies their insensitivities with the virtue of friendship, it is remarkable that another Tennessee conservative who claims to embrace "values" feels comfortable with disparaging caricatures of our bygone Jim Crow era. It is beyond regrettable. It is valueless.

1 comment:

  1. And which pastor was this?? And of what faith?? And of what century??