Thursday, November 5, 2009

Serious question: will this be considered a racist statement?

In a WaPo story criticizing the Obama administration for a long series of mistakes in Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy, this sentence appears:

Daniel Levy, a veteran Israeli peace negotiator now at the Century Foundation in Washington, summed up the administration's efforts in recent days as "amateur night at the Apollo Theater."


Given that the Apollo Theater is one of the historic landmarks of African-American culture....

On the other hand, you can't lampoon the Century Foundation as rightwing...

And Daniel Levy cannot be written off as some hardline conservative....

So in the good spirits of "see, Hube, I found one before you did [finally]" I have to wonder how this one will be treated by the pundits. If at all.

4 comments:

Brian Shields said...

Would that comment had made any sense if it was referencing GW Bush?

In my eyes, it would hold a different meaning, and would sound like it was a race-pointed comment.

Racist? Eh.. No hate spouted off, nothing derogatory.

Does it point to the possibility of racist thinking.. oh hell yeah.

Hube said...

Post-racial America my ass. ;-)

Chris Slavens said...

Despite alluding to black Americans, the remark doesn't imply inferiority, and therefore isn't racist. Would it be racist to call the former Bush administration a rodeo, or call him a cowboy? Simply because there aren't many blacks that are into rodeos and country n' western music? Some people are far too sensitive to stereotypes. My family name is originally from Ireland, but I won't be offended if you offer me a pint of Guinness.

The three best-known racists in America today all have names preceded by "The Reverend".

RSmitty said...

Well, depending on how the beholder intends to interpret it, such as do they want to inflict harm on the quote-owner or not, will result in the level of racism this holds.

That said, the equivalency within your scenario does have some consideration. What also should be considered, but wasn't presented, is that Amateur Night at the Apollo was (is?) one of, if not THE premier amateur stage act nights this country has ever known. It's run the gamut from superstars-in-the-rough to flat-out bombs.

Just something to consider.